Relax! Learning from home isn't like learning at school.
Lower the expectations and the pressure on your kids.
Wellbeing is more important for everyone, warn Horowhenua high school principals. Some students have told them they feel like they are like stars in a movie and the whole situation seems surreal to many.
However, school must go on in this current health crisis and local colleges have done their best to provide as much remote learning as possible and make it interesting while at the same time providing guidance for parents on how they can help.
The new normal is a really big deal for everyone but the principals say we are doing this together - teachers students and parents.
"A fixed daily routine is good - it helps settle the students into their learning," said Horowhenua College principal Grant Congdon in a video conversation with Tim Costley last week.
"This is a great time for parents to engage with their child's learning. They should ask questions about the work being done and find out if their child is coping. Encourage them to ask for help if they get stuck."
That's much harder when working remotely. At school all you need to do is put up your hand and everyone knows you need something. Don't be shy, speak up if you need help.
He said he expected students to be learning no more than four hours each day and not in one sitting either.
"Break it up with exercise, doing chores, or even making mum and dad a cuppa."
He said teachers are in touch with the students regularly to ensure all is well and to provide explanations and help as required.
Congdon said NZQA is working on a solution to the assessments normally done for NCEA.
"Don't worry too much about those exams. A plan is coming so the teachers can assess their students themselves.
"Wellbeing is very important right now. Make sure there is a balance between school work and play. Parents can engage with that process and make sure their children aren't too focused on school work."
Manawatū College principal Bruce McIntyre couldn't agree more.
"We have launched a daily challenge. That is an idea from our student leaders and involves a variety of tasks, from physical exercises to a scavenger hunt as well as quizzes.
"The challenge is emailed out to students at 9am every morning and video responses are expected by 6pm that day.
"We also give them advice on how to stay safe while at home. They get tasks by email and participate in Google Classroom."
McIntyre said physical activities during this time of lockdown to break up the day were very good.
Waiopehu College principal Mark Robinson said everything has been transferred to Google classroom, a mammoth effort pulled off in a short period of time by his staff.
"It will enable students to continue their learning remotely.
"We have also been able to deliver 60 Chromebooks to families who do not have any computers at home and the Ministry of Education has offered to help supply those we were unable to reach before the lockdown."
The school has put together an information sheet for parents, students and teachers outlining what the expectations are and how parents can help their kids with remote learning.
"We also have a daily quiz with prizes," said Robinson. "We have well over 100 entries each day. Even parents enjoy the quizzes saying some questions had started off interesting discussions in their homes.
"Our student leaders have done an amazing job sharing themes around staying active and getting creative using our Instagram page. They held a gumboot day recently."