Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Years 4–8: Parent and whānau guidance

The information and resources on this website are here to support teachers and whānau when ākonga are learning from home.

Home Learning TV is available on demand at You will find over 300 episodes that have lessons designed for all early learning and school ages.

Home Learning TV – TVNZ

We want learning to be fun, enjoyable and interesting for everyone. If things are becoming overwhelming or frustrating for you or your child, pause, take a moment, have a conversation, try to understand what’s working and what’s not. The conversation will guide you both on what should happen next. Maybe it’s a good time for a break.

Learning happens everywhere

Although you are not in a school setting, wherever you are can be your child’s new learning space.  Your child doesn’t need to sit at a desk or complete book work all day to learn effectively.

Learning opportunities happen everywhere, every day. So use whatever you have access to.

  • Ask your child what they would like to do.
  • What has your child been working on at school recently?
  • You don’t have to stick to a rigid schedule or timing. If your child is working on something that is interesting to them, let them continue working on it before you move to another activity.
  • Be enthusiastic about any learning.
  • Think about what you have in or around your home that can aid and make learning fun.
  • Involve your child in planning for the day. 

Find something that works for your whānau

Learning doesn’t just happen between 9am and 3pm so find a routine or schedule that works for you all. Things to discuss together might include:

  • Do we still need to be ready at the same time we used to – particularly if we don’t need to travel to school or work?
  • If you have an exercise routine, then you should continue that, if you can. Your child might also like to join in with you.
  • It may be helpful to plan out what your day will look like. Sit down with your child and work out what you will be doing together and what they will be doing by themselves. What time can you block out for learning, breaks and fun?
  • If there are multiple people with you, how can you share the role to support the learning? For example, older siblings can read stories to younger siblings. Younger siblings can practise working independently if they have a sibling at secondary school who needs a quiet space to focus. 

Every day could be slightly different until you find a routine and schedule that suits you all.

Reading books

You can help your child’s reading by taking time to talk to them – it could be about books, films or television programmes, or sharing stories from your childhood or whānau.

Make sure you give them some choice as children are more likely to read for pleasure if they can choose their own books. What would make reading fun? Can you build a reading fort or find somewhere special to read? What is your child really interested in?

To get the most out of their reading, it helps to talk to your child about what they read. You may wish to:

  • look through the journal together and choose a story or article that looks interesting
  • guess what will happen next
  • point out interesting details of the story or article
  • talk about what you’ve just read
  • share feelings about the story
  • tell your children your family’s own stories and encourage them to tell them to you too.

Reading alongside your child can help them to keep interested. They could also read with a sibling.

Example of a daily schedule

Routines are reassuring, and promote health and physical wellbeing. Make the most of the reality of spending more time together as a family. Establish new goals together and think about learning something new together. Before you go to bed, write a list of 5 things you are going to do the next day – this may give you some routine and a way to keep moving forward with a sense of achievement at the end of each day.

Here is an example of a schedule you could use.

Time Activity Goals
Before 9:00am Wake up Eat breakfast, make your bed, get dressed, put any dirty clothes in the laundry
9:00am–10:00am Exercise time
10:00am–11:00am Learning at home Choosing something from the recommended resources
11:00am–12:00pm Creative time Writing stories, drawing, doing crafts
12:00pm–1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm–1:30pm Helping to keep things tidy Making sure things are put away, fold clothes, anything else that is needed to make the environment a place where you can all do things together
1:30pm–2:30pm Quiet time Time for a rest and reading some books
2:30pm–5:00pm Access to television through TV on Demand See if there are some programmes that will be enjoyable for the whole family
5:00pm–6:00pm Dinner
6:00pm–8:00pm Showers and family time Kids' shower time and family time
8:00pm Bed time