With schools reopening soon, many parents across the nation’s capital are rejoicing. A recent survey by Uswitch has revealed that a quarter of parents in London have felt increased guilt due to remote learning challenges.
From March 8th children in England will be returning to their classrooms, giving their parents a well earned break and sigh of relief. Homeschooling has been stressful for many families but with the countdown now on parents can relax more and appreciate the last few school days at home with their kids.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of our top tips so you can enjoy the final (we hope) days of remote learning.
1. Stick to your regular schedule
A routine helps children feel secure and focused. Make sure to communicate with your kids the plan for the day so they know what to expect and stick to set times for meals and bedtime. Not only will a routine provide your child with consistency but it will also give them the perfect safe space they need to learn.
2. Take breaks from the screen
Children shouldn’t be expected to concentrate solely on an electronic device for hours at a time. Encourage your child to step away from the screen and do something fun. Incorporate learning away from a laptop by reading a book together, drawing a picture or playing a game of Monopoly to practice money skills.
3. Get out of the house
If you can, why not get outside into nature! Take the dog on a family walk, visit your local park or have a game of tag in your garden. Being stuck inside can cause tensions to rise, making it easy for everyone in the family to feel unhappy during the school day. Whereas, letting the kids run off that extra energy will keep your youngsters in better spirits.
4. Organise virtual child socials
Your children miss their friends too! With children at home all the time it can be easy to forget that they need time with children their own age. Reach out to other parents to organise a virtual playdate – no parents invited. This will give your child a break from the stress of adult conversations and a chance to be happy reconnecting with friends.
5. Ask for help
Many parents feel overwhelmed at the prospect of teaching their children maths they haven’t done since they left school! However, teachers are here to help. Encourage your child to ask questions if they don’t understand something and their teacher will be able to offer 1:1 assistance so you can avoid googling maths equations during school hours.
6. Take advantage of free resources
There are so many free resources available online to make the school day easier. If you’re stuck for lesson material, BBC Bitesize has hours of online classes suitable for primary and secondary pupils. While The Body Coach TV (which can be found free on YouTube) is the perfect PE class to get your kids moving – plus the exercise will boost their mood and help them sleep better.
7. Celebrate the wins (no matter how small)
After a year of a global pandemic it can be hard to be upbeat but children thrive in positive environments. Don’t focus so much on what you didn’t get done during homeschooling but instead focus on your family’s achievements! No matter how small the accomplishment, make sure to celebrate it. Not only will your kids benefit from a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem but you deserve that pat on the back! You’ve conquered homeschooling, now enjoy the last few days and cherish these moments with your children.
Parents of three children aged 5, 12 and 14, Michael and Marion, offer these top tips to help families make homeschooling easier:
- “Motivation depletes with time, after a long time at home it can be hard to stay motivated! Make sure to keep structure and routine at home. Get your kids up for breakfast at the same time as they normally would and don’t let them stay up too late.
- “Encourage your children to ask their teacher for help if they don’t understand something in class. Teachers are supporting children online and don’t expect parents to have all the answers, reach out for support if you need it.
- “Don’t stare at a screen all day long, make sure to break up the day with some exercise. At break time go outside for a walk and stop to eat a proper lunch.”
Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “To take off some of the pressure, take advantage of helpful learning tools available online, such as the BBC education programming available daily. Additionally, if you’re concerned your child is falling behind due to a lack of resources, speak with their school to find out if you qualify for extra help and the Government Get Help With Technology Scheme.
“With children logging on to learn online, you’ll likely have more devices than usual connected to your broadband during the day. Ensuring your internet is up to speed will help elevate connection stress and keep the school day running smoothly.
If you are having trouble with your broadband, try these top tips and check out our homeschooling Wi-Fi issues guide to solve your most common home Wi-Fi problems:
- Reboot your router – the classic ‘unplug it, leave it 30 seconds and plug it back in’.
- Location, location, location – if your router is located further away than it needs to be, try moving it to the room you’re most active in or the center of your home.
- Disconnect unnecessary devices – turn the Wi-Fi off on gadgets you’re not using, even if they’re in a drawer. They may be using bandwidth in the background.
- Run a speed test – this will determine whether your router is running at the speeds you signed up for.
- Purchase a Wi-Fi extender or ‘booster’ – this will optimise your broadband for faster and stronger connections.”