Updated: Mar 22, 2020
It is such a crazy time and now that the schools have closed you’ve probably found yourself in the position of having to home school your children.
I know that a lot of schools have sent resources home with the children and some have just sent a list of websites. While most of these websites are fantastic, they can be overwhelming for people that are not used to using them. Please do not panic. I am here for you every step of the way.
Firstly, let’s talk about our workspace. For most of us, this will be our dining table. While this a perfect location, it is important that we keep it is a dining table for meals etc. So, grab a box or basket and keep all of your homeschooling resources in it and when you’re not teaching pop the box away and use your dining table as you normally would. I think that this is important for our mental health, especially if we’re self isolating. Any extra clutter around the house will only cause added anxiety in an already stressful situation.
Secondly, be realistic about your timetable. My daughter’s school sent home a suggested timetable which resembles a normal school day (i.e. 9am-3pm), however, both my partner and I are currently working from home, so to spend six hours a day homeschooling is just not going to work in our house or many of yours. I would suggest doing four subjects (max) a day. Possibly a maths and English plus two other subjects (e.g. history, geography, art etc) and I would do each lesson for a maximum of 30 minutes (with short breaks in between). That is just two hours of home schooling a day, this is more than enough and will give you time to get on with your own work.
Next, let’s talk about maths and English. I know that a lot of parents are really worried teaching these subjects but I promise, you really don’t need to be. Now is not the time for our children to be learning the more difficult aspects of maths and English. We are just doing what we need to do to keep their brains active until the schools open again. So, stick to the basics! Simple maths activities are absolutely fine (our students will be receiving homeschooling packs each weekday and you will see that the activities are intended to make it easy, for not only the children but also the parents). For English, again, I will be sending home simple English activities for our students to complete but I cannot stress how important reading is as well. Encourage your child to read for at least 30 minutes a day, you could even read with them. Maybe set them a challenge at the beginning of the week to get through 2/3 books.
Other subjects, this is were you can have some fun! Food technology - get baking (if you can get hold of some flour in the shop 😂), science - walks in the garden looking for mini beasts or simple experiments found on Youtube, PE lessons (The Body Coach will be streaming PE classes each weekday morning at 9am on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1/videos )
or yoga and meditation. This would be a great opportunity for you teach your child about something that you’re passionate about, whether that’s fitness, gardening or history. Whatever it is, do it together.
Finally, please let me reiterate how important it is to keep this process as simple as you possibly can. You will not be doing your child a disservice by not teaching them for six hours a day, with just a few short lessons a day they will probably flourish and you will be able to get on with your other commitments.
If you need any help and advise, or would like to become a Woolton Tuition member to receive the following, just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org):
1. Daily (Monday-Friday) home schooling packs, including maths and English resources plus two other subjects per day (e.g. history, geography etc). All resources are designed for children to complete with minimal support from parents, they will be year group specific, inline with the National Curriculum and they will come with parental guidance sheets and answers.
2. A weekly timetable that is realistic for parents working from home.
3. One, one hour, online tuition session per week, per child.
4. One, online guided reading session per week, per child. (The above online sessions will work through the service Zoom, available on desktop, tablet and mobile. These sessions are timetabled (3-6pm weeknights). Please make sure that you have a device with webcam and internet connection.)