Homeschooling tips to keep you sane and your child entertained during lockdown
Our old friend home learning is back and looks like it may stay a while. Working from home whilst also trying to keep your child on top of their learning is no mean feat, so here are some suggestions to help us all keep calm and carry on!
· Learning doesn’t have to come from books. Schools have proved just how incredible they are by swiftly providing parents with more homeschooling resources than you can shake a stick at. Of course, teachers are covering all bases and want to ensure that children aren’t being shortchanged now that classroom learning has disappeared, but at times it can feel quite overwhelming for parents who feel that they need to complete every single resource provided to them
Remember that learning for children can take place in almost any scenario.
Has your early years child paired some socks together when helping you fold the laundry?
Maths patterns - check!
Has your child helped to write your shopping list or calculated the cost of the online shop?
English writing - check!
Maths addition- check!
· Children will undoubtedly be missing the social aspect of school and due to lockdown restrictions it is near on impossible for them to play or socialise with their peers. Although no match for running around with friends in the playground, perhaps children could create a series of challenges together e.g who has completed the most ‘PE with Joe’ sessions or who has read the most books?
· Speaking of books, if your child’s friends live nearby, you could organise a book swap, where the children can take it in turns to deliver books to one another. Not only does this get you out of the house, but it might also reignite your child’s interest in reading, which we all know can wane when sitting at home alone.
· Have a movie day! In all seriousness, watching a film with your child and asking them questions throughout (much like I do to the annoyance of my husband) counts as comprehension practice. Write about what might happen next or create posters advertising the film – all curricular areas are involved and not a worksheet in sight!
· Don’t feel guilty for not keeping your child tied to the computer all day or completing worksheet after worksheet. Remember that – especially for younger children – ‘carpet time’ is limited to perhaps one or two sessions a day, with the remainder of the day spent working in groups and participating in free flow activities. Children in the early years are often free to roam between the indoors and outdoors all day, so spending quality time getting some fresh air will only mimic school conditions!
· Don’t panic if you don’t have rigid, set times for completing work. Each family will have their own set of working hours to contend with and taking a ‘go with the flow’ approach to learning each day may be the best way to keep everyone calm. Many classrooms operate free flow activities in the classroom, so it seems perfectly acceptable to allow your child to choose the order in which they complete their home learning activities.
We are all feeling the pressure of this new lockdown and I’ve yet to meet anyone who feels like they are truly ‘nailing’ home learning.
We are in truly unprecedented times, so let’s be kind to ourselves. Have a cup of tea, take a break from learning when it all gets too much and know that whatever you are doing – it is enough.