LEARNING AT HOME
How to Support Your Child’s Learning During COVID-19 School Closures
Here are a few tips on what you can do to keep your child happy and educated during school closures. One of the easiest pastimes is reading – we encourage you to do 15 minutes everyday.
My Child’s School is Closed - Now What?
Let’s talk about it
It’s important to take into account that being pulled out of school can be quite alarming for any child. Their daily life is disrupted and they might get worried about COVID-19, especially with the amount of press coverage it’s receiving. It can be reassuring for children to ask questions and have more clarification on the subject, no matter how random or dramatic. There are some great resources to be found that can help to explain: This comic by KQED, for example, explains the situation in a reassuring and informative way. KidsHealth has written an article with great tips on how to talk to your child about the Coronavirus as well.
“Who can I play with now?”
Another big change that children may experience, is that they won’t be able to see their classmates for a while. This can potentially cause children to get lonely and/or bored. Depending on what your child’s school has prepared they might talk to their class only once a day or even once a week.
Now, we don’t have to tell children about the online world. They probably know more about it than we do. But how can you, as a parent, make sure your child is using appropriate means of communication? Internet Matters has gathered social media platforms that are made for children and are safe. If your child is already using mainstream social media (Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, Snapchat etc.), it might be worth reminding them of online etiquette and talking to them about cyberbullying too. It will always be hard to monitor children’s online activities, but we can educate them on the pros and cons of being online.
Help! I Don’t Feel Prepared to Keep My Child Motivated for Schoolwork!
Don’t worry! There are tons of tricks and resources that can help you through this time.
Tips on how to keep your child focussed on school
Your kid is at home, but we completely understand if you’re not able to sit with them to do their school work all day. Keeping your child motivated by themselves can be quite a challenge. We have listed some ideas to implement that can make this a bit easier for you and your child:
Set up a learning centre
This sounds complicated, but we really just mean finding a place without distractions where you can establish ‘learning time’. Your children might normally do homework in their rooms, but that doesn't mean it's automatically the best place for them to learn full time. Establishing a learning centre makes it very clear when it’s time to learn, and when it’s time to relax.
Depending on what the school has organised, you might end up having to plan your child’s learning yourself. Giving children a choice can be a great motivator for them which is why we recommend you plan their learning days together. Being able to choose in which order they do their work can give children a sense of control, which can be reassuring in such an unpredictable time. Here are some great planning tools listed.
Take frequent breaks
A 5 minute break every 25 minutes (the Pomodoro Technique) can significantly improve performance. You can set a timer so your child knows when it’s break time and when they have to start working again.
Balance on and off-screen time
It’s important to alternate between on and off-screen time. If the school requires children to be online, breaks can be a great time to take some time off-screen. It's an opportunity to spend some time together with your child and do something fun!
Support for a full (and fun!) learning experience
If your school’s already using certain books, worksheets and/or online resources, we recommend you use these as a basis as to keep your child’s education as close to normal as possible. Additionally, we have gathered some great tools you can use for a complete distance learning experience for your child:
Literacy Planet - This English learning tool includes every literacy aspect: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Mangahigh For Home - Our maths learning tool for home is fully curriculum aligned and uses gamification to keep maths fun and engaging for students. It can be a much needed change of pace for students and keeps them motivated to learn maths. The platform has a reports feature so you can also track your child’s progress in realtime.
Muzzy - The BBC created this video based tool for learning several different languages. They offer animated, story-based videos that teach children English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese and Korean.
Fiction Express - This tool modernizes reading books by connecting children to professional authors and giving the choice of the direction of the story to the children.
Twinkl - This website offers tons of free offline resources for different subjects and fun activities to do in breaks.
Physics Central - This organisation has created a historically accurate physics comic book about Nicholas Tesla. It’s a fun way to get your child interested in physics.
Physics Classroom - On this website you can find tons of online and offline resources surrounding physics. From handouts to video’s and interactive concept builders, there is sure to be something that your child will like.
- BBC - Play It! - y1 march20.docx
- BBC - Play It! - y2 march20.docx
- BBC - House of Sound - Y3.docx
- BBC - House of Sound - Y4.docx
A poster competition for all year groups - please choose either KS1 or KS2 document.
Some mindfulness activities to help the children remain calm and de-stress - mindfulness colouring sheets, mindfulness 'brain break' cards and mindfulness activities including 'Gratitude A-Z', 'Good News', 'Hand Washing Meditation' and a breathing exercise.
A weekly timetable to help the children structure their days at home to ensure they keep up-to-date with learning but also make some time to look after themselves.
A 'Getting to know your brain' activity sheet for upper KS2.
- Maths homework grid - Y3 & Y4 v2.docx
- Amazing Educational Resources
- Language Practice Choice Board.docx
- Classroom Secrets
- BBC Bitesize
- Twig Education
- Oxford Owl
- National Geographic Kids
- World Geography Games
- Seneca Learning (KS2+)
- Vooks (1 month free trial)
- Phonics activities.pdf
- Manor Farm Storytime, everyday at 5pm
- Maths Factor
- TES Free Resources
- Instill Inspiration Youtube Channel
- Phonics activities.pdf
- 11am story with David Walliams everyday
- Curiosity Stream
- Beast Academy (Maths)
- Khan Academy
- Creative Bug
- Discovery Education
- Crash Course Kids
- Science Channel
- SciShow Kids
- National Geographic Kids
- Free School
- Geography Focus
- Kids Learning Tube
- Geeek Gurl Diaries
- Mike Likes Science
- Science Max
- The Tween boys
Lots of board games, library books (and Kindle), tinkering/upcycling with household junk, etc.
Some resources to help with kids at home:
*Scholastic has created a free learn-from-home site with 20+ days of learning and activities.
*Pretend to travel the world. Go on a virtual tour of these 12 famous museums.
Other websites for more fun learning!