Wondered whether anyone is struggling with teaching their children at home at the moment? Thought I would share a suggestion which may help! Children respond much better to structure and routine, and theirs' has gone out of the window since school closures. A visual timetable to structure the day is really helpful, particularly for primary aged children, as it shows clearly what is happening and when. It does not have to be printed and laminated or any such thing, but hand drawn with simple stick men type drawings on a piece of paper is fine. I have attached an example, including breakfast, PE with Joe Wicks (The body coach, YouTube, live session each morning at 9), story, maths, snack, nature walk, choosing, lunch, literacy, choosing/free time, TV educational programme etc etc finish at 3. Keep main focused activities short for younger children, and try to bring in learning through play where you can, to make it relevant. If you want some ideas, please ask and I can post some.
This is a great idea! My two children (age 11 and 14) have white boards and are using them to plan the night before what they are going to do the next day. School are setting work but it's important that they know when they will have their breaks, lunch and free time, just like at school!
Face-timing friends has been a huge help with keeping the continuity of seeing friends and familiar faces and sometimes it's nice for them to do their work with friends. My children said they felt lonely sat at a desk working without their friends to talk to.
I'm finding it challenging to support my children (9 and 7) access online content (they need to be monitored consistently not to go on games and videos), engage with it ("daddy I don't know how to ..." etc.), respond to all their questions ("is this right?", "How do I ...?"), motivate them when they're frustrated ask while trying to work from home to complete a semi normal, semi productive day.
Many have been thrust into new roles and are finding our way. It takes a lot of communication and perseverance.
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There's no doubt that this is a really challenging task - to support children with home learning and continue working. I would suggest again to put a time-table in place and try not to attempt a whole day. With regards to the on-line learning, it may be helpful to have a reward system in place, such as earning ticks/smiley faces/or whatever is suitable for your children, to work towards an individual or family reward when all this is over? Say for 15-20 mins focussed work on the computer, they earn one tick. It may be that on the other hand you have a consequence in place (lose time on a game etc) if they refuse to do what you have asked them to Have you tried phrasing 'WHEN you have done your work, THEN you can...…' and allow them to have their free time? This phrase is a good tool to use anyway, as it makes clear your expectation and perhaps use it for your own work - when I have done...… then I will..... will possibly help with their questions. Remind them to do what they can then you will help. Do they have a 'holding' activity such as a book or colouring or another task from school (there are loads of ideas on line which you might be able to print out) which they can do whilst they wait for you? Structure is really important and that is one way you can continue the school structure, and put in a break in the morning. You will probably get more from them if they know its just for the morning or at least a shorter day. I don't think there is any easy answer for all of this, but perhaps get them to tell you how they are feeling maybe helpful. They will be missing their friends and routines of their day and being cooped up will be causing stress to them (just like us!!) Perhaps a family meeting to get their ideas of how best you can work together to make it work and explain the whole thing to them? Allow them to give some suggestions of how they can help you get some of your work done? Because of their age, it will be difficult for them to understand in depth, but by giving them some ownership of decisions for the day may help. Draw up your family plan/timetable with any rewards/sanctions and include something fun too then all sign it! Can they do a video call to their friends at some point during the day? I understand that every family and dynamics are different, but these are some suggestions which you could try. I wish you all the best!!
Hope homeschooling has been going OK over the last few weeks - for me its definitely been tough balancing work, family life and having to think about homeschooling too.
I figured that it would be good to try to research Dads' experiences of all this, as there's not much focus on men's viewpoint on their children's education really. If you want to contribute to this research, the link is below. It's an anonymous survey and should take about 15 to complete.