The UK, alongside the rest of the world, is currently navigating uncertain, unprecedented times with all of us having to adjust many aspects of our lives as we know them. Schools are completely closed for the foreseeable future, amid the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, except from the children of key workers.
As such, many parents now find themselves having to home school their children, with little or no experience and limited resources. Here are five tips to help your kids continue learning during school closures, to supplement the support being provided by schools and remote teachers. We hope that these tips will offer some guidance.
- 1. Many parents will have had little, but most likely, no experience whatsoever implementing home schooling. To do so with no time to prepare makes it an even more daunting challenge. First things first, you need to be realistic about what you can achieve, as you are likely working from home simultaneously too! Start by concentrating on core subjects; Maths, Science and English. Implement some physical activity (safely, and following guidelines) too to help burn off energy and keep your kids healthy and happy. It might be best to do some PE earlier in the day so that your children can get energised for the day ahead, but not get too fatigued. You will find what works best for you.
- 2. Think outside the box. For other subjects, such as History and Art, there are ways you can enhance their knowledge and learning without following the Ofsted curriculum. Unearth some age appropriate historical documents on the TV or on Youtube. Tune into live feeds at local Zoos so your kids can check in on the animals. Use the opportunity to start a crafting project, or paint some pictures! Don’t forget though; your school will most likely provide you with a variety of sources to help you through this time, and, if not, Google will be your friend. There are many worksheets and online learning portals available online for free.
- 3. Introduce a routine, much the same as you would have on a regular day. Everyone should have a consistent wake up time and get washed, dressed and eat breakfast at the normal time. The School of Mum and/or Dad will commence at the same time every day with structured “lesson” times and structured breaks. It will help everyone to follow some sort of routine.
- 4. That said however… try to relax and cut yourself and your kids some slack. Remember that as anxious and stressful as this is for us, it is also a complete upheaval for your children. Although they might not fully understand what is going on, they do pick up on your energy. It may take a few days or a few weeks, but your children will at some point, have a bit of a meltdown. They will miss their friends, and they won’t understand why they can’t go back to school or go out. If you have a bad day and they don’t want to sit at the table and work, its ok. One day not learning will not set them back as much as you think.
- 5. Help to keep your children motivated and on track, whilst they try to adjust to this unusual situation too. Mark their work and creations regularly! We have Custom Home Schooling Stamps which can help. With 39 different designs and 5 colours, you can mark your children’s work, with a stamp of approval from Mum or Dad. Combine a stamp with stickers and your kids will be inspired to continue completing your assignments and beating their scores!
These are uncharted territories but remember that this will not be forever. We will get through this. As the saying goes, Keep Calm and Carry On and remember – your best is enough.