How to Nail Home Schooling According to Teachers


Image: Annie Spratt


COVID-19 has really changed the way we live, learn and work. While some aspects of life has been an easy transition, others have been a little more difficult; especially for parents who are now adding ‘home school teacher’ to their resume.

Teaching is not an easy gig, and for parents who never in their wildest dreams believed they would have to do it themselves, the idea of home schooling has been extremely overwhelming for many. In these unusual times, mums and dads all around Australia are feeling the pressure of balancing home schooling, working from home and domestic duties all within the confines of our current isolation restrictions.

We asked Primary and Secondary teaching duo, Michaela and Hayden Davies (right), to share their professional insights, along with some great tips and tricks on how to keep your kids motivated to complete their schooling from home.


COVID-19 has had a really large impact on schooling and how teachers deliver their curriculum. How has the transition from in-class teaching to online teaching been for you and your students?

Hayden: It wasn’t the easiest for most of my secondary students, however, I found it to be not too bad. After a few years of practising a “flipped classroom,” it has really prepared me for this time in teaching. For the students, the change of workspace for some has been a great challenge as it has altered their daily routine and offers alternate distractions compared to working in a classroom.

Michaela: In the primary school setting it's more challenging. These students are not able to be at home by themselves and most of them have younger siblings. I feel for the parents as it's a juggling act, especially when children are so reliant on support in the classroom. Usually, they have a teacher, Learning Support Officer or their peers to help them through work. When it's just mum or dad, who may also be working or carrying out other duties at home, it creates a big challenge. 

Most primary schools have decided to focus just on literacy and numeracy. It would be amazing if all teachers could use Zoom or another conferencing online platform, but it's a bit like herding cats, if I'm honest. In the classroom, children are on the floor for 10 minutes before they move onto another activity or have a brain break. I think everyone is doing the best job that they can, parents and school staff. For parents who are struggling to adapt, call your child's teacher or the leadership team and be transparent.

homeschooling_tipsImage: Annie Spratt

How have the students adapted to the new digital learning environment?

H: It has been a big wake up call for them having an experience of having greater responsibility for monitoring and managing their own learning. The need to carefully read and follow instructions has definitely shown to be a weak point for most.

M: It has been a curveball for everyone. The benefit of it, however, is that parents may be able to understand how their child learns and their ability to adapt to change. For parents whose child may need extra support, the change has been beyond difficult. In these circumstances, most schools have allowed these students to attend school to work with Learning Support Officers one to one. For teachers, they have had to acquire knowledge and skills in so many different facets in the space of 3 weeks, as well as plan and cater to the learning and wellbeing needs of 25 or more students. They are doing an amazing job and I am in awe of all of them.

homeschooling_tipsImage: Annie Spratt

Being at home and working digitally can make it difficult to switch off from work. What do you do at home to ensure you’re keeping a good work-life balance?

H: I have set up my desk far away from where I spend time with my family. This allows me to have a dedicated space to work, away from distractions. It allows me to go into “work mode”. By the time the workday is finished, I ensure that I shut down my laptop, turn the lights off and lock the door behind me to enter back into the home life.

What activities have you enjoyed doing while in isolation?

H: For me, it has definitely been spending time with my wife and daughter. Going for walks and talking about our day.

iso activities