Self-isolation has caused huge changes to family lives worldwide including the introduction of more home-schooling. The Coronavirus crisis continues with no known end in sight.
A week into home-schooling and many parents are struggling to combine working while keeping their children motivated to learn at home.
“The initial motivation and excitement of learning in a new way may well be wearing off now for many children and this will be adding to parents’ stress,” says Lee Wilcock, Principal of Wolsey Hall Oxford, a home-schooling college in the UK.
“Some schools are supporting families with providing work to do at home but it can be hard implementing and sticking to this new routine.”
Established in 1894, Wolsey Hall has home-schooling students in over 100 countries and more than 750,000 students have completed their home study courses. So, with this wealth of experience behind them, Wolsey Hall Oxford offers five top tips to help parents through this period:
1 – Create a schedule
The flexibility of home-schooling means your timetable can be created to suit the whole family, working around parental workload and virtual meetings. The key is having some structure to the day. Younger children may prefer to complete their schoolwork in the morning when their energy levels are higher while research has shown that teenagers are better studying later in the day.
2 – Dedicated workspace
If you can, try and find a dedicated space where your child can set up their computer and work. While you won’t have visitors to your home, they will need to be able to concentrate away from other family members and distractions.
3 – The importance of breaks
While you won’t have activities outside the home to factor in, it’s important to schedule in breaks. Now more than ever, we need to focus on our physical and mental health. While we are all constrained to our homes, there are still ways children can exercise. If you have a garden, even a 15-minute break outside is beneficial in restoring concentration levels. If you can’t get outdoors, there are online workouts specially designed for children such as Fitter Future. Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, is also delivering PE lessons on his YouTube channel each morning.
4 – Maintaining motivation
Tap into your child’s interests and dislikes. This is an ideal time to really engage them in topics they’d like to discover in greater depth. Your child’s teacher would prefer them to just be enjoying learning at this time, rather than forcing them through a specific subject that is causing a battle. Give regular encouragement and stay positive; there will be good and bad days. If your child is feeling overwhelmed by the changes, try breaking work into much smaller sections.
5 – Socialisation
If your child is missing their friends, encourage them to video call each other (or arrange it for younger children). The opportunity to see how their classmates are getting on and to discuss what work they’ve been doing will give them a boost.
You may find your child completes their work more quickly while schooling at home. There are plenty of online resources of activities that will help to fill the extra hours if needed. Wolsey Hall has some projects children may like to try at home. https://wolseyhalloxford.org.uk/homeschool-projects/
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