Isolation for the nation: student perspective

Our primary school students tell us in their own words the highs and lows of their first weeks of learning from home.

08 April 2020
A boy smiling next to letter flash cards.
Image: Kindergarten student Kai has been practising his letters while learning from home.

Kai, Kindergarten, Thirroul Public School

“I love home school but I miss seeing my friends and playing at lunch time. My teacher sends me videos of her reading a book and sounding out letters; this is special, I like seeing my teacher. My classmates share what they are doing at home and I like seeing their faces.

After lunch I like to do cosmic yoga to get exercise. My mum and dad also take me on bike rides, kicking the footy in the backyard and bushwalking in the national park.

We have building time where I get to build with my Lego. I like maths! We get to bake cookies and a snack for maths. I have to measure the ingredients, add and subtract. It’s a maths lesson but not boring and I get to eat cookies at the end.”

Willamena, Kindergarten, Smalls Road Public School

“Sometimes I really hate school at home. Today I am doing fun things and I like it. I have been doing art. I have been reading sight words on mum’s computer whiteboard. I love drawing. I like playing with my sister and brother. I like having a school lunch ‘cos I have yummy things and healthy things. I miss crunch and sip.

My favourite thing I did today was we did hair colour and eye colour, measuring, thumb print, shoe size and I had to write if I have the same or different to my mum. We were all different.

I like to speak to Miss Toto on Zoom and I like Miss Toto seeing all the things I do.

I miss my school friends so much, I only see them on camera because of the virus.”

Art, Year 2, Stanwell Park Public School

“I am going to tell you four reasons why I like learning from home:

  • I get to pat my guinea pig.
  • I get to play Minecraft.
  • I don't have to sit down. Yay!!
  • I built a Lego roller coaster in a Lego challenge.”

Archie, Year 4, Stanwell Park Public School (Art’s brother)

“When I try to do my work my brain doesn’t function properly because I am at home and it feels like the holiday because I am not at school. I like home schooling because you get to have a break and do creative stuff when you have finished the tasks our teacher sets. I can’t see my friends physically, but I get to FaceTime them on WhatsApp which our parents have set up for us. I like that you get to do maths mentals and maths division because I really like doing mathematics.

But I don't get to play soccer at lunch times with my friends. That is one of my favourite things that I do. Finally, I like spending time with my family and my dad taking me for super-long bike rides.”

Kingston, Year 5, Floraville Public School.

“I get to sleep in, which I love. After I wake up, I read until my family wakes up (except for Dad who has already left for work because he’s essential), then we eat breakfast. I then get dressed and grab the laptop, which the school loaned me. My class uses Google Classroom, so I log onto that and check my timetable for the day and check-in with my teacher. Sometimes I get to help my sister with her activities, which is really fun because at school I don’t get to spend time with her.

My mum lets me and my little sister have ‘brain breaks’ in between learning activities. Sometimes we play on the trampoline, do ‘PE with Joe’ or workouts on YouTube, go for runs or bike rides. I miss being able to play all my sports at school with my mates and on the weekend, especially soccer.

Lunches at home are way better than plain, old, boring school sandwiches. I miss school a lot, but I love working from home."

Ava, Year 6, Stanwell Park Public School (Art and Archie’s sister)

“My experience of home schooling is overall positive because I am able to have a break and do something creative. My mum has set up three stations around the house – one is a working place where we do the work teachers have set for us. The next is the reading and chilling area in a tepee. The final station is the creative area where each day mum sets up a drawing or painting activity and sometimes she even lets me cook and that's a big positive.

All of the Year 6 girls have a Zoom meeting. As well as that we have set up Google slides and shared it with all of Year 6 so we chat constantly when we need a break from school work. We also don't have to wear our uniform … BONUS!!!”

Check back tomorrow for our follow up story: How our secondary school students learning from home.

  • Student voices
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