Now schools have shut for most children, parents are suddenly faced with the daunting task of ‘home schooling’…or at least trying to make sure their children are still learning. And, for many of us, we have the almost impossible task of having to do our own jobs from home at the same time! There is no doubt that this is going to be a very stressful time, but here are a few things to remember (given to us by a teacher) that might just help you stay sane and survive!
Remember the government have only told you to look after your children; they have not said that you need to educate them. Don’t put yourself under pressure to do so – you’ve got enough to deal with already!
Your child’s world has just been turned upside down. They are going to be feeling strange, worried and possibly emotional. Right now, what they need more than anything is your love, reassurance and support. What they definitely don’t need is for you to suddenly try and become their teacher!
It is quite likely that at some point, your children may react to this global crisis . Younger children may not understand what is happening but will know that something is different; older children might know too much about what is happening. Children’s worries and anxieties often manifest themselves with changes in behaviour. There might be tears, tantrums, meltdowns, arguments or difficulty sleeping in the coming weeks. Be prepared for it and remember that they aren’t being ‘naughty’ and they probably can’t explain how they are feeling.
Create a routine / timetable to organise the day, but don’t overburden them and make sure it works for everyone who is at home. If you’ve got older kids, let them have a say in what the new routines will be like.
Try to make an area where the kids can work and keep basic equipment like pencils, pens, books and paper handy. But, don’t make more work for yourself by trying to make a perfect Instagram-worthy study area. Be realistic!
Don’t stress about how you are going to homeschool your children or what you are going to teach them – if work has been set, just get them to do that. If it hasn’t, don’t worry!
If your child doesn’t understand some work, and neither do you, either leave it or email the teacher (if you have contact details). Don’t spend hours trying to work it out!
Remember that every child in the country is in the same situation. They are all going to miss part of their education and teachers will sort it out one they are back in school. You aren’t a teacher and you don’t need to be trying to work out how to fill those gaps now!
Don’t compare what your children are doing to what you see on social media – some children are naturally more ‘studious’ than others. Just help your child to do the best they can.
Make sure they stay in touch with friends. Remember that they are used to being with their peers for over 6 hours a day. Social media is going to be a lifeline for so many people during this time, our children especially. We have eased off all the ‘screen’ time limits in our house so the kids can still be in touch with their friends. Make sure you supervise what they are doing and talk to them about being safe online. Internet Matters is a great website with lots of information and advice to help parents with this.
Get them exercising! Exercise is good for the mind – it releases endorphins and makes us feel good, which we all need right now. If you’ve got a garden, use it as much as you can. If you haven’t, take part in the daily ‘PE with Joe Wicks’ sessions on you tube. And if you aren’t a Joe Wickes fan, there are plenty of other kids fitness videos online.
Lastly, if it all starts to go a bit wrong, put the school books away, turn the TV on and remember there is always wine. And gin. And chocolate…
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