Know your rights: Teaching and learning at home

I am trying to teach my 6-year-old at home during the COVID-19 public health emergency. What resources are available to support parents?

First of all, make sure you keep in touch with your child’s school and teacher. Your role is to support your child’s schoolwork, your school should give you help and guidance and your child’s class teacher should keep in contact with the children in the class and assign them work to do. Your child’s teacher should also give feedback on schoolwork to ensure that students stay motivated and focused while working at home.

The Department of Education and Skills has useful tips for parents:  

  • Remember to take breaks. Break up the schoolwork with physical and social activities.
  • Don’t insist on sticking to a full schoolwork timetable. You need to be flexible and sensible.  What’s important is that your child makes a good effort each day to complete some schoolwork.
  • Mix it up. Learning isn’t just about sitting with a pen and paper at a desk. Your child can learn from baking, gardening or other family activities.
  • Keep regular mealtimes. Take up physical activity and go outdoors if you can.

You may find these learning resources helpful:

  • RTE Home School Hub broadcasts on RTE 2 from 11am to 12 noon for primary school children from first to sixth class. You can watch it back anytime on the RTE Player and you can also download activity sheets.
  • The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has resources for parents  including tips for primary age children, resources for autism, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. It also has ideas for play, literacy, attention and listening for primary school classes.
  • You can get advice and resources on how to stay well when schools are closed from the  National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)
  • Scoilnet has free resources for primary and post primary students. 
  • The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has learning resources including for the Irish language and helping your child learn.

Don’t forget to look after yourself:

  • You can find information about Parenting during COVID-19 on gov.ie
  • Parentline helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am-9pm and Fridays 10am-4pm on 1890 927 277. See parentline.ie.
  • Barnardos National Parent Supportline is open Monday to Friday 10am – 2pm on 1800 910 123.  You can talk directly to qualified staff who can offer practical support and guidance in your role as parents during the COVID-19 emergency. See barnardos.ie

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from: