Homeschooling - Tips and Tricks
Mamas, are you finding homeschooling your little ones difficult? Us too!. Firstly, don't put too much pressure on yourself, the last thing you need during a global pandemic is more pressure. We are not qualified teachers, and we don't expect you are either (unless you happen to be, lucky you). Are you really expected to maintain a curriculum level education at home?, chances are this just isn’t achievable.
What if you have children of all different ages, how do you teach primary school and secondary school children at the same time. Throw a toddler into the mix...please send help!!
We at MumShape have children of all ages, we feel your pain. Playing teaching for the last couple of weeks has been exhausting. As a team we have put together a few tips you hopefully find useful during this time.
1. Stick to a routine
Children and teens work best with a routine. They are used to their normal school schedules, sticking to this will enable them to keep focused and stay on track. Just like us as parents, following a daily routine creates a sense of purpose and structure; which will prove invaluable during this time of uncertainty. We do understand though if your normal structure has gone down the toilet a little, mine has too, but we can always pretend we have it all together ;-).
Remember to include lunch breaks (you'll need this break to rest too), PE/fitness sessions and fun activities. Use this time to get creative with classes, using fun experiments to teach chemistry, or acting out a Shakespeare play...Romeo Romeo, wherefore art thou sanity?
2. Go at their pace
This is a confusing and disruptive time for children, they may not fully understand what is going on in the world, or why they are not in school. They may find it harder to concentrate or get used to the idea of homeschool. For this reason, allow them to ease into their new homeschooling schedule; just like you, the idea of homeschool is new to them too.
There is however a beauty to homeschooling, unlike traditional education, if your child exceeds in a subject they are not held back and can move on to a new question. Likewise, if you find your child struggling with one subject or question, you have the luxury of spending more time helping them to fully understand the work.
Unlike me, my little one is excelling in maths, at this point she is teaching me more than I am teaching her. Why has maths become so difficult from when I was at school, how do our little ones understand this?
3. Allow your little one to become the teacher
Why not get them involved in teaching? Give them a subject or topic to research, allow them an hour to gather all the information, then take a seat and relax while they teach you instead. All the pressure is taken off your shoulders. Who said this needs to be difficult?
Home education specialist Betsy Kharas from online platform Tutor House, says
“One of the best ways to do this is to find the national curriculum online and go to a specific topic that your children need to study, Then compile the resources that they need and ask them to go away for an hour and write notes and draw pictures related to the topic. Once they have done this, ask them to come back and present the information to you.”
This provides three benefits- Your child will have a great sense of achievement. It will also help them to retain the information they have just studied. Instead of information being thrown their way through traditional learning, they gather information themselves, putting the pieces together in a way they best understand.
Lastly, and arguably the best part, you can relax for an hour whilst they search for resources and information, bliss!
4. Remember to keep active
Fitting in just 30 mins of physical exercise a day helps boost endorphins and release pent up energy. Have you noticed the kids seem to have this in abundance lately, whyyy?.
Releasing some of this energy will help them concentrate and focus on their studies.
No need to worry if you don't have access to outdoor space, there are many exercises that can be done indoors.
Joe Wicks, Founder of The Body Coach, had the brilliant idea of broadcasting his 30 minute PE lessons live on his Youtube page. “I’m going to be the nation’s PE teacher,” he declared. His live online PE classes are held every morning, Monday-Friday, at 9 am. We are hooked!
5. Use online learning tools
Luckily there are many online learning tools and platforms to help you during this time. Here are a few great platforms we have been using:
Duo Lingo – Languages (FREE)
The BBC have great resources such as BBC bitesize
Twinkl – All areas of the curriculum and all ages up to KS4. Price from £4.49 per month.
Quizlet – Free education resources for KS1 – KS4
Kidztype – Free typing games to help with touch typing
Open Learn -- Free learning from the Open University. Amazing free resources for children 13 and over.
Khan Academy – Science & Humanities (FREE)
Art for Kids Hub – Art (FREE)
Home Education UK – An amazing Facebook group
We hope you find these tips and resources helpful Mamas. Do your best and remember, do not put too much pressure on yourselves. And the best bit, school can finish whatever time you choose Mamas! ;-)