Top Tips for Home SchoolingPublished:
We are all embarking on a very different set up at home, affecting the whole family. If you're all well (which we really hope you are) then you are likely to have children and adults all working in one space together for the foreseeable future. Although this situation means we're the lucky ones, it has potential for a very stressful juggling act!
Liz has been a primary school teacher for 19 years, she is a mother of 2, and now the proud owner of one of the 'My Town Rocks' franchises. Despite a huge amount of experience in schools, Liz explains that nothing prepares you for the having to home school your children whilst keeping your own work going. Liz has pulled together some thoughts and suggestions on how to make the best of this very strange situation.....
- First of all remember to not put too much pressure on yourself and the kids - be realistic - if you don't get everything done, if some days it just doesn't happen then it's not the end of the world... this is a temporary situation.
- Have a plan - take a look at the whole week and create a timetable which fits in with you getting your work done while the kids have some down-time as well as designated slots for you to help with their work.
- Schedule family time - meals, a game or a walk together are important breaks.
- Give children a list of basic expectations for the day and some bonus tasks. Be realistic. Which tasks can they do alone and which do they need help with?
- Most children don't sit still and focus for longer than 30 minutes (less for younger children) so break the day into chunks.
- Have a break!
- Schedule time for adults to have a break too - why not schedule some online activities into your day to give yourself some space, there are some great ideas here.
- REWARDS! Both children and adults need these. Children will respond to stickers, marble jars or gold stars for completing tasks. They would get this at school and will need the encouragment even more at home.
- Set up a space to work in, ideally seperate from the place they play: the kitchen table, a desk or coffee table can all work.
- Use technology to link with the outside world, but not all of the time. Drawing, writing, getting outside, role play, reading and relaxation are important to fit in between time on iPads or computers.
- Fit in exercise! PE with Joe Wicks is on every day and the internet is full of yoga sessions and fitness videos. We love Cosmic Yoga!
- Arrange Skype, Facetime, Zoom or Houseparty chats with friends and relatives.
- Why not share a story - children can read their reading book aloud and send the video to a Grandparent - they'll be missing all of you.
- This is the time for mindfulness - such as meditation, yoga and colouring. There are some great colouring resources online, you can find our favourites here.
- Differentiate weekend from weekday - movie nights, family games, pizza night all have an important place.
- Plan for free play - dress up, junk modelling, digging in the garden, Lego.
- Try not to have the news and radio on (all of the time). Limit this to when the kids are in bed....they don't need to hear all of it. Newsround is great for filtered current affairs.
- Use this as time to teach your children about community and looking after others - see if the neighbours need help.
- Share the chores out - children can sort socks, tidy bedrooms, sort recycling and sweep (for a reward or a little bit of pocket money)
- Monitor the snacks - either have a home tuck shop to practise maths or a daily snack pot each.
Finally, its important to remember... None of us are perfect; and this is new to everyone.
Above all: be kind, look after each other and take each day as it comes!
*TWINKL have a month's free membership - enter code UKTWINKLHELPS to access here. They have LOTS of resources ready for you to use.