Schools in the UK have now been shut for three full weeks, and home-schooling has been adopted by parents all over the country.
Thousands of parents have risen to the challenge admirably; as the fourth week commences, however, some may be feeling a little stuck for ideas to keep their kids occupied.
MyTutor – the UK’s leading online tutoring service – have spoken to their parent base to discuss what works best when setting up a timetable for the day:If you have more than one child to educate at home, timetables should ideally be adjusted depending on the independence and needs of each individual child.
Younger children, for example, should work in short bursts of 30-40 minutes. Older children can remain focussed for longer periods of up to an hour. Try having set lessons in the morning, and then use the afternoon to try more creative or practical activities – including getting outside if you can do so safely.
One parent, Emma, is doing exactly this and is using her afternoon to bake and craft with her children. Keep a combination of self-directed study, help from you and other family members, and free time when kids can focus on their own project or activity. Another parent, Eli, suggests “Shaping the day” with each child so they know exactly what to expect from the day.
Establishing a routine is important – even if it’s just that they need to have had breakfast and be dressed by 9:30!
Now MyTutor – in a bid to help parents and pupils add some structure and social interaction to the day – have launched a new, free Online School which is packed with support for students. The platform offers daily live group tutorials on key topics and new resources are added every day.
Current offerings provide GCSE module tutorials, with Key-Stage 3 and A-Level modules in development. Pre-recorded videos focussing on popular topics are also uploaded to MyTutor’s YouTube channel regularly, across a wide range of subjects, but are currently centred around the core subjects: Maths, the three Sciences and English.
James Grant – Co-founder of MyTutor – discusses the need for EdTech to help take the burden off of parents during this time: “Pupils working in isolation from home because of containment measures could face learning challenges at a critical period. Fortunately, online platforms can be accessed in a convenient and hygienic way across the UK. MyTutor are incredibly pleased to launch this new service for GCSE students, which we believe will be a vital resource for those looking to continue their studies from home.
MyTutor has advocated the use of EdTech in the classroom for a long time, and now we have the chance to assist schools, teachers and pupils as they work from home. We want to ensure we support all children with their continued learning during this tricky time and so are delighted to be able to provide this valuable and easily-accessible platform for free.”