Advice Education

How to keep children focused at home

Londoners and their families have made it through a first week under lockdown - but there's longer to come.

UK’s schools are closed indefinitely for most children in order to stem the spread of COVID-19. Playgrounds, soft plays, libraries, museums and art galleries too. This means young Londoners are at home with their parents (who may also be working from home). To help you over the coming weeks (possibly months…) we’ve got some tips from leading online tutoring service MyTutor on how parents can structure their days to make sure everyone is happy(ish).

Make the environment conducive to learning

No matter the age of your child, they will need to be sitting comfortably at a table and in a chair that’s suitable for their height and size. The environment should be free from distractions and ideally near to an open window, to provide them with consistent levels of fresh air and natural light. Some children find it soothing and helpful to have quiet, instrumental music playing in the background to help them to focus, but this isn’t for everyone.

Make a timetable for each day

It’s good to have a timetable that children can either fill in independently or with their home educator. Children of all ages thrive on routine and boundaries; schools provide this in abundance and it will make most children feel secure and happy if they can follow a similar timetable for their home-schooling.

Vary the learning style

Make sure that all learning does not just mean sitting and completing worksheets. Children of all ages love variety to keep them stimulated and thriving. Worksheets and workbooks are great for quieter and more independent learning, but iPads, YouTube and online websites and games can also be used to add fun and variety into the day. Most children will be used to using technology within their school day and, providing that it is educational and that they limit their time to 30 minutes per session, it should most definitely be used as a great learning tool.

Include an hour of physical exercise

Each day should include at least an hour of physical exercise. This doesn’t need to be high-impact or intense – it can be anything from running around in the garden, walking the dog, a game of football or dancing around your living room! Again, keep it varied to alleviate any chances of boredom.

Read, Read, Read

It doesn’t matter what they are reading, as long as they are keeping up with this skill. It’s vital for life and for accessing all areas of the curriculum as they progress through their learning journey; it’s also a lovely, independent and quiet activity to do to help children to relax and explore their imagination.

Cut them some slack and have fun!

No child or young person can be expected to be working at 100% all day, every day. There may be times or whole days when the timetable of learning needs to be scrapped completely in favour of going on a family hike or watching your favourite film

This time with your children is precious. Try not to feel too pressured to make everything perfect and stick religiously to expectations. Children pick up on negative feelings and will begin to shy away from learning if they associate it with boredom or ending up ‘told off’. Try to have fun with your children, have conversations with them, learn together and grow and thrive as a family.