Educating children at home: tips from a curriculum developer
April 10, 2020
Keep education going – Supporting your child at home.
By Carey Ann, Curriculum Developer at Explore Learning
Well, I don’t know about you but the reality of this new way of being has yet to sink in. Children and husband at home, all trying to balance our use of computers and printers, writing timetables and planning food (we need a lot more food!). And on top of this, we have suddenly been given the responsibility of educating our children at home – it’s a lot to take in.
For most children, the home is a place of relaxation and an opportunity to switch off from school. We all know how tricky it can be to get them to do homework and suddenly it feels like we’ve got to get them to do homework for 5 hours every day! Just the thought gives me cabin fever and makes me want to run for the hills!
Phew, okay let’s all take a collective breath. For all the uncertainty and instability right now, this could be one of the most memorable periods of our children’s lives.
We are all together. No frantic dashing around, no grabbing quick bites to eat between meetings and after school clubs. We are safe in our homes and have been given a unique window to reconnect with each other, to talk, play, cook, clean and generally just be together.
How can I educate my child at home?
If, like me, you have been inundated with schoolwork and are feeling the pressure to get it done and do it well. Take a moment and remember, education comes in many forms. The essence of it is learning something new and honing skills already learnt to become even better.
Look beyond the national curriculum. The skills should be far reaching – we are not just talking about maths and English here but a rich tapestry of all the talents our amazing brains and bodies can realise.
What are your child’s passions? Do they love to bake, play sport, read, dance, paint, sing, play computer games? With a bit of passion and commitment, any skill can be honed into something awesome.
Home education tips
With that in mind, here are some top tips for supporting your child and continuing their education at home.
1. Make time for your child’s passion every day
Talk about where they want to get with that skill and chat about the things they can do each day to develop it.
Our brains need some oxygen flowing through them so whether it’s kicking a ball, learning a dance video, jumping on the trampoline or creating an obstacle course in the garden – make some time for exercise.
3. Eat together and talk
At the kitchen table, talk about what you’ve been doing during the day for work. Ask them to share the things that they’ve learnt, talk about big topics like the environment, society, economy, health. You might be surprised by your child’s opinions on the big things, however small they are.
4. Have a routine but be flexible
Our children are used to having a structured day and many thrive on that. If that’s your child, then adopt a routine that’s closely linked to the school day. Or if you have a 12-year-old like mine, who prefers to stay in bed for a few more hours and is a much more pleasant person as a result, then go with that.
Read together and alone, create cosy reading dens and stock up on books. Get them to keep a record of all the reading they’ve done to impress their teacher when they return.
6. Assign chores
With so much more usage of everything in the house, it’s going to be trickier to keep on top of the housework – it needs to be a family effort. Give different jobs each day and develop these vital life skills.
7. Use free home schooling resources online
The education community has really done an amazing job of producing a wealth of home learning resources for school age children at this unprecedented time. In addition to the lessons that teachers are providing you can find a rich selection of free activities ranging from home learning packs on Twinkl to creative and challenging resources on Explore Learning’s ‘The Club’.
8. Play games
Tackle jigsaws, build lego – great for problem solving and developing creativity.
9. Get an online buddy
Is there a friend that they could Facetime while they’re doing their schoolwork? Seeing other children and continuing to have some peer learning is going to be very important for our children’s wellbeing in the coming weeks and months.
The same goes for parents – find an online support group for home educating families to share worries and solutions.
10. A helping hand
Without teacher input, supporting our children with their core maths and English skills over the coming months is a daunting task. Having some dedicated time with a skilled tutor will help reduce that burden.
Find more home schooling ideas to keep them engaged on our blog.
Our mission remains as strong as ever and we are committed to supporting children by nurturing the skills and attitudes they need to become confident, fearless learners who are hungry for knowledge.
We have adapted as a business to fulfil this need with the launch of Explore at Home. An innovative online learning experience for children aged 4 – 14 helping families to keep education going.
Explore at Home sessions take place online, allowing children access to their individualised learning courses. Our expert tutors will be on hand to provide 1:1 support throughout these online sessions. As well as unlimited access to their individualised learning course, wherever they are. At Explore we support the whole family, you will have access to an exclusive members area full of parent advice, activities, videos and more.
Together, we can make these next few months an enriching and enlightening experience for us all. Together we will keep education going.
To discuss how you can keep education going in your home, book your free online trial today!
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