Tips for Home Schooling During the Coronavirus Crisis

Posted on 09 Apr 2020 by Anna Scott
Parents and children up and down the land have been thrown into a very unusual situation over the last few week. And the prospect of home schooling for the foreseeable is no doubt a very daunting one with many people having to combine the task with working from home themselves. So what are the best ways to tackle home schooling in the current climate? The Easter holidays have now given us a bit of a breather, so here are a few tips if you want to get a bit more organised for the summer term. Or even if you just want to feel a little less overwhelmed by it all…


Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself or Your Children

The very first thing to remember is that it’s ok to feel stressed about it all. It is a stressful situation for both you and your kids so don’t be too hard on yourself. Also, there is no such thing as ‘failing’ when it comes to something like this. Everyone is going to have their off days and that’s absolutely fine. This is a confusing time for your kids, so bear that in mind if they are having trouble getting tasks done or are playing up. It’s important that you cut and yourself a bit of slack - no one is expecting you to exactly replicate the school environment all day, every day.


Get Organised

So, when we say, ‘get organised’, we don’t mean attempt to transform yourself into a teaching professional in any way. Sticking to a normal school timetable is going to be unrealistic, but it is a good idea to find the right balance for you and your family. The most important thing to remember is that children learn in many different ways, so what works for one child might not for another. Obviously age is going to be an important factor and a good suggestion for older children is to let their study be more self-guided rather than imposing learning on them. Of course, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what they are doing but given them the freedom to set their own tasks every day could have a more positive outcome.

When it comes to younger kids, slightly more structure is advisable and here are a few suggestions on how to go about introducing a bit of organisation into their day:

Prioritise Key Learning – Many schools are setting daily tasks, so a good starting point every morning would be to prioritise the key maths and English activities. Of course, this shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule and if your child really doesn’t want to attempt these first, then don’t put pressure on them to do so.

Reading Time – Although it can be enjoyable for us adults, many younger children see reading as a chore. Try an incorporate a short amount of reading time into the day, perhaps as a bit of quiet time after lunch or to finish off the day. And if your child struggles to concentrate, this might be a good opportunity to give audiobooks a go as an alternative.

Outdoor Activities – If you have some outdoor space (and if the weather is half decent), try and plan an outdoor activity once a day. This could be a bit of seed planting or some easy exercise circuits. And if you don’t have any outdoor space of your own, add something extra to your daily outdoor excursion. Perhaps see how many birds you can spot or what flowers you recognise on your walk?


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Use Online Educational Resources

We are lucky enough to live in a time where there are so many different online resources to access. When it’s maths sites, ebooks or YouTube tutorials, there’s plenty of choice available if you want to mix things up a bit. A huge resource is the BBC Bitesize site and they’ve recently expanded the content to take into account the current situation, along with more TV shows planned in the coming weeks. And the activities featured cover all ages and educations systems across the UK.

You can find lots of different exercise and dance tutorials for kids on YouTube if you’re looking for a different PE activity. But another great YouTube resource is the live streaming of musicals and plays from Andrew Lloyd Webber and the National Theatre, giving kids of all ages the chance to see productions they might not otherwise get to view live.


Find Lots of Off-Screen Activities

We’ve already mentioned a few off-screen activities you can incorporate into your day, but it’s also a good idea to plan these in advance for another reason. With many schools using software such as Microsoft Teams to upload their curriculum task and activities, it can often be difficult to access or download because so many more people using the software than usual. If you do have trouble with accessibility, have your off-screen tasks at the ready so everyone has something to do in the meantime.


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Start a Project Together

Beginning an ongoing project to work on could turn out to be a fun distraction. Maybe you can start a family film club, begin a craft project, or even just aim to bake something new together every week. If you have a family dog, another ongoing task could be to teach them a new trick or command. And this has the added advantage of keeping the dog amused too!


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

It’s important to remember that you are not on your own. If you are finding home schooling particularly tough or have hit a rough patch, you can always ask your school for advice. Many are using online message boards to stay in touch with parents and children, or you will have been given email details if you prefer to contact someone directly. Going back to our original point, don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re having a stressful time, you’re not doing anything wrong. At the moment, sometimes just getting everyone out of bed is an achievement in itself. And remember, tomorrow is another day!

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