With school back in full swing, many of us are still getting to grips with…
As we enter another lockdown and with schools shut, parents across the country are again trying their hand at homeschooling; if this is you, we can imagine it is not the easiest thing to do. While you may have some top tips under your belt from the last time, we’ve put together some ideas to help children keep learning which we hope will help.
Keeping a routine is one of the key things you can do at home to ensure children are learning throughout this time; the routine should include elements relating to each subject they would usually learn. Although all the subjects are key to a child’s learning, you will likely find that sticking to a routine helps the most.
Parents are understandably wanting to ensure their children are keeping themselves and their brains active by continuing to learn and implement home schooling wherever possible.
For anyone working from home, school or work, routine is important. As soon as routine goes out of the window, you’ll find you become much less productive and feel generally demotivated. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your children is to have some kind of structure. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you have to stick to the exact same routine as when the kids were at school but maybe come up with a new home-schooling routine. This should include things such as set meal and break times.
Start by making a timetable for lessons and break times. Arrange subjects so that there is a mix of favourite subjects and those which your child may not enjoy as much each day. Perhaps start and end the day with those they enjoy the most and where possible have a dedicated study space.
Exercise is super important, especially at the moment when motivation may be a little lower than usually. Starting the day with some exercise can really get everyone feeling motivated and ready to start the day.
During the first lockdown, The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, had children up and down the country getting active from their living rooms. All of his PE lessons from earlier this year are still available on his Youtube channel so if you don’t fancy hosting your own PE class, Joe is on-hand to help!
Luckily, we live in a world where modern technology is making communication and learning from home even more accessible for all. There are various different tools available online for teaching, for both parents and children. The BBC has a breadth of learning resources for different age groups across both primary and secondary school as well as a variety of lessons. The BBC has also recently announced it will be delivering its biggest education offering in its history, devoting significant airtime to education on BBC Two for those with limited online access, in addition to its online resources; offering something for children of all ages.
In addition to online resources, why not make some of your own. Arts and crafts activities are great fun for children and can teach them a variety of skills; why not suggest making some paintings or cards for family and friends.
One thing many parents are looking to avoid whilst their kids are at home from school is them raiding the fridge and cupboard for their favourite snacks. Whilst children are at school, they tend to have set snacks, or snack money, to use/eat throughout the day; once these are gone they can’t have anymore. This should be mirrored at home to avoid them eating you out of house and home.
Consider laying out their snacks in a morning, as you would pack them for school, and letting your children know once the snacks are gone, they can’t have more that day. Our free printable snack shop allows you to tag prices to your children’s snacks; a perfect way to limit their snack intake and teach them a good maths lesson!
Scheduling in some reading time each day, morning and afternoon sessions work well, can help soothe children and their brains as well as give you a little quiet time. If they are able to read alone, they can do this, otherwise consider putting an audio book on for them to listen to.
Equally as important is time to play; whether this be incorporated in to break times or given its own time slot during the day, it is important to have some light relief throughout the day. This can help children recharge and be ready to carry on learning. For older children and teens this can be classed as free time for them to do as they please.
Although times are hard at the moment, they will soon become part of history and we will look back on this time. Therefore, consider keeping track of thoughts and feelings; older children can keep a diary or journal of their day, their thoughts and feelings and younger children could be encouraged to be creative with craft activities.
As this is such an important time in history, keeping items from this time will be something you don’t regret. Consider creating a ‘time capsule’ and fill it with things such as clippings from articles and news stories as well as items from your own time indoors. Consider having your children write letters to their future selves about the current situation and how they feel about it so that they can look back and remember this time in years to come. This isn’t just a task for children, parents can get involved too as we’ll all want to look back on this time one day.
Where possible try to get some fresh air, whether it be by spending some time in your garden or opening the windows wide. Breathing in outdoor air and appreciating the outdoors, wildlife and nature will help relax and motivate both you and the children. Whilst you may be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of being both parent and teacher, try to see this as a positive experience for you to learn more about your child and enjoy the learning experience with them where possible. Be kind to yourself in this time and remember you’re doing a great job!