Paperless Educator

Welcome to Paperless Educator! Here you will find resources and useful tips that I hope will help you to integrate digital technology tools with learning in a meaningful way.

A parent can struggle for a long time before they decide to bring their children home to learn. School related anxiety can manifest as serious physical symptoms such as; hair loss, inability to sleep, school refusal, bedwetting, regression in the ability to speak, write or get the idea! 

Those first few months home can be really tough!
Not only are you dealing with the physical & emotional fallout of all that, you are trying to cope with your own fear and anxiety about how to move forward.
How can you repair & restore your child's confidence and reignite their curiosity?
How can you get your child re-engaged with learning?
How can you practise vital skills such as reading and writing when even the mere mention of them causes fear & distress?

Those are the main concerns I hear, so I thought I would share some of the small steps I made 5 years ago!

Note: If your child has specific, identifiable learning challenges or severe anxiety you may need to consider seeking professional help. This general advice is for a child that  you are confident will repair in the home environment over time.

As much fun as it is to "play" school don't!
In order for your child to relax out of the fear and flight response you will need to bring a whole different "vibe"  to the table.
So here are some ideas that were (slowly) successful for us.

The focus of all activities in those early days was to nurture engagement and make learning fun again.

Reading Anxiety:
  • I read and read and read! lots of stories, with lots of snuggles.
  • I let him build Lego, play with toys and colour in while he was listening.

TIP: Don't stress or react if your child doesn't seem to be listening, this improves over time, just keep it up, everyday, even if it feels like you are reading to yourself! Please don't be tempted to hold a "book discussion" after your reading session, they will be on the lookout for "teachy" moments! 

If your child loves playing on their tablet, purchase high quality, interactive E-books. You do the reading and they can complete all the game elements and enjoy the fun discovery! Let them explore their way (which doesn't necessarily mean in a logical order) Be prepared to giggle, and just go with the flow.

TIPDon't ask them to read, at this stage, it is all about enjoying the wonder of books again with no demands. That way, the anxiety will start to mellow. You want a smile to appear when you pick up a book, not tears.

What can happen;
I'll never forget 8 months into our first year my very reluctant reader running into a local bookstore declaring with excited joy " I LOVE  books!"

Computer Games:
Does your child have a favourite computer game?
I'm hoping you're nodding yes as you read that question, because that is the magic door you can skip through.
  • Ask them about their favourite game and get them to show it to you. 
  • Ask them to take some screenshots of their favourite moments.
  • Get them to describe the action taking place in the screen shots 
(Just in casual, relaxed conversation, again be wary of turning it into a "learning moment")

Now the magic bit...
Without them knowing (after they go to sleep) take the screenshots and place them in a Google Doc, Canva Doc, or Word Doc and type/write what they told you about them underneath. Make it look fabulous (some creative fun for you) and then print the page out and put it into a scrapbook created especially for their favourite games. Surprise them with it the next morning and read it together!

TIP: Reading their own words will give them such a thrill. Acting as a secret scribe is such a powerful way to boost their writing confidence and get them really excited about it.
  • Keep adding to the book without any pressure for them to contribute, keep acting as a scribe and remember to make notes of little things they say to stick in the book.
Over time your child will start showing interest in the process and will begin to suggest things they can include in their book. This is sign that you may be able to start handing some of the creation over to them, but there is no rush.

TIP: Let them catch you reading it for pleasure from time to time!

Digital Scrapbook:
There are many great, child friendly IOS/Android apps that enable you to create amazing digital journals,
Kids love posting screenshots from their favourite games into them. Many have text tools to add a caption or recording tools to easily add a voice caption.
Our favourite apps for this sort of activity are:
I encourage you to click on the links provided above and visit the developer's websites for each App to find out more detailed information. View all the preview images and video demos, it will inspire many fabulous ideas and get you excited about the wonderful potential of these creative tools.

If you would like support and further ideas you are welcome to join my Paperless Educator Facebook Group HERE

Until next time, hang in there and remember everything heals, it just takes time and lots and lots of love.

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