Almost overnight, many parents in the UK have had to swap the daily school run for trying to understand the school curriculum, setting schoolwork and being responsible for their children’s learning. We know how daunting learning at home can be, so we’ve put together some helpful strategies to keep your kids engaged, learning, healthy and happy while schools are closed.
Set A Simple Routine
Setting a simple routine will help you and your kids feel like there is still structure. We recommend mapping out a rough daily plan, reserving a few hours in the morning for essential learning such as maths and English and blocking out time in the afternoon for more fun and creative activities. Make sure to include breaks and lunchtimes too. However, don’t stress yourself out trying to replicate exact school hours at home- allow yourself some flexibility so it doesn’t get too overwhelming. It’s also important to try to remember that your routine will look completely different to another family- everyone has different situations so just do what works best for you. Download our Daily At-Home Schedule to help you plan your days.
Prioritise Core Subjects
Try to prioritise covering subjects in the core curriculum such as maths and English as often as you can. Remember, there are lots of other ways you can cover the rest of the curriculum and you can get creative with these. For example, watching Horrible Histories or Blue Planet is a great way to cover science and history.
Create a Learning Area
It’s a great idea to create a specific work area for your child, such as the kitchen table or a desk. This way they can easily associate this space with their learning, and will find it easier to switch off when in other areas of the house.
Gather Plenty of Learning Resources
We recommend building up your educational resources, especially if you are currently working from home too. This way you can schedule in different lessons during the day and make sure there are corresponding activities your child can be getting on with to keep their mind active and engaged. There is so much out there, many of which are free.
Top Tip: Make sure you access the National Curriculum and use it as a guide of what to teach your child. It also states what they should be capable of by what age.
Engage with Online Learning
Don’t be scared to let your child engage with online learning. There are some fantastic resources for them to use or they can even learn in real time - just be sure to balance online time with some offline books, worksheets and hands-on challenges. Here’s some helpful resources to get started.
Teach Life Skills
Learning at home is the perfect opportunity to start teaching your kids some important life skills they might not be taught at school. Simple things like washing up, making lunch or setting the table are great things to teach younger kids. For teens, show them how to do the laundry, change the oil in the car, manage a budget or cook dinner.
Enjoy Some Quiet Time
No matter the age of your children, it’s important to have some quiet time during home-schooling hours. Whether that’s reading, playing the guitar or doing some crafts, it’s still keeping your kids engaged and happy!
Stay As Active As Possible
Even if you have to stay indoors, it can be worrying to think your children aren’t partaking in any physical activity. We recommend once a day getting out either in the garden or making some space inside and enjoy some free fun activities that will get your kids moving. Super Movers is a collaboration between the BBC and the Premier League to help get kids active even in limited spaces, or join Joe Wicks with his online PE lesson every morning at 9am, Monday to Friday.
Finally, have some fun with your kids! With how stressful the world is right now, it's important to remember to enjoy each other’s company and get creative. Get involved in some fun science experiments, craft, cook or play- remember so much learning takes place just by living life and playing games.
For more information on home-schooling and looking at the approach you want to take, have a read of our helpful blog post here.