5 Tips for Successful Home Learning
Posted on April 27th 2020
With schools shutting (for all but the children of key workers) and days on end confined to our houses due to the spread of the coronavirus, parents face the prospect of keeping their children healthy and entertained for a potentially lengthy period of time. The dilemma of what to do with kids when they are not in school is a familiar one for parents (albeit not usually confined to your own home), however the task of home schooling is not. Given the vast majority of us are not teachers, it is somewhat of a daunting scenario.
Most, if not all schools, will have provided some degree of home learning suggestions and assistance. Secondary school children will likely have a reasonably extensive agenda set for them via the use of online lessons and learning. Primary schools likewise will have provided some guidance as to curriculum topics, and in many cases online apps will have been suggested to support learning in maths and english. However, for primary age, that still leaves a lot of emphasis on the parent to fill the gaps…
What can parents do?
1. Limit screen time
Being confined within the four walls of our houses (and gardens for the lucky ones) makes it tempting to let children do what they naturally gravitate towards…that of the screens, whether that be the television or a handheld device. As everyone knows, that can occupy kids for hours on end, but does that lead to happy and healthy children? Experience suggests not. Television and devices have their place, and certainly give parents a well needed break, but building in variation to a child’s day is crucial.
2. Stick to a routine
Despite children probably being unwilling to list it as a benefit of school, one aspect that does aid them is the routine. Having a routine is calming, promotes good habits and can reduce stress. However, trying to mimic school at home, would be very difficult and from a child’s perspective unwanted. That said, some routine and structure to the day is clearly good. Splitting the day up into units of time dedicated to certain activities, including some exercise and outside time, seems sensible.
3. Let your children provide input
Letting children have some control over what they do is also a pleasant variation to school, and therefore having the flexibility to adjust to alternative activities rather than dictating the running order is necessary.
Exercise is obviously good for both physical and mental well being, not just for children but all of us. The hour of outside time that we have been limited to is perfect time for exercise whether that is a walk, or run or bike ride etc, however exercise could also be taken in the house, with many online resources assisting with workout routines.
5. Get Creative
Art and craft activities are great for creativity, and Lego and puzzles are fantastic mental challenges. Cooking and baking are also brilliant activities to add in to the day and similarly can tick both the mental and creative challenge box (not to mention being helpful and practical….who doesn’t want a fresh batch of biscuits every day?!)
Where does Animal Adoption fit in to all this?
The suggested use of online apps and material by schools will have prompted many parents to carry out further online searches for ideas to assist with learning and activities. The Animal Adoption plan ticks several boxes in that capacity; it promotes enquiry towards species and their habitats, as well as geography, the environment and human impact.
In addition, animal adoption keeps us reminded of other aspects of the world. Currently, and understandably, we are all heavily focussed on the human issue of tackling a global pandemic. News channels are discussing nothing else. Children, and arguably adults too, don’t need that level of concentrated focus. We all need to be reminded of other aspects to the world, and continue to care for the planet and all other species that inhabit it. Animal adoption and the associated information packs are a great way to do that, and are a great resource for enquiring minds – you can find out more here.