How to support your children through home-schooling
With the news that schools around the United Kingdom have been closed
in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, you’d be forgiven for dreading the upcoming weeks or months with your children constantly at home. For those who can’t work at home, this will mean having family, friends or trying to find a babysitter to watch the children during working hours. For those that can work from home, however, or are stay-at-home parents, this lockdown will present new challenges you probably thought you’d never have to tackle; how to home-school my own children.
If you’re not sure where to start, follow our tips on how to support our children through home-schooling:
Create (and stick to) a schedule
Not only is this a new environment and experience for yourself, but it’s also a completely unique situation for your children. It can be difficult, at first, to incorporate a (semi-)permanent, educational environment in one that already exists as comfort and probably mostly fun!
An effective way of integrating this from the off is to create a working schedule and stick to it. Now, this doesn’t mean it has to be a rigid, boring schedule. You can alter between subjects and activities daily – just try to ensure it’s within the same timeframe each day so your children (and you) can subconsciously adapt to it.
Setting rules and timeframes early on will help to enforce some educational discipline from the get-go. It’ll also make free-play time that bit sweeter!
Keep it fresh
Although it’s important for children to continue learning whilst schools are closed, it doesn’t mean it has to be what they’re used to. Home-schooling isn’t
the same as standard schooling and you don’t have to attempt to reproduce that! Here are some things you can do to keep it fresh:
- Don’t be afraid to switch up teaching methods. Take a lesson outside and get some much-craved fresh air! With younger children, why not spell out words with alphabet pasta?
- Utilise apps! There are plenty of educational apps out there – set your child an hour a day to complete tasks on apps. They’ll enjoy it more as it’s different from the standard pen and paper, plus it gives you an hour to crack on with any work, chores or that ever-essential relaxation time!
An important thing to remember is that you don’t have to stick to boring, school curriculum now. Embrace the uniqueness of the situation! Be creative and feel free to invent your own ways of learning, dependent on the age of the child of course.
Utilise the situation
Due to the current goings-on in the world, it’s clearly not just you who’s now required to teach your children from home. If your children are still in primary schools, there’s a decent chance you either share a WhatsApp group with or at least know some of the other pupils’ parents. Take advantage of this! Perhaps set up a rota where you alternate days teaching the kids with a group of parents.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be parents from the same school. Do your friends, family or colleagues have kids? Rotation will keep the learning fresh and ensure the children’s brains are constantly challenged, rather than repeating similar tasks with the same person each day.
The schools are closed which means it’s just the students who are all at home… the teachers are too! Don’t be afraid to ask teachers at the school for curriculum content or tasks that can be set.
There’s an endless stream of learning materials online. Platforms such as YouTube are effective tools and have a wide variety of educational videos that can help stimulate the brain. It’s also important to keep the children exercising! For example, Youtuber and “The Body Coach”, Joe Wicks, is holding daily live P.E sessions
for home-schooled children via his YouTube channel.
Finally, do your research on social media. Even more so now, there are many teachers and existing home-schoolers who post their findings and tips on there – take advantage!
The most important thing is to do what feels right to you. If your child asks questions or seems interested in any topic, roll with it – research which bugs fly or how cars are made – embrace their curiosity. You never know… you may discover a passion and fancy a career as a Teaching Assistant