School of the Air's top 10 tips for parents

Broken Hill School of the Air's top 10 education tips for parents


Broken Hill School of the Air's handy education tips.


For more than six decades Broken Hill School of the Air has been teaching some of the state's most remote students.

And now with many parents teaching their kids from home due to coronavirus restrictions, the distance education school has come up with a handy list to help you get through.

While many children will not be learning the same way as the School of the Air students, their expertise on creating a good learning space for kids is sure to help parents.


1. Write your children's daily subjects on a whiteboard, blackboard or large piece of paper, then get them to cross them off the list once completed. This is an easy way to foster a sense of accomplishment once they've completed a task.

2. Remember that the classroom is not always the classroom and you can learn in your everyday environment. For example, use chalk to conduct spelling exercises on the veranda or in the yard, or learn maths while measuring food portions in the kitchen. There's always opportunity to educate young minds in creative ways.

3. Never stay on one subject for longer than one hour. Follow the school period timelines.

4. Remember that your children will feed off your mood and attitude, so try to be engaged with the subject at hand (even if you really hate maths). It's more important for you to give them your time and attention right now than it is to ensure you have a perfectly tidy model home.

5. Try to create a routine that works for you and your children so the kids then know what is expected of them. Your child can be involved in creating this as well, as it gives them ownership of their work.

6. Try to ensure your child has the right sized desk and chair for them. A comfortable study area aids learning.

7. Use a tone of voice that you yourself would like to be taught with. Home schooling doesn't mean you need to morph into a movie caricature of a strict teacher! It may help to let your children know you are only helping their teacher and not taking the place of their teacher permanently. This is temporary, and you will be only Mum again soon.

8. If you children need it, take lots of "brain breaks." If they start to lose focus, send them for a snack, a drink of water, a run around the yard or do ten star jumps.

9. Preparation is key. Make sure you know what you have planned for each session so you're not reading instructions on the fly.

10. Even in "normal" times where we are all set up and prepared for home schooling it can be really challenging. Don't make excuses for not getting stuff done, but cut everyone some slack when you know you need to, including yourself! Ask your teachers what the "non-negotiables" are and try your best to accomplish those.

  • Broken Hill School of the Air was established in 1956 and now caters predominately for the geographically isolated students within a radius of approximately 300km from Broken Hill.

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