At the moment, some of us are stuck at home, some of us are choosing to be and quite a few of us seem desperate to get out. But if, even with the term starting up again, your kids are staying home from school for lockdown, then it’s essential to take your role as de facto teacher seriously.
Here are some tips for how to get the most out of their lockdown learning:
Make a plan & stick to it
There are multiple parts to this but ultimately they all come down to think like a teacher. Think about how long you’re going to be doing this, work out what work they can be doing each day and importantly, keep them in the sort of routine they’d be used to at school.
Start and finish at the same time each day, try to keep the same subjects at the same time week-on-week, with younger kids this can be almost a fun roleplay of the ‘school day’ to keep them in the moment.
Create a dedicated learning area
Make a space that is just for ‘school’ work and keep all their activities there. By having a location that is purely for work, it can help to reinforce the learning plan and make the day feel more structured.
Stick to the curriculum
It seems obvious but if you’re keeping their work in line with what they were being taught in school, it’s going to make it not just more rewarding but also make your life easier as there are a lot of great websites full of resources, such as Twinkl, to keep you along these lines. Also by keeping the work relevant, you can make sure that everything they do is going to benefit their future work.
Take advantage of the change in scenery
For kids, taking them out of the classroom can enhance their learning. If you have nearby access to outdoor environments like forests, parks or the water. Giving children access to the world around them can help to make learning feel more interactive and show them practical examples of their learning.
But even if you don’t have anywhere to go, you can use your home in ways that a classroom can’t always do. You can build work around their favourite films as a Friday treat, or decorate their room with themes around that day’s work. Making an immersive environment will mean that learning goes beyond the start and end of the school day and becomes an all-round enhancing experience.
Establish methods for gauging results/progression/rewards
Establishing proper methods for gauging results & progression is going to make not just your life easier but also their teachers as when they do return to school full-time, having a record of what each child has learnt is going to save time going over information they’ve already covered. Of course, an important part of keeping track of these successes is making sure to celebrate and reward them.
Positive reinforcement is going to be more effective than negative punishment so making sure to celebrate those little victories all the way up to those major achievements is going to incentivise them to work their hardest but also if you make the rewards scaled to individual attainment, there’s not going to be a feeling of trying to push beyond limits.
Ultimately, what you’re teaching isn’t going to be as important as the hours you put in. So use this time not to stress the importance of work but to really get some quality time with your kids. If nothing else, it might be that some good can come out of this whole situation.