There are a few key steps you can take to make home-schooling more successful and less stressful! Us teachers know how difficult it is teaching children, particularly your own ones!
1. Structure- make a timetable and stick to it. A lot of children will struggle to adapt from the routine of school and some semblance of continuity will help. This will also help parents who are balancing their own work with home-schooling.
Having a clear plan and providing a structured set of tasks for children to complete firstly gives parents more flexibility across the day and, secondly, ensures that there is a clear understanding from both parent and child of what needs to be done. It is important to note that this approach isn’t suitable for younger children, who will require far more attention and careful monitoring. If you are able to, consider starting earlier with them before work and then get them to complete creative projects (art, designing a poster, writing a story) or educational work on the tablet/computer in the day. Be prepared for plenty of mess, though!
2. Study-area- Set-up a study area. Even if this is just the dining room table, make sure they are equipped to learn with a comfy seat, stationery and computer/tablet/internet access (if possible).
3. Moderate screen-time. This is really important as children will be doing more e-learning than ever before. Added to the time they spend on video games and phones, this will add up to a lot of screen time.
4. Variety- linked-in with the point above, try creating as many different opportunities for exciting and different learning. With so much Health and Safety in schools, the chances for spontaneous and outdoor learning are limited. Why not use this time to excite and engage your children to enjoy learning opportunities they might not get sat in a stuff classroom at school?
5. Stay safe online. Ensure you monitor their safety online and consider using parental guide locks.
6. Friends- it is so important children continue to communicate with friends and other families. If you can, set-up a webcam and audio on the computer/ tablet and arrange for as many chats as possible.
7. Play- Factor in time for play and relaxation. Break and lunchtimes are really important for children (and adults!) and you will see renewed focus after a break. A golden warning from teachers though- avoid providing them with too much sugar!
8. Internet- Use the internet to find resources. There are loads of great websites out there which will provide worksheets, resources and lessons to work through with children. Many websites give structured lesson plans and schemes of learning, which are brilliant if you are able to and have the time. Have a look at our other blog postings on www.acorntutors.co.uk for a more detailed list of some of our favourite websites.
9. Tuition- Consider engaging a private tutor, even for an hour or two, to top-up and to structure the learning week. You can ask the tutor questions, advice and resource tips and for tips about home schooling.
Home-schooling is undoubtedly challenging. However, if you have the time, it can be a truly amazing opportunity to engage and inspire your children and connect with them on their learning journey.