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From the TIS Counselor
As international families we are often faced with challenges that require us to be resilient and optimistic. The emergence of the coronavirus has turned our lives upside down.
As a parent, we naturally want our children to continue to receive the best possible education during the epidemic time. Here are some suggestions on how we can support our children to be socially, emotionally, and academically successful.
Most important: Ask them if there’s anything they’re struggling with-and do something about it.
One of the easiest ways to support your children’s emotional, social, and academic lives is to simply ask them what is challenging them right now.
Create a daily structure with your child that includes academic time, social time (even if it is social connection through the internet), family time, play time, free time or down time, exercise time, and stable sleep/meal times. Secondary kids can develop one and present it to you, for younger children you could do a colorful schedule together and post it somewhere central in the house. Below is an example schedule chart.
Create a designated school/study space that is separate from social/play spaces and from online gaming or social media spaces. If possible, the study space location may need to be officially set up in a more central location separate from the student’s bedrooms or play spaces.
Enforce a period of quiet time in the house. With younger siblings tearing noisily around the house, it can be difficult for older children to concentrate on their homework. To alleviate this problem, you could enforce a period of quiet time in the house at set times of the day, during which younger children are quietly occupied and the older ones have the peace and quiet they need to get on with their private study, distraction-free.
Invest in additional education resources or get free ones online like Khan Academy.
Encourage them to read more! Reading widely is a characteristic of all the most successful students, and it’s something that parents can easily encourage from a young age. It’s best if they can read actual books and not downloaded screen books if at all possible but if it is not possible for them to get actual downloaded books will do in these difficult times. Read fiction and non-fiction books. Read books that are not related to their academic studies. Have a reading time together where everyone reads their own book or the family reads a book together.
Watch documentaries with your children. Most children love watching YouTube’s and television, but waste too much time watching material that doesn’t do anything to help their education. You may already be doing what you can to limit the time they spend in front of the television/computer but you can make the time they do spend watching it more productive and beneficial by watching documentaries together as a family. Horizon on BBC2 is a good one to watch to support your children’s science subjects, while nature documentaries are excellent for biology, and weather documentaries are great for geography. If there aren’t any interesting programs on when you want to sit down and watch a documentary together, you can find plenty of options on catch-up sites such as BBC iPlayer. Failing that, the news is also a good program to watch with them, as this teaches them about the issues and conflicts happening today. Just make sure that you’re on hand to explain anything they don’t understand, and reassure them if there’s a story that worries them.
Stay in touch with their teachers.
Devise fun ways to test them
Emotions change when our environments change. If you find yourself or your children becoming more anxious or having a hard time to concentrate on work, or having other challenging emotions or feelings such as sadness, irritability, frustration, or fears, these are normal reactions during a difficult time like this. I trust each family has its own strengths to face the current challenges.
However, if these feelings are beyond your ability to handle, or has caused your children not able to focus on their studies, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss possible solutions to help support you and your children. You can reach me through email: email@example.com; We can make schedules to talk via cellphone or video calls if needed.
I would love to hear how you are doing and go through this special time with you.
FAQ's on the current school situation
How will home-based learning (HBL) work?
• Each of our schools will deliver home-based learning using a variety of tools and platforms. Specific information will be coming to you from your local Head of School and followed up by even more specific information from your child’s teacher.
• All students are expected to stay engaged with HBL during this time. It will have its challenges, to be sure, but our teachers and staff will be working hard to deliver quality instruction and ensure continuity of learning. We ask that you support these efforts by providing the space and time for your child to complete assignments, stay connected to their teachers and find success in their learning.
What is the best way to contact the school if I have questions?
• Feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher starting February 3 with any questions you have about HBL. Teachers will be conducting office hours and will be available (regular China school day time) to answer questions each day.
• School leadership is always available to answer your questions and concerns. Feel free to email your child’s divisional principal or the head of school as needed.
How will this delay affect the school calendar for the rest of this school year?
• At present, no definitive plans have been confirmed regarding changes with the academic calendar. We are committed to ensure the ongoing learning of our students and making decisions that are in the best interest of your family. We will keep you updated with more details as the situation develops. As the situation becomes clearer we will be able to determine our course of action more decidedly.
• For students and families concerned about transcripts, earning credit for graduation requirements, attendance criteria, etc. All of these expectations can be met within our home-based learning plan. For specific information please contact your child’s principal or college guidance counselor.
Will there be a self-quarantine period when students who are not in the city or in China return to school?
• At this point, different cities are reporting different requirements regarding quarantine measures. We are committed to cooperate with local authorities and will follow all the guidelines we are given. Again, we will update you as requirements are confirmed.
From the TIS Health Office
Because the best protection from all respiratory viruses is similar, to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as the flu and pneumonia…
• Maintain good personal hygiene
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. Wash immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
• Eat foods that have been well-cooked.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when sick and avoid close contact with others. If you are ill, do not travel.
• Consider wearing masks when in public if ill and around others who are sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing, and immediately discard any tissues in the trash and wash hands.
• Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
Additional current recommendation:
• Avoid animals (alive or dead) and animal markets or products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
Christine Gilbert, RN
This Week in Pictures
Dates to Remember
|Feb. 17||Return to School (subject to further delay)|