As we reach the end of Week 4 of Off-Campus-Learning we are aware that a number of the boys are struggling with routine. The establishment and maintenance of a good routine is an important tool in the promotion of feelings of security and safety in uncertain and challenging times. Routine is not only good for teaching young people the importance of good time management skills but is also important because it allows families to prioritise their values and ideals, for example, meal times together, daily exercise and education. Good routines also play an important role in the smooth running of the family, this is particularly important when trying to balance the competing demands of school, work, exercise and family time. Working together to establish strong routines can help maintain positive relationships within the family.
The structure of the school day plays an important role in supporting routines at home. Just as when we are at school and engaged in face to face learning the school day commences at 8am with Homeroom. The boys should be up, dressed and have had breakfast ready for the start of the school day by 8am. Ideally the boys should have a designated work space for the school day. Lessons should not be undertaken from their bed. A number of families have indicated that changes to sleep routine have made this a little challenging. Sleep just like school, exercise and connecting with friends needs to be prioritised. Psychologist Annie Miller suggests that difficulties with sleep during times such as these often stem from working, reading, gaming and watching TV from bed all of which are associated with wakefulness; she stipulates that the bed should be cue for sleeping. Furthermore, she highlights the negative impact of working from bed on one’s posture, energy levels and productivity. It is also important to remember that sunlight is a natural mood booster and helps raise energy levels. Encourage your son to ensure that he is getting enough sunlight throughout the day. Research suggests that spending large amounts of time in dimly lit rooms can negatively impact an individual’s wellbeing as well as alter your body clock resulting in tiredness and sleep. At the end of each day take some time to praise your son, acknowledge him for the things he did well that day and allow him to enjoy some downtime. The importance of downtime is highlighted in this week’s parenting ideas article by Michael Grose titled Make time for down-time.
As always the wellbeing of the boys continues to be our priority, at the end of Week 1 we checked in with the boys to see how they were going. By way of follow up we made contact and put a number of supports in place for those who were finding Off-Campus-Learning somewhat difficult. As we reach the end of Week 4 we would like to hear from parents about how you feel your son is managing Off-Campus-Learning, aware that there may be some students who were managing well but are now finding it somewhat more difficult. Please take some time over the coming days to complete the survey that was sent out today.
On Tuesday of this week we began the process of selecting our senior student leader for 2021/2022 with Year 11, this is a very exciting time for Year 11. If you are the parent of a Year 11 student I encourage you to talk to your son about this process. Help him to identify and reflect upon his strengths and consider how he might make a difference to the Edmund Rice Community by applying for one of these positions. Applications are due Monday, August 9 by 5pm.
A reminder that our counsellors continue to be available to support any of our students or to provide some advice over the phone to parents who are concerned about the wellbeing of their sons. Alternatively, as a parent you might like to seek some support through the Parent Helpline NSW – 1300 1300 52. This helpline is open from 9am to 9pm weekdays and from 4pm to 9pm on weekends
Director of Pastoral Care & Wellbeing