Top tips for home schooling
If you are in a situation where you have to home school here are some top tips to help manage the transition and get the most out of it.
To start with, try to refrain from attempting to replicate school at home, this rarely works and try to remember you are there to support your child with their learning rather than dictate it to them!
You don’t have to do learning between 9am and 3pm. You have seven days in the week and from wake up to sleep to plan informal learning moments so be flexible – this will also allow you to do some work yourself if you need to and to take a little time out or catch up on household stuff.
Always start with your child, ask them how they learn best – do they like sitting at the table doing worksheet style work, do they like watching and listening to things or do they prefer to learn via doing things.
Learn alongside your child, you are not expected to know everything, teachers don’t so don’t pretend you do, simply say ‘how can we find the answer to that’ or let’s look that up’.
As you will be working 1:1 or in a very small group (age depending) you may only need to spend as little as 5 minutes a day on a subject. My eight year old does approx 5 minutes reading, 10 minutes writing and 10 minutes maths a day, sometimes these are longer or shorter depending on his confidence. If they get something easily don’t spend time doing it as it will feel boring to the child, unless they really want to.
Before you start learning it may be useful to enable your children to have movement time, they’ll probably work better for it – a quick walk with the dog, jumping on the beds or sofa, skipping, swinging, obstacle races, whatever works in the space you have. It gets their brain ready for learning. Build in breaks to get some fresh air, plan in little outings whenever you can, even if just around the garden on a bug hunt or a skate round the block.
In situations where schools are shut and you are forced to home school, you will probably be sent school work via e-mail. If not, you can use my Collage-app for home schoolers to capture all your child’s learning moments. When you register you put in the child’s DOB and it will pre-populate the national curriculum objectives. You can then upload learning to a subject or to a subject and a curriculum objective.
Don’t be afraid to let your children play. There is so much learning taking place within this. Take time to sit back and watch, reflect on what they are doing. I have been amazed how much learning I have seen in play and been able to upload on the Collage-app.
Finally, try to enjoy these moments with your children, seeing where they are at and fully connecting with them!