Top tips for structured learning in the home environment
In the current situation, the ways in which children are learning has changed. With more children working at home with the support of parents or carers, here are a few of our top tips for creating a structured, successful and positive learning experience for students in the home environment…
Have a routine that works for you and your child
For some children, routine and structure is what they need because this is what they are used to at school. However, this is not always the case for all children. The next few weeks will be very different for children of all ages and we have to remember that they will all take time to adjust to a new setting. If your child is able to follow a set routine then it is important that they are on board and know what is happening. Make a timetable with your child so you are all aware of what needs to be covered and when. Don’t feel pressured to keep to the school daily routine as it may not work for your child. Maybe they could work in the mornings and then have more active afternoons doing P.E or music-related tasks.
Think about space and resources
Children of all ages will now be creating their own workspace at home. If you have a young child this may be in a communal area like the kitchen or living area but with older children, they may prefer somewhere more private like their room or a home office. The space that is chosen should be adequate for the child and you as their parent. Think about the space itself, is there room to move around or are they squashed? What is the noise level like? Is there sufficient light coming into the space? Sometimes having a workspace near a window is good because it allows natural daylight in and boosts morale especially with the nice weather. Once the space itself is organised and decided upon, you will need to ensure your child has the necessary resources to complete their home-learning. They may already have access to the usual stationery they use but also think about objects that can be found around the home to aid learning.
Keep it positive
When home-schooling your child, it is important to focus on the positives that happen during the day. Remember not every single day may go to plan and that’s ok, don’t be hard on yourself. Keep praising your child during the course of the day when they’re trying really hard or succeed at any activity. Children are more willing to continue when they are receiving praise. At the end of each day pick out your highlight from the day and praise each other.
Remember to take regular breaks
It is important for both yourself and your child to take regular breaks away from the tasks at hand. When at school, your child will normally have a mid-morning break around 10:30 and then again at lunchtime. For very young children they may also be used to having a break again in the afternoon before finishing for the day. However often you feel it necessary to give your child breaks should be fine but make sure you inform them how long the break will last so they know when to continue with their learning. You may want to ask your child what they would like to do in their breaks. They could do colouring-in, play in the garden or choose to play with one of their toys.
Make it fun
When you are given a list of tasks that your child needs to complete, can you make any of them more fun and active as opposed to filling in a worksheet? For example, treasure hunts around the house with numbers and the child has to order them from smallest to biggest. Science- looking for minibeasts in the garden and combining this with art by drawing a picture of the minibeast. Getting children up and about is crucial when getting them to focus. If they are sat passively for long periods of time they won’t be absorbing as much information as you’d like them to. Remember that in addition to any activities that are set from school, there is so much learning that can be done around the home. Cooking allows children to follow instructions, weigh different ingredients and look at how foods change when cooked. You could teach them gardening skills, cleaning skills around the home or learn to play an instrument or draw pictures by following online tutorials.