So Coronavirus has forced schools to close and we are heading into the first week of what should have been the Summer term in schools.
School closures have forced parents to juggle working from home, reduced incomes plus the need to homeschool their child(ren). A stressful time for everyone involved.
Here are my top tips for keeping things running as smoothly as you can!
1. Structure! Everyone likes a bit of structure and it helps children to navigate their feelings as well as help to keep things on track.
Have an official start and end time – you could even wear school uniform if it helps.
2. Take the pressure off! Easier said than done, however, school days are 5/6 hours long – this doesn’t mean homeschool days need to be the same length. This is an odd time for everyone and children will need time to adjust.
1:1 homeschooling is much more intense so try and encourage free time as well.
3. Be flexible – teachers in the classroom will adjust plans that aren’t going well. If you are struggling on through an activity on fronted adverbials and tempers or frustrations are rising – leave it for a bit. Do a fun activity, go for a walk, watch a TV programme and come back to it. There are multiple youtube videos that can explain it in a fun way. It needs to be when your child is ready and willing to learn though.
4. Keep things short and sweet – an hours maths lesson at school, will probably only have 5 or 10 minutes of instruction or learning and the rest will be a consolidation activity. Attention spans from Reception/Year 1 are at about 10 minutes, up to 30 minutes at Year 6, so lots of short sharp activities are better than longer ones.
5. Sibling teaching – if you have older children why not make them a teacher for a bit and vice versa – the act of teaching something to someone else helps to consolidate it for the ‘teacher’ – so get them to outline their learning to their siblings as a fun twist! It may also give you a 10-minute coffee break!
6. Reassure children who should have had exams that everyone is in the same position. No one will be penalised.
7. Encourage a bit of silliness! Can they rewrite a classic from a different point of view – what would the seven dwarves have done had Snow White been mean? How would they have coped with quarantine? How would Romeo and Juliet had been different if the main characters hated each other? Be as creative as they like!
And finally, don’t worry if it doesn’t all go to plan – ‘traditional’ learning looks different from school to school so don’t get too worried about completing all the work set by the school.
Things like baking, gardening, DIY/chores and going for walks listening to the sounds in nature are all learning.
Hope these help, get in touch if you have any questions.