The rapid spread of COVID-19 has changed the way the world works… and this is especially true for parents. Most British schools have closed, and it could be weeks (or even months) before they re-open. So if you are a parent, it is likely you are trying to homeschool your children – but without any advice or tips, you might feel like you’ve been thrown in the deep end.
Raising children is challenging at the best of times but particularly if you are playing the role of parent and school teacher. However it doesn’t need to be a daily struggle, there are lots of simple tips and tricks you can use to educate your kids at home.
Here are five tips for tutoring children during self-isolation.
Tutoring Children During Self-Isolation: Adapt To Homeschooling
Most parents don’t have any prior homeschooling experience, so you should take some time to adapt to your new lifestyle. Set a daily schedule that includes lots of activities (such as Maths time, English time, exercise time and play time). This will create a reliable structure that the whole family can rely on, so you won’t have to cajole them every day – they will already know the set times in the schedule!
Use Free Resources
There are lots of free online homeschooling resources that you can use. Twinkl is a wonderful website that covers KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4, while Oxford Owl has lots of free ebooks for young children. Another great option for younger children is Teach Your Monster, as this has phonics lessons that seem more like a fun game.
Virgin Media has put together a great list of educational TV shows for children which, let’s face it, seems far more fun than homework!
There are also lots of resources for teenagers and young adults; OpenLearn has nearly 1000 free courses for people over 13. Finally most schools are providing online classes for children; just check out your child’s school website to see what is on offer.
Embrace Daily Exercise
It is also important to embrace daily exercise, especially if you notice your kids are struggling to focus when you are teaching them. Children have a lot more energy than most adults, and they need to burn this energy throughout the day so they can stay focused. So plan a long family walk outside of the house every day, and encourage them to play in the garden if/when they feel energetic. There are loads of useful online courses such as PE with Joe and Cosmic Kids Yoga.
Understand Your Children
Self-isolation means spending lots of time with your children, which can be stressful for both them and you. So use this time as a chance to bond with your children; be sensitive to their feelings and thoughts, and try not to be judgmental. It is likely they feel stressed or nervous about the sudden lifestyle change, and they should be able to express their negative feelings without being told off or punished.
Be Open And Honest About COVID-19
Finally you should be open and honest about COVID-19. Tutoring children during self-isolation can be tough for everyone, but your children are more likely to accept self-isolation if they understand why they need to stay inside. Don’t say too much, or scare them; just give them factual information that suits their age.