Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Last Week Of School in NSW – 7th of April 2020

This is the last week of the school in NSW, we are back to the online learning routine again. This week my kids has got much more detailed schedule for study laying out what to do each day and which work need to be submitted and how.

I am still helping the kids studying while trying to carry out my regular job as well. We also just got the update from school that we will be keeping the laptop over the school holiday and based on this we most likely will be doing online studying for the next school term as well. Also, Victoria has just announced that the upcoming school term will be taught via online means.

The kids have adopted surprisingly well, we also trying to organize some activities in the night just to keep things interesting. We did archery competition with toy bows. Did not go out in the last three days as well, stayed entirely indoor again.

Australia wide there are a total of 5918 confirmed infections today and an increase of 119 which is equivalent to 2.05% from yesterday. The infection rate look to be stabled over the last week, however with the onset of winter the biggest test is still yet to come.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Weekend Finally – 4th of April 2020

Yesterday was Friday and I again struggled to help kids studying and work from home effectively at the same time. I was discussing this with another parent who is in the same situation as our family. We both agree that we both had been so looking forward to the weekend now, much so than before. I spend most of today cleaning up the house and probably will do more of the same tomorrow as well.

I also had a call from the son’s teacher following up on his study. The work he is handing in is way too simple and he spends too much time commenting in the Google classroom instead of doing his work. I will have to pay more attention to his study next week as well. Luckily the school holiday will start in another week in NSW.

I did not go out at all in the last few days, the wife did go out to the supermarket to pick up things like fruits, milk and other supplies. I am planning to get the kids to have a walk nearby, getting a fair bit of cabin fever now myself.

Australia wide there are a total of 5135 confirmed infections today and an increase of 274 which is equivalent to 5.64% from yesterday. The slowdown in increase is predominately due to a drop in imported cases. This is understandable with the restriction of oversea visitors and compulsory quarantine for everyone entering Australia. The lock downs currently in place should, in theory, keep a lid on the local community virus growth rate. However, no one can keep this going forever, so the real test will be what happens when the lock downs are relaxed if eradication cannot be achieved.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – 2nd of April 2020

Again another two days of struggle with my kids, it is definitely grinding me down. I had another talk with the daughter and basically lay it out that she does not want me looking over her shoulder all the time and I do not want to do that as well. She seems to take it well and let us see how well it goes and whether she will be more responsible when using the laptop. I am still trying to reinforce good habits which admittedly I did not learn myself probably until I was in my 30s.

I am more tired now at the end of the day than when I actually commute and go into the office. I need to learn to be more efficient at managing the kids. School’s teachers had come up with some really excellent learning material one of them is a video of art teacher showing how to do a particular drawing, both of mine kids loved it and the video was really high-value production.

Australia wide there are a total of 5135 confirmed infections today and an increase of 274 which is equivalent to 5.64% from yesterday. The slowdown in increase is predominately due to a drop in imported cases. This is understandable with the restriction of oversea visitors and compulsory quarantine for everyone entering Australia. The lockdowns currently in place should, in theory, keep a lid on the local community virus growth rate. However, no one can keep this going forever, so the real test will be what happens when the lockdowns are relaxed if eradication cannot be achieved.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Online Studying Stress For The Parents – 31st of March 2020

Day two of the second week of online study for the kids. I am getting progressively worn down by the needs to provide a semblance of close attention to help the kids with their study and also trying to do my day job at the same time as well. I found now I am the one really start to look forward to the school holiday. Today is really just trying to keep reinforcing the rules and avoid lapses. Stayed indoor again the whole day, I am getting a little restless myself but least we are saving heaps on the transportation costs.

With the way things are going, we very possibly will have the entire term 2 of schools taught via online platforms.

Australia wide there are a total of 4560 confirmed infections today and an increase of 311 which is equivalent to 7.32% from yesterday. No major new additional lockdowns announced today which is a nice change. Looking at what is happening the government probably will see what will happen in the next few days and weeks before deciding whether further more draconian lockdowns will be required or not.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Online Studying – 30th of March 2020

Monday and back to online school again. The daughter is doing fine with her school tasks and completed them without issue. The main problem is mostly making sure she does not get distracted and constantly chatting with her classmates on Discord. I am still focusing on the rule setting and guidance like finish the work first then chat and take appropriate rest in between sessions as well. Also making sure she understands that online activities at her age will be closely monitored.

The son is less used to use Google classrooms to carry out his daily studies, he is certainly getting better with it after last week. The Autumn school holiday starts next week in NSW and I will be happy to take a break from trying to juggle work and making sure the kids do their study as well at the same time.

We run out some of the essentials and visited the supermarket tonight. I feel the shortage is getting better, but there is still no egg and flour on the shelves when we visited. Other groceries shops seem to have plenty of eggs so it is likely this just issue with the particular supermarket we visited.

Australia wide there are total 4246 total infected people today and increase of 267 which is equivalent of 6.71% from yesterday. This is encouraging news, but I think this still has a way to go yet especially since we are getting closer to winter in the southern hemisphere so it may still hit us very hard in the coming weeks. To use the famous line, the “Winter is coming”.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Staying In The Home Over The Weekend – 29th of March 2020

It is weekend, so online schooling is taking a break as well. We stayed on the property the entire weekend, pretty much just TV, fixing water tap and sorting the house. We have not been to the shops the entire last week, except a supermarket run on Wednesday and fruit restock on Friday, we stayed in the house the entire week.

Australia wide the total number of infection hit 3983 which is an increase of 9.45% over yesterday and reported infected growth rate to appear to be slowing to around 10 to 15% in the last few days. However given that the focus of the testing was on patients with a history of oversea visits or contact with known cases, then given the closure of the borders, it would be surprising to not see a drop in infection rate. It would be interesting to see the rate of pneumonia cases reported this year to compare to historical data and what happens when we start to test more widely.

Tougher restrictions also are being applied, now a gathering of over two in public has been banned. The new restriction applying tomorrow will close down outdoor gyms, parks, playgrounds and skate parks. With the rate of this is going, a total lockdown other than essential service is probably on the card next week. Many people actually wanted a total lockdown to apply, so at least we have a feeling of certainty. Right now, things change on a daily basis on whether you can open and how you can operate.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – 27th of March 2020

Not too much school-specific news today, this will be more of a record of my personal experience with online studying for our two children.

After the success of Thursday, I was looking forward to an easy Friday, things turned out to be much different than I expected. Through the Google Classroom online chatting with her classmates, she discovered Discord and joined a channel with some of her classmates. She got instantly sucked into the online video chatting straightway.

I first had to check and ascertain that people in the channel are only her classmates and no one else. Then I asked her to take a break, that resulted in a 1-hour tantrum episode, I explained to her that this is what addiction withdraw look and feel like.

I had also brought my laptop into the lounge and do my work next to the kids as well, just making sure they do not get too carried away. I went through a couple of back and forth during the day but things settled down a bit towards the end of the day. I think with younger children, we need to provide very close supervision on the internet and particularly social media usage. I personally favour delaying the use of social media usage as long as possible. However, at the end of the day, you cannot completely dam things up, it is better to guide and make sure they understand what is best for them.

Both kids finished their online learning material for the day pretty quickly and she proudly informed me that “Online learning is like school at home but with no teachers, but I prefer going to school.” I have to say I concur with that conclusion as well.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – More School Closure News – 26th of March 2020

More news about Australian schools due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

  • SA student free From 4th of April South Australian schools will be students free and online teaching will be implemented in the next term.
  • Queensland schools will be students free from next week.

Unless things improving dramatically, we will very likely to see every state move into online teaching for next term. The growth rate of the virus seems to slow a little, but we are still got close to 400 detected case in the last three days. The growth rate did seem to slow a bit from around 20% to 25% earlier in the week to about 15% in the last two days. Total COVID-19 case stood at 2810 for 26th of March 2020. Two weeks ago this number stood at mere 175, however looking at all the information, I do not believe Australia is in as bad shape as most other countries. As long as we act decisively this still can be contained.

On a more personal front, we have picked up the laptop from school and got the online learning pack as well. It is actually very comprehensive and my children loved it so far. They started digging into it already and so far I am getting positive feedback. Both of my children had previous exposure to Google classroom and other online learning tools that their school uses. The elder one particular had a lot of experience with it, she had no issue follow the instruction and run with it herself without requiring assistance from us.

Below you can see the very detailed online learning schedule that school has given us. It is very impressive what had been organized in such short notice.

Year Four Online Learning Schedule
Year Four Online Learning Schedule
Year Six Online Learning Schedule
Year Six Online Learning Schedule

My wife and I are working from home again, we did not leave the property the whole day as we are pretty well stocked up yesterday. So far I had no issue with doing my daily work, but I think I will need to mix some physical activities into my routine. So far the kids adapt to stay at the home time better than I did.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – 25th of March 2020

News around schools to do with Coronavirus is largely unchanged from yesterday. Stretton State College in Queensland is closed due to public health alert which most likely is Coronavirus infection.

Day two of my kids at home, pretty much the same as yesterday so far. The kids spend half of the time playing with each other, reading books and watching TV most of the other time. The boy is getting a little restless but not too bad yet.

We are picking up the laptop from school tomorrow and will try to get the kids to at least do a bit of work during the daytime. My wife and I also been bogged down with a large amount of work today so not had a lot of chance spending more time with the kids even we are working from home now.

We hit the local supermarket when it just opened in the morning and there are already 100 plus people in front of us. The toilet paper was gone in 2 minutes, also not any eggs to be had or they all got snatched up before we got to it. Other items like tissue, paper towels, hand sanitiser etc are in short supply. Most of the other items look to be in good supply and we had no real issue securing just about everything we needed. I did also pop into the local grocery shop later and got a bag of rice as well which is a popular purchase recently as well.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Schools Are Effectively Shutdown – 24th of March 2020

Normanhurst West Public School closed down due to a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

My children stayed at home and the majority of the NSW parents did the exact same thing. The information shows that the school attendance rate is 10% for Tuesday. I would expect similar scenes are played out in different states as well.

We also have been issued many online learning tasks for both of my children from the school. We expecting to pick up a laptop tomorrow from school for my daughter in year 6 to use and her brother will be using a home computer. We have three computers at home, but with both my wife and I working from home, we only have one to spare now.

The children coped well for the first day, but if this drags out into multiple weeks it will become more and more difficult. We are also going to have to restock tomorrow which should be interesting as I have not been able to secure enough staples like flour and tissue papers for a while now.

The shutdown of non-essential services are continuing, yesterday was the restaurant, pub etc. Today are nail salons, property inspection and auctions etc. I fully expect this to keep tightening very quickly further as well in the next few days.

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