Information for Pacific families and communities
Here are some tips on supporting your children’s learning, with translations available in 10 Pacific languages.
Families are the source of learning. You have everything in your bubble and family, and through community connects to support your children during COVID-19.
Make sure your house is happy and healthy, and you know where to get support that can help you.
Talk and listen to one another, be kind and patient and remember – you are not the teacher and if things get frustrating have a break.
- Parents and families don’t have to be teachers – don’t need to turn days into lessons and as a guide for time spend on academic learning for:
- primary aged children aim to spend 2 hours.
- intermediate aged children aim to spend up to 3 hours
- for high school aged children aim to spend up to 4 hours.
Don’t think this is a time to keep ‘lessons’ up. Include your children in planning what they want to learn. Focus on areas of interest and strengths.
- Talk with your children and make sure you all know what is happening and how to keep your safe house, e.g. washing hands, staying in your bubble.
- Set up connects with your family by phone, Facebook, Skype, Zoom – whatever works for you and would be suitable for the age of your children.
- Develop routines for your home which suits everyone. Try to keep this as ‘normal’ as possible, but make sure your children feel safe and that everything is alright. Everyone copes with things differently.
- Everyday activities are opportunities for learning:
- The power of talanoa (continue to talanoa about family things, as well as things you want your children to know. There is a lot of advice – from your school teachers, Government websites, e.g. MOE and MPP, Talanoa Ako radio programme, on television, Facebook connects with family, church minister, etc.) Talanoa about what we know and what we can do, that knowledge helps children understand things a bit clearly and calmly without it seeming like a disaster.
- Talanoa when doing things together – the classic for younger children has been cooking and household jobs, when eating, when doing odd jobs.
- Language – use your home language ie Samoan, Tongan, etc.
- Children learn through seeing what others are doing too.
- Routines and special activities in this very special set of circumstances become important:
- For children to develop self-management skills:
- reading – traditional books, online material
- keeping a diary – traditional pen and paper, using online tools
- the teddy bears in the windows and writing stories about them.
- Set aside dedicated time everyday where you do something together as a bubble:
- family devotions, quiz times, charades, sharing a meal.
- Opportunity to strengthen relationships:
- keep connected online or by phone
- share what is happening in your bubble.
- Opportunity to create new relationships:
- drop a letter in the letterbox of a neighbour who has put a teddy in the window or whom you know lives alone.
- Joking, funny animations are all opportunities to develop language and expressing yourself:
- doing something you haven’t done before.
- For children to develop self-management skills:
Note: not being a teacher here means you don’t spend time ‘correcting’ (e.g. spelling) younger children.
- Social media is important to remain connected with family, peers, church family, community and teachers:
- Great opportunity to develop relationships (paradoxically) – asking how others are, caring, empathy, thinking about your posts.
- Is a problem at the extremes (isolation or obsessive) so need boundaries, but this is a powerful opportunity to develop more skills, keep connected and stay informed.
- School web sites / platforms, like summer learning journey, work well. Can be a very good vehicle to support all the skills children need.
- Teachers will be involved –opportunity for empathy. Talk with your children about the balancing act their teachers are doing in their homes and bubbles, and also teaching. Monitor adult behaviour and not becoming too demanding of the teachers. If you are anxious about your children’s learning, you can contact your teacher and discuss.
- This will vary school by school but developing routines with teacher resources without trying to second guess what the teacher would do. Students will be getting packs and topics at their level and should be able to do these activities without direct teaching at home.
Learning tips: Pacific language translations
- Gagana Tokelau | Tokelau [PDF, 211KB]
- Te reo Māori Kuki ‘Āirani | Cook Islands Māori [PDF, 179KB]
- Vagahau Niue | Niue [PDF, 198KB]
- Gagana Samoa | Samoa [PDF, 196KB]
- Lea Faka Tonga | Tonga [PDF, 261KB]
- I-Kiribati | Kiribati [PDF, 170KB]
- Te ‘gana Tuvalu | Tuvalu [PDF, 176KB]
- Vosa vaka Viti | Fiji [PDF, 196KB]
- Pijin | Solomon Islands [PDF, 198KB]
- Fäeag Rotuma | Rotuma [PDF, 242KB]
Talanoa Ako radio
Talanoa Ako is a 10 week Pacific education programme that aims to equip parents, families and communities with skills, knowledge and confidence they need to champion their children's education.