With another month of lockdown, the initial enthusiasm for home schooling can start to fizzle out. Most of us are not teachers, and now realise what a mammoth task it is motivating children to study, something teachers make look so easy!
To help re-motivate your children (and possibly you) we have put together 5 Top Tips to help boost your home schooling plans until the schools reopen again.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Everywhere you look, you have probably heard experts calling for setting up a daily routine for better learning results. But what does a daily routine look like?
When children go to school, almost all their time is carefully timetabled. Due to the lockdown this timetable is no longer applicable and therefore it is up to you to devise a new one.
Before you sit down with your child and come up with a new plan, familiarise yourself with how the schedule looked when schools were open (if you haven’t already). Then, together with your child create a new plan where you mark hourly study sessions and subjects. If you notice this plan doesn’t work after a week, be flexible, and change the plan for the following week. Try to stick to a plan you make for at least one week.
If your child is younger, writing the schedule on a large sheet and sticking it somewhere visible can also be beneficial. This way you can start every morning by consulting the plan you made.
A good routine does not only help boost your child’s studying, but also will help their inner clocks to adjust better to eating, sleeping, learning and play times.
Follow the school curriculum
Many independent schools in the UK already provide parents with study materials and some even have online classes similar to the ones at school. This is a great help for parents teaching from home.
If you are unsure on what exactly your children should be studying, make sure to get advice from your school and teachers. They will be able to tell you not only the general areas to focus on but will often provide individual study advice dependent on the strengths and weaknesses of your child.
It is also good to coordinate your efforts with other parents to make sure that you are on the right track collectively.
Enlist extra help
Creating a good routine and overseeing children’s studies can easily equate to a full-time job. For many working parents it is near to impossible to maintain the balance. Therefore, a good idea is to enlist some extra help in the form of a tutor. Many tutors offer remote sessions which they conduct online.
Taking on a tutor has several benefits aside from the specialist knowledge they can impart. Tutors create structure in the week which helps you set up a routine. They also help students get back on track with their studies and give some direction in preparing for the next academic year. This is especially important for students who are working towards Pre-Test, 11+ or Common Entrance and need to be focused. One session a week alone, can help consolidate course work from school, energise and stimulate whilst helping them delve deeper into a subject. Tutors are also great role models for especially older children who might be looking into choosing a direction for their further studies or a possible future career. Look at the tutoring section of our website for more information.
Create a designated learning area
When children go to school, they know that they will be learning. Studying from home does not have this benefit. Home is seen as a place for fun and relaxation.
That is why it is important to designate an area in the house that is specifically for studying. This means no access to mobile phones, video games, TV or toys. Laptops should only be allowed for the purpose of learning and strictly monitored while your child is studying.
If your child is old enough to already have a study desk, make it comfortable for them as they will be spending a large part of their day there. We recommend investing in a good chair that provides back support and a good desk lamp.
Your child will soon learn that this is a designated study area and will have a strong association with the space. You can reap the benefits of having a study area even after the lockdown.
Be mindful, however, that children are their own people, and everyone has a different learning style. Work with your child to determine what is best for them and how their study area should be configured.
Don’t learn for them
Our lives are busy and most of us are not trained teachers. For many parents, for whom patience is not a virtue, it is sometimes difficult to wait for our children to make the connections. That leads to drip-feeding or even in some cases doing the exercises for them.
Remember, this doesn’t teach them anything. It is a short-term solution and does nobody any favours. To impart a love of learning, let your child make their own mistakes and encourage them to solve problems themselves – even if it takes longer.
Spoon-feeding children and giving them all the solutions without letting them think first will also bore your children as they won’t get a Eureka moment which makes learning so exciting.
Overall, home schooling can be a fun experience with children not having to get up and prepare for school and more study breaks available. However, to reach the next level and turn home learning into a fun and fruitful ordeal, we do recommend following the Top 5 Tips above. We are, of course, here to help you with any question you may have. You can reach us on +44(0) 207 734 0161 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org any time.