How can I help my year 12 child during Covid-19 school closures?
Parents are concerned about long school closures during the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic. So how can you help your year 12 child during Covid-19 school closures?
The global pandemic is a challenging situation for all of us, but especially so for year 12s and their parents. Australian schools are now closed for what might be many weeks. Children and young adults are not even able to have social contact with friends. Social isolation is a tough thing for teenagers. It is going to be particularly hard on year 12s at this time, because they had good support involving many teaching staff and careers teachers at school. This is not going to be quite so easy to access.
A typical year for year 12s
Year 12s would normally:
- be talking to their friends both in class and between lessons.
- be attending 18th birthday parties and Year 12 Formals.
- be playing sports.
- have had a casual part-time job/volunteering role.
Also, by now in year 12, there would typically have been some School Assessed Tasks (SATs) or School Assessed Coursework (SACs). Some may have been completed in school, prior to the closures, but others may have been postponed.
The new current Covid-19 normal
In Victoria, schools are delivering classes via online platforms and will continue to do so in term 2. However access is not standard across all schools, and so year 12s and their parents may be worried about how fair the outcome may be.
As a parent is is very difficult to know how to support our children during COVID-19 school closures. Parents of year 12s are likely to be especially concerned about how they might help their children to maintain focus on their studies. For example, if their year 12 child has to share a study space, or computer, with a sibling, or if the home is quite small such that it is hard to find a quiet place to concentrate.
Also, parents may still have to leave the home to work. If they are working in essential services and working long shifts, they might be worried about leaving their child for long periods. They may also have fears about infection.
So, I’m being asked by parents; “how can I help my year 12 child during COVID-19 school closures?”
Ideas for helping your year 12 child during Covid-19 school closures
The most up to date announcement for Australian students is from 7th April, 2020. Federal Education Minister, Dan Tehan, stated:
“For all those students out there, for all those parents out there, there will be no year 13, there will be no mass repeating. You will get your leaving certificate this year.” Tehan D, in Duffy, C. & Wylie, C. ABC News, 7th April, 2020, accessed: 8th April, 2020.
This should offer comfort to any year 12 who has been concerned about how the academic year would pan out.
Also, with respect to the universities, Australian National University (ANU), in Canberra, is the first to announce its response to the covid-19 pandemic regarding year 12 applicants. Please click on the highlighted text to read the details. Here also linked is a conversation on ABC Radio National with Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice-Chancellor of ANU.
ANU were already accepting early applications. They introduced this for year 12s 2 years ago. This year, ANU has announced that much of what they will be looking at will be your year 11 results. In previous years, ANU has asked for a Personal Statement of the volunteering, extra-curricular and other aspects of the applicant, in order to make their decision on offers. If you wish to apply to ANU, you can apply directly rather than from UAC, and you will need to read the requirements to be sure that you provide all of the information they are looking for.
Meanwhile, during school closures you as a parent of a year 12 student can:
- create a structure to their day, similar to a school day.
- ensure a good sleep routine.
- and should maintain very careful hand washing and other hygiene routines.
- avoid too much viewing of news broadcasts and filter the viewing platforms to reliable sources of information.
- use the link to the online version of the VCE & Careers Expo. for information about further and higher education and training options.
- source reliable support resources via agencies such as Headspace , Beyond Blue and the Student Wellbeing Hub.
- keep an eye on the Covid-19 updates from VTAC, which is the best source of applications information for year 12s, in Victoria. This latest linked update was published on Friday 3rd April.
- use audio files of meditative breathing exercises, such as the Calm App.
- talk to your child about they way they might have coped in a previous experience of stress. Reassure them that they will get through this as well.
- put Lavender Oil on their pillow, or on an eye mask, and Epsom Salts bath (with an added few drops of Lavender Oil). I have some wonderful supplies of Australian Bush Flower Remedies that I use in a humidifier in my office and often recommend to anyone suffering from stress and anxiety.
- introduce a daily exercise routine – sit-ups/squats, cycling, running, walking the dog.
- follow a You Tube of a yoga practice. Go to Karma Studio’s Website for some helpful links.
- keep in touch with family and friends during regular scheduled FaceTime sessions.
- cook together, especially healthy food like a chicken bone broth soup.
- grow some medicinal/culinary herbs – these can be used in your cooking/for teas.
- play some soothing music.
- suggest that your child keeps a journal. Writing thoughts and feelings down can be cathartic.
Karen Your Career Coach can help by:
- offering online appointments and arrange Morrisby Online career assessments and review their Morrisby Online Reports. Appointments are available throughout school closures, including over the Easter school holidays.
- providing webinars using the Zoom platform, or Facetime, or Skype about higher education courses, the VTAC application and Preferences process.
- guiding year 12 students regarding SEAs and Scholarship applications.
- sending your child up-to-date bulletins, such as shared here from VTAC, and from the tertiary institutions, including all of the main universities and TAFEs.
- accepting calls or emails from clients and parents between appointments.
The COVID-19 event is confronting. However, we can reframe the situation by reinforcing that humans are resilient and solutions will be found. As adults we need to be the voice of calm for our children, in particular for adolescents.
Please also refer to the links for the information you may need regarding your child’s study program and talk to your child’s school’s VCE/VET/VCAA Coordinator if there are any issues of concern. Here is a link to the VCAA Covid-19 response: VCAA Covid-19 update. However, please note that this was released on 27th March, but will likely be updated frequently.
I hope these links and my ideas are of help. I will revisit and revise this blog every time I receive an update. Meanwhile, please feel free to contact me for more support where needed.
Use the Contact page of my website for questions and booking inquiries.
Copyright© Karen Lomas 2020
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