When the schools closed their doors in March the daunting prospect of home schooling faced households across the nation posing a huge adjustment for everyone. Each household’s scenario is extremely different and ironically there is no textbook to follow. We have compiled some helpful tips to assist you through this period of home schooling.
Do your homework
Take it a week at a time, make the transition for your kids and yourselves as smooth as possible and plan for the week.
- Take all the advice and help their teachers are offering.
- You can also add some of your own ideas to keep them busy, active and learning.
- Set up a designated learning space for your kids, where they can keep their workbooks and stationery – this will help with the school-life balance.
- Have some resources ready for when your child is stuck on something that you can’t help with whether that be an online resource, contact with their teacher or a friend or online tutor – but assure them you will find out and let them move on.
- Concentrate on areas you can help with – if you have a skill or interest think of some activities based around these. Kids will pick up on your confidence and both parties will be more enthusiastic.
- No internet? Get in touch with their school and they will send out paper activities, look into educational tv programmes and source recommended books.
Timetables for times tables
Routine is extremely important, and within the working day scheduling and timetables will make the adjustment smoother for everyone.
- Children thrive off routine and are familiar with a structured day. Get your kids up at the same time every day and keep bedtime at a normal time, once they are up get them dressed for the day (no pyjamas) and keep meals at a regular time.
- Collaboratively come up with a schoolwork timetable to follow. If they are involved in creating it and they are happy with the structure they will more likely buy into it and follow it.
- Set up a structure for each day e.g. core subjects such as maths and literacy in the morning and practical, fact-based subjects in the afternoon e.g. science, geography and history.
- If teachers set goals or activities for the week schedule those in.
- Set reasonable and achievable tasks and targets, be realistic about what they can achieve in a day.
- Children are used to constant engagement with fellow pupils, friends and teachers and without this energy levels can easily plummet. Short bursts of productive learning divided up with active breaks will work well. During active breaks encourage them to get fresh air, keep them exercising (for mental wellbeing as well as physical) and interacting (not on their phones).
- Have some “downtime” breaks too where they can switch off have a snack and recharge.
- Incorporate some subject areas into your normal day e.g. Home Economics – cooking the dinner, PE – Joe Wicks daily class at 9am on YouTube. Seize the opportunity of more time and a slower pace to nourish skills that you wouldn’t normally be able to do.
Top Tips: Set ground rules for phones. If they are looking to socialise with friends set times as if they were meeting up with them after school.
Working and teaching from home? Multi-tasking at its finest
Many parents and carers will find themselves home schooling and having to work from home themselves.
- Be upfront with your employer and discuss with them how you intend to manage home schooling and work, look at operating your own work in a more flexible manner e.g. working earlier and later in the evenings.
- Use the timetable to your advantage – if you know they will be doing an online workout for an hour schedule your conference calls for this time.
- Manage time with your other household members – if you have a partner at home operate shifts where one has uninterrupted working time whilst the other oversees the learning.
- Do not focus on what others are doing – do what works for you and your family.
Top Tips: Monitor their online use and keep them safe.
You know your child best and let them guide you as to what they are going to be capable of achieving during this time. Take off the pressure of too much studying and learning, teachers will not be expecting heaps of progress, most likely they will pick back up where they left off and even retrace their steps a little. Remember this is temporary, so don’t panic, be patient, encouraging and kind. Kids are resilient, adaptive and there is no doubt that they will bounce back quickly. Give yourself a pat on the back and some well deserved you time, you deserve it.
We hope you have found this post useful and if you know of anyone else who would benefit from this simple guide please ‘like’ and ‘share’ using the social buttons. If you have any advice or tips from your own experience we welcome you to share them with us.