Last week I wrote about returning to school and then 24 hours later, we all found ourselves in lockdown and homeschooling again.
Something feels different this time. The energy levels are lower. The novelty for all sense and purpose has worn off. Still, we will all continue as we always do. Here are some ideas that you can use this time around, which may make life easier.
Have a dedicated workspace
Not for only you, but for your children. Have a spot in the house where they do their school work. This can be the same area you work in or close so you can monitor them.
It may be if you have teenagers they work in their room. There are issues with technology being used away from the adults in the house. Have a conversation with your children about internet safety. It could even be a lesson, then see whether you believe your young person responsible, to have some time alone studying with their computer.
There are also ways to access Google Classroom on both your PS4 and Xbox if you do not have a spare laptop.
Once the lessons are finished pack the stuff away, or leave the area so there is a clear end to learning.
Have a set schedule and timetable
It is useful for both parents and children to have a set routine. A morning schedule, a time for lunch and a time to chill and relax.
If you are juggling the learning of several children, it may be useful to create a weekly timetable. Keep on top of the online lessons and when a person she be handing back assessment tasks.
Remember to have a break eat and reconnect
Children can learn from playing simple board games. They can learn to take terms and in these times to laugh. With school work being completed at home, there may never be a time that schooling stops. But, it must stop. There must be a time when children are left to be children.
You also all have a unique time where you can relax and have lunch and dinner together. Open up a conversation about what is happening in the world at the moment. Talk about fears and anxiety, not just for your children, but for your mental health. Poor mental health will be the lasting side effect of this pandemic.
Go for a walk in nature. It is surprising how much exercise our children get at school. Don't let them leave a sedentary life. Take them out for some fresh air. Throw a ball for the dog, skid on ice or crunch through dry leaves. Give them a chance to be children, give yourself time to be a child.
A quote I heard last week says it all:
Your child is not falling behind in their school work they are learning to survive a pandemic.
Learn some practical skills
Not everything your child learns needs to be about academic studies. Why not teach your child to cook, iron or do the washing. These practical hands-on activities will give them a break from their screens. Will teach them vital skills for the future and can also be used as a form of relaxation. An hour doing some housework in a fun way with parents can have huge advantages.
Use resources available
You don't have to do this all alone. Some of us are key workers with the stress that goes with this as well as trying to homeschool. All of us will struggle sometimes. Use the resources out there to help you. The amazing Joe Wick is doing his exercise PE lessons again, search for him on YouTube. The BBC has also introduced education programming for all ages. You can find all the information here.
If all these tips don't work, then please do not be afraid to ask for help. Several organisations will help those families who are generally not coping. There is no shame for asking for help. If you are struggling with any homework or ideas, then please do not hesitate to contact me. Either reply to this email or message me on Stour Tutoring on Facebook.
Stay safe and healthy all.