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Top home ed tips for parents, as schools close again

Home Education

Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning (@exploretutors), Charlotte Gater, gives her 5 top tips to shake up your homeschooling plan and get your children’s focus back. 

  1. Take their workspace to another room

If you’ve been using the same area for their homework, or to do educational activities in, for a while, your children may positively embrace a change of scenery and therefore a change in mindset if you are in a position to set up their workspace somewhere else in the house. Even if it’s only for a couple of hours a day, a change of scenery can really refresh their minds.

  1. Start learning with a warm up activity

If your children are feeling down about the prospect of learning at home again, away from their teacher and their school friends, they may find it difficult to focus on work. Introduce a warm up activity/puzzle/brainteaser/game to help channel their focus before getting to the heart of their work. If you have more than one child, you could allow your children to take it in turns to run the warm ups to give them a sense of responsibility. 

  1. 3Vary the different teaching techniques and activities

Your kids may require variety now more than ever in the homeschooling activities to retain their attention and keep up motivation. It could help them to have a mixture of resource types to work with from websites, outdoor learning, reading, writing and listening activities incorporated into their education. Some things may be better taught in a kinaesthetic way e.g. weights and measures, whilst others would benefit from visual learning e.g. flags of different countries. 

To improve the variety, it can be useful to look outside of your home for support. Some ideas include: finding plays that have been live streamed, educational documentaries, walking in the garden, or opt for an at-home one-to-one tuition service like Explore at Home. A new voice and approach can break up the learning process and give your child a fresh perspective. 

  1. Balance core subjects with creative tasks and life lessons

While the core lessons like English and maths are integral to your children’s education, it’s important to remember the benefits of the creative arts too. Even though an art lesson taking place on the kitchen table may fill you with dread, a simple activity involving pencils or pens may allow your children to release their creative energy and will in turn have a positive impact on the subjects that may involve more logical or lateral thinking. 

To avoid mess, you could use Lego or toys with which they can build something; at the end, the activity can be quickly put away. Allow your children to choose the creative activity so they feel they have a say in their learning.

  1. Give your children more breaks and time for drinks/snacks

As the weeks go on, homeschooling may become more difficult for children, so accept that your formal learning time may become shorter and their playtime/drink breaks may need to be longer and more frequent. Regular snack breaks will also keep their energy up. If you have the space, it can help to get active for five minutes with some star jumps or free style dance. Even if you end up with slightly less ‘lesson time’ overall as a result, the time your children do spend learning is likely to be better quality as they will be less restless.

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