These aren’t easy times for any of us, and children’s education and lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic. With many parents of school-aged kids living yet another lockdown stint as ‘teacher’, we understand the extra stress this can put on families. That’s why we’re backing Save the Children as part of our Together for Families charity partnership. We’d like to support families across the UK to help make sure children can continue their education. Here, we’ve shared some tips and resources that we hope will ease you through this tricky time.
Supporting families at home
Save the Children are working across the UK to provide families struggling during the pandemic with the help and support they need to make sure their children can continue to stay safe, learn and play. Families can do amazing things. By simply chatting, playing, and learning together you can help your little ones grow and develop. Every child should be able to make their mark on the world, and help to build a better future.
Helpful homeschool ideas
If you’re struggling to stay focused or get kids interested in school at home, here are a few ideas to help things along:
Make a plan and stick to it
Children respond better when they know what’s coming. And getting organised will help everyone to feel more at ease. If you need help planning, try using a weekly planner set so everyone knows what’s in store for the week! On top of this, give these tips a try:
- Talk about what’s happening with your child and how it will affect them
- When planning the week, let kids choose some of the activities and meals. It’ll give them a sense of control
- Routine is comforting to children, so keep wake up time, meals and bedtimes regular
- If they’d usually see a grandparent once a week, why not set up a video call on that night?
Remember to build movement breaks and physical exercise into your time at home, as well as thinking about eating well. Each day try:
- Getting outdoors for a bit of fresh air, you could even set up a football match
- If you can’t get out, why not do a star-jump challenge or have a dance party in the living room?
- Involve the kids in making healthy snacks and meals – a fruit kebab is a fun and tasty way to get in their 5-a-day
- Make sure everyone stays hydrated by keeping a water bottle handy
Learning to read is really important, but it doesn’t have to feel like hard work. As you read along:
- Make up some actions
- Make noises to match the pictures
- Guess what might happen next
- Think of art and craft ideas inspired by the story
The importance of counting
Numbers can be confusing for young children at first, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be bad at maths. You can help them get a great maths head start by practicing counting together as much as possible – and don’t forget to make it fun! Try:
- Counting toys as you tidy up
- Counting socks, t-shirts or trousers as you’re doing laundry
- When you’re laying the table, ask: How many plates do we need? Have we got enough spoons? Do we need more? How many more? Do we have too many?
Once you start looking for numbers suddenly they’re everywhere! Can you think of any ways you could practice counting?
Children learn better if they feel good about themselves and if they feel they’ve got your support. Recognising success can help children feel valued and grow up to be confident in themselves. This helps improve their ability to learn and to achieve whatever they set their minds on. Try celebrating small achievements like:
- Completing homework, especially when it’s hard
- Reading even though they’d rather be watching TV
- Trying again if they get things wrong or struggle the first time
Have fun together
Did you know you are your child’s first and best teacher? You can use school resources, work books and educational websites and apps. But, you can also get creative by turning everyday moments into brain-building opportunities. Most importantly, enjoy learning together! Here are 10 family activities you can try.
Finally, it might not seem the easiest thing to do at times, but it really is important to give yourself a break too. None of us are perfect, and we’re all doing the best we can. So, at the end of a long day, put your feet up with a well-deserved cuppa or run a nice relaxing bubble bath so you can recharge for another day. And remember – you’ve got this!
So there you have it, our top tips for surviving and thriving during lockdown. If you’d like some more helpful tips and resources, Save the Children’s coronavirus hub has plenty more information on the virus and how to keep your children happy, learning and safe during lockdown. We know times are tough, but we hope you’ll be able to enjoy trying out some of our ideas.