We are looking forward to our students returning to our College to learn at school following advice from the authorities that it is safe to do so!
We will recommence VCE and VCAL classes at school on Tuesday May 26. (Year 10 students undertaking a VCE subject will also return to school and can be supervised for their ‘remote’ lessons at school in the ILC.)
All Years 7-10 students will recommence face to face classes on Tuesday June 9.
Our College community has done a tremendous job of keeping our College “open for business” and in doing so, has maintained our students’ learning continuity during the period of remote learning and working. Our students and their families have demonstrated many admirable qualities such as flexibility, adaptability, creativity, collaboration and hard work over this time and these qualities will enable them to successfully manage the next phase which will see all students returning to our campus.
Our “Return to School – Parent & Student Information” guide has been emailed to all families. It provides what you need to know and what you need to do in regards to the transition back to learning on site and ensuring safety at school. Please contact the Year Level coordinator or Homeroom Teacher if you have any questions or need clarification about any element of the arrangements.
I highlight some points as follows:
• No onsite or remote classes will be conducted on:
o Friday May 22 (Professional Practice Day, PPD for teachers)
o Monday May 25 (Catch-up day for Yrs 7-12)
o Monday June 8 (Queen’s Birthday Holiday)
o Friday June 19 (PPD for teachers)
• No remote classes for Yrs 7 – 10 students on Friday June 5 (Catch-up day for Yrs 7-10 only.)
• There will be onsite classes for VCE & VET students at school on Friday June 5.
As indicated in the guide, there will be many changes to our day to day operations to ensure everyone’s safety at school. The most critical factors in ensuring our safety are physical distancing and effective hygiene practices. I ask you to please reinforce this with your daughter/son.
I thank you again for all you have been and are doing on the home front during these challenging and difficult times to maintain your daughter/son’s learning continuity and your ongoing support of our College. I am now looking forward to getting back to what we do best, face to face work with our students.
Michael Exton Principal
Due to the move to Remote and Flexible learning, we are maintaining communications via the following options
For general enquiries please telephone the College on 5251 1136 or email: email@example.com
For student absence please contact the College office by 10am and leave a message or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For College Fee related enquiries email: email@example.com
For account related enquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For enrolment queries please phone 0429 962 259 or email: email@example.com
For general IT support enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Wellbeing support please email: email@example.com
Thank you for your understanding.
As we look forward to the return to face to face teaching we also look forward to being more active and being able to go to different places again. Some people have found the past two months limiting and frustrating. Some have begun new hobbies whilst others have found innovative ways to continue they passions. I recently read of a Russian athlete named Dmitry Yakukhny who due to COVID19 restrictions completed a 100-kilometre ultra-marathon by running around his bed. To avoid dizziness and injury he changed direction every ten kilometres! As restrictions ease in Victoria we look forward to be able to go back to our ‘normal’ activities. As we create a vision of these future activities let us contemplate what we may learn from others who wandered often throughout their lives.
St Ignatius is an excellent subject to consider at this time. During his recuperation he, for the most part, spent his entire period of convalescence in his room. He was literally unable to move and had very limited access to books or visitors. In a similar way to our ‘lock down’, Ignatius grew restless and dreamed of a changed future. He resolved to go on a pilgrimage guided by God. His long pilgrimage prepared and formed him. In travelling 630 kilometres he had much time to observe creation and converse with God. At the conclusion of his pilgrimage he spent many months in Manresa where he received numerous mystical experiences and wrote the Spiritual Exercises.
Interestingly, when we consider Ignatius and his pilgrimage we have an image of him toiling along the trail with his journal, sandals and walking stick. The reality was in fact quite different. For all but the last thirty kilometres Ignatius rode upon a mule as his leg was still healing and for the most part immobilised. After his time at Manresa his pilgrimage to Jerusalem was completed almost entirely on a ship. The image of Ignatius striding along a path is a myth of our making. Our modern understanding of his pilgrimage is incomplete and narrow.
Ignatius’ pilgrimage is not diminished due to his method of transport. His family were wealthy and he was able to take a mule so that he might complete his pilgrimage. The urgency of his desire to begin his pilgrimage before his leg had fully healed ruled out walking.
His long journey is barely noted in his autobiography but the time spent completing this holy mission confirmed his desire and transformed him spiritually. What we can learn from these observations is that pilgrimage is not about the length of the journey or how we undertake it. The critical aspect of a pilgrimage is the intent and desire required to achieve the transformation promised.
Jesus was a great pilgrim. Everywhere he went he walked. He even sometimes walked on water! Every step was intentional and deliberate. His desire was to spread the Good News and transform society completely. His journeys were often communal with the Apostles and disciples travelling with him from place to place. Like Ignatius’ pilgrimage the journeys Jesus undertook during his ministry are barely recorded in the Gospel’s.
In the Gospels there are only two accounts that focus on the wandering involved. Jesus’ torment as he carried his cross and the encounter on the Road to Emmaus. Although when considered even though the journey is described in some detail the key point in each case is the result; Jesus’s crucifixion and his affirmation of the ‘real presence’ in the Eucharist. What is recorded in great detail throughout the Gospels are the moments of teaching and healing. The key moment of the journeys recorded in the Gospels are what occurs because of it. Each of these occur because of a journey and I am certain that Jesus was present in each step and that every footfall was intentional.
As restrictions are eased and we begin being more active, or simply being moving again, resolve to change the way we encounter travel and exercise. When you start driving for work or to visit family or friends do so with an openness to the image of God found in Creation and each living thing. Be curious and actively seek God in your journey. Where are the traces of God to be found when you are driving to work? Begin your journey with a desire to encounter God.
Throw away thoughts of being late, delays due to road works or the fact that the increased traffic is ‘slowing you down’. Your desire will change a commute to a pilgrimage. Remember that Ignatius’ great pilgrimage was not about his method of transport but the intent of his journey.
For most people the activity of walking or running is conducive to encounter. As you exercise more often or in places you have not been able to for some time enjoy what you observe. Meet Jesus during this time. Listen for what God is seeking to reveal to you.
Regardless of the speed your exercise is completed at or the method of transport involved being aware during the journey is essential to living a life filled with encounter. God does not show up only in a beautiful sunset. He surrounds us and is found in all things. Even in the drive to the lookout where we see him a little more easily in the beauty of the sun set.
Remembering the journey is a lesson for life. If you remember the journey you have wandered. Wandering is beautiful and sneaky occupation. Wandering will without effort conclude in a transformative event or encounter. The simple desire to observe a journey will lead to an unintentional pilgrimage. With the desire to find God each moment and through observing with open eyes each journey and in fact every moment can be filled with God’s presence.
As we conclude Laudato si week I encourage you to go out and wander. You may have been inspired to get out and be active by Mr Philp’s ‘Virtual House Cross Country’ or the College’s ‘Camino de Australia’. You may simply feel cooped up and desperate to get out. Whatever the reason may be start wandering today. Seek God and remember each journey. In this way your life will become a pilgrimage made up of innumerable journeys where God is and was always present.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Welcome to our College.
It is important to note that applications for Year 7 2021 close on Friday 22nd May, 2020. Please see 'How to Enrol'.
We invite you to view and enjoy our digital e-OPEN DAY 2020 video on our homepage.
Immerse yourself in our other snapshots of the life of Saint Ignatius College with our “A Day in the Life of Year 7 Student” and our fun "Be our Guest” music video.
If you require and further information regarding Enrolments please contact the College Registrar on 0429 962 259 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remote and Flexible Learning and Teaching - Term 2.
Information and Protocols for parents and students to support Remote and Flexible Learning
Information about the delivery of our VCE and VCAL program
This article will be updated regularly to ensure parents/guardians are kept informed of any new advice or changes as matters arise.
Mr Michael Exton Principal
Update 13th May 2020
Re phased return to classroom learning
Dear Parents and Carers
Thank you for all your support during these past few weeks of remote and flexible learning.
Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) have advised that schools can begin a phased return to onsite schooling.
In the first stage, students in Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2, senior secondary students (Years 11 and 12 VCAL and VCE) and all students in specialist schools will return to school from Tuesday 26 May.
Arrangements for Year 10 students undertaking VCE/VET studies are as follows:
To support all school staff to prepare for this transition, Monday 25 May will be a studentfree day.
In the second stage of our return to onsite schooling, all other year levels will return to school from Tuesday 9 June.
For those students who cannot be supervised at home as well as vulnerable children, the existing model of onsite schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which onsite schooling is required will continue for this two-week period.
All other students in those year levels will continue learning from home until Tuesday 9 June.
Once a year level has returned, all students will be expected to attend school as normal. Thismeans if you choose to keep your daughter/son home after their year level has returned to onsite schooling, we can no longer deliver their learning from home.
This does not apply to students who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact the appropriate Year Level Coordinator so we can make an appropriate plan.
This same approach is being taken by all Catholic and government schools in Victoria.
To support the health and wellbeing of all students and staff, our school will continue an enhanced cleaning routine and will encourage frequent handwashing.
If your daughter/son is ill or is feeling unwell, they must not attend school. They must remain home and seek medical advice.
While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice to all schools that will be made available in coming days. These will apply until further notice. I will provide more details about our local school context as soon as possible, but it is important to note that changes will include:
We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. I can assure you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.
More information about the return to school and coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the CECV website, which will continue to be updated: www.cecv.catholic.edu.au/Coronavirus-information-for-parents.
Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom.
Michael Exton Principal
Update 4th May 2020
Please find attached an article by our Companions Coordinator, Caleb Ryan. Our Companions Ladder program is an important part of what we offer at Saint Ignatius College, and Caleb has provided some suggestions on ways you can continue to build and foster those important relationships with the young people in your household during the time of social isolation.
Update 29th April 2020
Notice of Cancellation of Semester 1 2020 Examinations for Years 9 -11
Dear parents and guardians,
As we continue to monitor the delivery of our curriculum to all students, Saint Ignatius College has made the decision to cancel Semester 1 examinations for all students in Years 9, 10 and 11 at the school.
This decision will stand regardless of any changes relating to remote and flexible learning arrangements between now and the end of this term.
Careful consideration has been placed into this decision by the teachers at the school. Structured consultation with curriculum leaders, year level coordinators, student well-being officers as well as the College Critical Incident Management Team has been taken into account in arriving at this decision.
Unanimous consensus has determined that to proceed with formal examinations previously scheduled for Weeks 9 and 10 of this term would be extremely difficult for students already dealing with the challenges of learning remotely. It is important that we ensure current learning can be undertaken and completed with more time than can normally be achieved with face-to-face delivery. To add an expectation of study and preparation for examinations in addition to coping with current learning has been deemed both unreasonable and ineffective.
Depending on the subject and the year level involved, teachers may choose to modify existing assessment tasks in place of the Semester 1 exam and/or adjust the weighting of these tasks in determining the overall percentage grade for that individual subject.
Please note that in keeping with the VCAA decision to extend Unit 3 studies, our Semester One learning and teaching program for all Unit 1 studies has been extended to the last day of Term Two, Friday June 26th. The Semester Two program will subsequently commence on Tuesday July 14th.
In cancelling the formal examinations for the current semester, we wish to advise that there will be Semester 2 examinations for all students in Years 9, 10 and 11 in the second half of the current school year. Once the College has been provided with further clarity from the VCAA and relevant State education authorities as well as any directives from Catholic Education Melbourne [CEM], information will be provided to students and parents with regard to dates and arrangements for these Semester 2 examinations.
In closing, I take this opportunity to thank you all for your understanding and continuing support as we respond to the challenges confronting schools in these uncertain times.
Mrs Annette Chidzey Deputy Principal [Learning & Teaching]
Update 9th April, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Re: Transition to flexible and remote learning – provision of supervision at the College
As you are aware, following State Government advice, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) has advised that Catholic schools should move to remote and flexible learning at the commencement of Term 2.
“This means that, from the start of Term 2, all students who can learn from home must learn at home.”
Saint Ignatius College will commence remote and flexible learning for our students on Wednesday, 15th April 2020. (Teachers will begin on Tuesday 14th April.)
While it is expected that all students should be learning from home, schools have been asked to consider making supervision arrangements available at school for students in the following categories:
Children who are not able to be supervised at home and on days when no other arrangements can be made. This includes children of parents who cannot work from home, and vulnerable children, such as:
• children in out-of-home care
• children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
• children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service, mental health or other health services, and children with a disability).
To assess the need for supervision, we need to know how many students we would need to cater for.
If your daughter or son is in one of the categories mentioned above, and you would like to indicate your interest in her or him being supervised at the College while she or he undertakes the remote and flexible learning, please send an email message by 12 noon Tuesday 14th April 2020 to email@example.com and provide for each student:
• Student name
• Year Level & Homeroom name
• Days of the week attending school
• Brief reason for the need for supervision at school.
We will then contact you via email to let you know what arrangements can be put in place.
Some preliminary considerations include:
• Commencement of supervision on Thursday 16th April;
• 8:45 am to 3:05 pm;
• Transport to & from school will need to be provided by parents (at the time of writing this message, we have no advice about bus availability);
• No canteen, students to bring their own food & drink bottle;
• Social distancing would be expected as much as possible;
• The student would need to be well;
• Neat casual clothes;
• Supervision would be from a distance while students work using their laptops as if they were at home; and
• Students sign in and out at the front College office.
Michael Exton Principal
Update 7th April, 2020
Dear Parents, Students and Staff Members,
Given this morning’s announcement by the Premier about arrangements for Term Two schooling, the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) has provided advice that our College will be following from the start of Term 2 2020.
While this preliminary contact is relatively brief, more detailed information will be provided via a second email from me on Thursday 9th April once further consultation has occurred. In this update, I will outline specific advice related to Term 2 curriculum delivery and VCE
arrangements in keeping with today’s advice to Catholic schools.
Term 2 arrangements
On the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) has advised that all Victorian Catholic schools are required to transition to remote and flexible learning arrangements for Term 2. Given this advice, our students will commence remote learning from Wednesday 15th April. (Teachers and Education Support Officers will commence work for the new term on Tuesday 14th April.)
The Chief Health Officer has advised that these arrangements should remain in place for the duration of Term 2 and will then be reviewed.
Given the government objective act to slow the spread of coronavirus, schools have been asked to communicate to students and parents that all children who can learn at home must learn from home.
Schools are able to make exceptions for children of parents who cannot work from home, and vulnerable children.
Parents will be informed via email on Thursday 9th April about how they can access this supervision at our College and what arrangements we will put in place for this.
The Victorian Premier and Minister for Education have also announced the following changes to VCE studies.
VCE students will still receive an ATAR, but there will be a number of adjustments to the academic timetable for VCE and VCAL students:
• The GAT will move from June to October or November
• End-of-year exams will be postponed until at least December
• School-based assessment tasks will be reduced where possible to relieve some pressure on students as they move to remote and flexible learning arrangements
• Universities will be asked to delay the start of the 2021 university year to account for the impact of coronavirus on senior secondary students.
VCE study scores will continue to be a combination of school-based assessment and external exams.
VCAL students will have more time to complete their courses and this will be consistent with the revised dates for the VCE.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is also examining a compressed end-of-year exam schedule – including slightly shortening each exam – in recognition of the disruption caused by the pandemic.
A small number of students undertaking VET may have the award of their VCE or VCAL delayed until the beginning of 2021, so that they can complete mandatory practical or workplace learning requirements – ensuring they are not disadvantaged by the lack of hands-on practice.
Making this transition to remote learning and teaching is understandably going to be challenging for us all. Continuity of learning is vitally important. We have been planning for this transition and are well-prepared. There is, however, still a great deal that we are going to learn over the coming weeks as we, along with other schools, implement remote learning & teaching.
Thank you in anticipation of your support for and understanding of, the need to move to remote learning and teaching. It is important that we work together in partnership to maintain learning for our students under these tough and trying times for all in our community whilst also ensuring the health and safety of all members of our school and the wider community. We look forward to the time when school resumes on campus but until that is possible, please be assured that we will do all we can to support our school objective to work together to maintain our students’ ability to learn in changed circumstances.
In closing, I reiterate that we will provide families with important information this Thursday to further support the transition to learning from home.
Michael Exton Principal
Update 6th April 2020
Update 2nd April 2020
Update 23rd March 2020
PDFs and website links noted in the above letter:
- Australian Psychological Society information
- World Health Organization (WHO)
Mental health and wellbeing support and advice for students and parents:
Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
Support specifically for students:
- Headspace fact sheet
- Kids Helpline support: https://kidshelpline.com.au/coronavirus#wellbeing
Update 23rd March 2020
Update: March 18th 2020
Enrolments for new Year 7 students in 2021 close on May 22nd
Please note that if you have had issues submitting your application you should contact the Collge Registrar as soon as possible.
How to Submit your Enrolment Application
Refer to the 'Enrolment' section of our website for details.
Submit the signed enrolment form and copies of all supporting documents to one of the following:
• College office or
• by mail to 27 Peninsula Drive, Drysdale 3222 or
• by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you require any further information please contact the College Registrar Mrs Gail Myers on 0429 962 259.
In Term 2, we have seen the parameters of our learning, working and living spaces shift significantly.
All of us have experience significant shifts in Term 2 to our learning, working and living spaces. Naturally, these shifts have changed the way we live, but also how we love and serve others. While we have already been loving and serving within our family and friendship networks, the opportunity to do so in our local community has been limited by the lockdown.
St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) underwent significant changes in his circumstances throughout his life: his famous cannonball injury; being expelled from Jerusalem; and even being imprisoned. While these events seem quite remarkable, what is of greater significance is the way St. Ignatius responded to each challenge and the change that followed.
In any of these moments, St. Ignatius could have given up on his hopes and dreams, and returned to a comfortable lifestyle in Spain. But St. Ignatius’ grit and ability to adapt opened more doors than it closed. While recovering from his injury, he asked himself for the first time what he truly desired in life. On discovering that his plan to walk in the footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem were cut short, he was determined to earn his credentials so he could have a place in the Church. When faced with imprisonment for speaking about his faith, he went back to school, so that he could have a voice in the Church. He viewed each of these moments as growth, rather than failure; as opportunities, rather than a waste.
The determination with which St. Ignatius approached life is impressive because it was energised by his passion and directed by his life goals. These goals focused on how to best serve others for the greater glory of God. His ‘humble grit’ allowed him to see beyond himself and his shifting circumstances to the bigger picture of how to best love and serve others.
So, how have our staff and students adapted in order to continue to respond to St. Ignatius’ invitation to love and serve?
We have gone online! We currently have 6 students participating in the online Smith Family Reading Program. This program runs throughout all of Terms 2 and 3 and involves our students assisting students to improve their literacy skills by reading with them 2-3 times each week.
We have embraced Zoom! Through Jesuit Social Services, Jessica Breckon (Justice Captain) and Hannah Lace (Environment Captain) have been engaging in English conversation classes with Alma Nuns who run schools for students with disabilities in Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
We have gone outside! The Laudato Si’ Week Challenges, which focus on how we are caring for the environment were created to enable students to engage in service as well as advocacy, an important aspect of working towards creating a more justice society.
We have gone to the frontline! Under the leadership of Lachlan McLean and Zoe Walker (Year 8 SRCs) and support from Deborah Hodge (Year 8 Coordinator), the Year 8 cohort wrote 250 letters to Barwon Health frontline workers expressing their compassion and immense gratitude for all that they are doing for our local community.
I invite our students to take up the challenge of adapting the way they think about loving and serving those in our communities. May we be inspired by St. Ignatius to approach each change with humble grit, armed with an open mind and open heart.
Alicia Deak Justice and Service Coordinator and Ignatian Coordinator
Video message from Jessica Breckon (Justice Captain)
Saint Ignatius College Geelong has outstanding students. Some of those students have put their hand up to take on the extra responsibility of leadership roles. In difficult times leaders stand up whether at school or not.
Our student leaders will continue share ideas, actions and words of encouragement over the coming weeks on ‘facebook’ and through the newsletter. Today College Wellbeing Captains, Isabella Kelly and Lucy Emery have recorded messages for the College community (particularly the students).
Anthony Gravener Student Leadership Development Coordinator
On the attached PDF are instructions for students to register for our 2020 Virtual House Cross Country Carnival. The Great Australian Cross Country Challenge is a “virtual race” meaning students and teachers still go for a run (or walk), but you can choose where and when.
It can be outside, on a treadmill, alone or with others (within social distancing guidelines of course!).
When students register they will need our School Code which is ‘SIC’. Using the code ‘SIC’ within the student registration part of the website will ensure there is no cost.
Run, walk, roll or stroll your way through the Great Australian Cross Country Challenge. GACCC is all about having fun and recreating that Cross Country Carnival experience, virtually!
Anyone can participate in the event between the months of May to August! What’s better, your registration enables you to participate as many times as you like!
To register visit the Great Australian Cross Country Challenge website at www.gaccc.com.au
From 16-24 May, the Catholic Church is celebrating five years since the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical entitled Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. This letter to the whole of humanity is an urgent plea to act as stewards of creation and change our lifestyles to care for and protect the environment.
Saint Ignatius College has joined this worldwide celebration by participating in the ‘Laudato Si’ Week Challenges’, which our Justice, Liturgy and Environment Captains launched last Friday. The Laudato Si’ Week Challenges are a series of ten challenges that students can complete over three weeks to celebrate Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’.
These challenges are an excellent opportunity for students to reflect on how their actions are impacting the environment and contributing to climate change, as well as earn service hours, positive affirmations for the best submissions for each challenge, and even a Loyola Award for those who complete eight or more challenges.
The challenges vary from writing reflections, to creating art, to going for a walk and are designed so that all students can participate. As of today, four challenges have been released via email and can be completed right up until Monday 9th June. They include:
Challenge #1 Justice Zoom Meeting
Challenge #2 Finding God in All Things
Challenge #3 Ecological Examen
Challenge #4 Prayers for Change
Those students who have already completed challenges are to be congratulated on the quality of their submissions and taking the time to stop, reflect on and express gratitude for the environment, our Common Home.
Alicia Deak Justice and Service Coordinator and Ignatian Coordinator
Please click here for the latest edition of Catholic Education Today https://www.cem.edu.au/News-Events/Catholic-Education-Today.aspx
The Term 2 edition focuses on ‘keeping the light of Christ’ with articles that reflect Catholic schools’ point of difference: from supporting local communities by providing fee-relief to promoting slavery-free resources to make a difference on a global level. This issue explores the interreligious culture in our schools, contains guidance to help families with remote learning, and celebrates student achievement in the digital Creative Arts Exhibition and events ‘Around the Archdiocese’.
While we’ve been denied access during the COVID-19 pandemic to activities such as playing group sport, spending time in a café or meeting with friends, there’s been plenty of upside too.
Discussions with friends reveal that family life has been a big beneficiary from the physical distancing measures. Comments such as “It’s so good to slow down,” “I cherish the time I’m spending with my children,” and “I’m discovering the joy of having real conversations with my teenager” point to the positive side of getting of the family roundabout many of us have been on.
Though the restrictions placed on society are of course challenging, the imposed period of social isolation has provided an opportunity for parents to forge new habits that have potential to bring more joy and less stress to their children’s lives once the threat has subsided. Here are some ideas to consider while charting a new course for kids post COVID-19.
Significant personal hobbies
Our previous reliance on organised, adult-initiated activity to keep kids busy came at the expense of child-initiated hobbies and interests. The rise of personal digital entertainment and communication technology in recent years has also contributed to the demise of hands-on hobbies such as collecting, crafts and music.
The Scandinavians have long valued the positive impact of hobbies on a person’s wellbeing and quality of life. In turn they encourage (and in Sweden’s case heavily subsidise) the uptake of hobbies and personal interests from a very young age.
Personal learning centres
Experts agree that the future of work will be characterised by constant change, requiring workers to continually learn and upskill if they are to adapt. Our children will need to see themselves as continuous learners if they are to succeed in this uncertain future.
The home is a great place to plant this concept in young minds and there’s no better way to do this than establishing their own personal learning centre. Start small with a bean bag, a small book shelf and build from there. It’s the idea rather than the physical setting where the learning significance lays.
Mental health practices
This period in isolation has offered an opportunity to embed good mental health practices in children and young people. Three key health practices to continue include healthy eating, plenty of exercise and good sleep patterns. Add regular mindfulness practice, deep breathing and the opportunity to spend plenty of time in nature and you’ll be establishing a strong mental health and wellbeing framework for life.
Mix of alone and group activities
Life in social isolation has meant family members have had to compromise. Extroverts who love to be surrounded by people have had to give parents and siblings the space they need. Introverts who prefer their own company have been sharing their time, space and company with other family members. Post COVID-19, consider encouraging kids to experience a mixture of alone time, allowing for personal reflection and family time, which promotes family connection. Both are essential for healthy wellbeing.
Deep eldership connection
Increased one-on-one time between parents and kids has been a positive side effect of life in social isolation. The opportunity for parents to connect with children and young people with greater depth and meaning is a return to eldership, practised by past generations. Eldership, where parents shared their wisdom and their vulnerabilities with young people, when combined with healthy rites of passage is a time-honoured way of preparing young people for adulthood.
This period of social isolation has provided a rare opportunity for parents to renew and refresh their children’s lifestyles, and in some circumstances, reboot family lives as well. It would be a waste to climb back on the busy roundabout of life once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, without making some positive changes to the way we live.
Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s the author of 10 books for parents including Thriving! and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It, and his latest release Spoonfed Generation: How to raise independent children.