Since the pandemic parents have had to support their children with their learning at home as schools have been closed to the vast majority. Luckily, the timetable, worksheets, lesson slideshows, and internet links have been provided by the class teachers. But when you decide to home school your child you have no support from schools. You go it alone and need to decide everything for yourself- the timetable, the lessons and resources.
In this section, I hope to provide you with some guidance and resources to help with your decision to home school.
If you had a hundred home educators in a room, each of them would likely have a different approach, but there are various steps you can take to get the most out of homeschooling.
1.Take breaks: Take your cue from your children, if they can work for 30 mins at a time- structure your day in 30-minute slots. The older your child is the longer they'll be able to concentrate.
2.Make a routine: Children tend to respond well to routine- so it is useful to set out your days and plot out the learning you want to do together. Routines will help to keep your child focused, engaged and enable them to progress. At school, the typical day might consist of seven 40 minute periods – four in the morning and three in the afternoon. In school children do not concentrate for five hours! The average lessons are filled with interruptions etc and the 'real' work may only be around 10 minutes. This will probably be the case at home too- even though you have set aside 40 minutes, the work may be completed in 10 minutes.
3.Get rid of distractions: The 'workspace' needs to be conducive to learning- so no distractions like TV! Find a space where you are both comfortable- sitting, standing in, or outside. Whatever works for you.
4.Divide up the work: Plan out the steps to a task so that you and your child will have a sense of progress as you work.
5.Don’t multitask: Trying to do more than one job at a time means that you essentially divide your brainpower between the tasks. Doing each task individually means you can use all your brainpower on each in turn.
6.Utilise TV and online learning: Technology is a big part of education both in schools and at home. Sites like BBC Bitesize and Geography Games are great for delivering educational content in a fun, engaging way.
7.Stick to the curriculum: It’s important to try and cover all of the subjects your child is used to learning about, but don’t worry too much about spending an equal amount of time on each.
You will naturally have greater knowledge in some areas than others and it’s fine to lean on these more heavily.
If you are unsure about any content, try researching the topic yourself and learn something new, before passing on the information to your child.
8.Make it fun: There are hundreds of games you can play to exercise your brain. There are card games where you have to match pairs or groups of face-down cards, flipping two each turn and reverting them face-down if they’re not a pair.
You could also place a number of small, random items on a tray, memorize the items for a minute, then cover the tray, listing as many of the items as you can remember in a given time period.
Naturally, you can use technology there are plenty of good educational games and activities on the web.