With the news UK schools are closing to help reduce coronavirus spreading, parents are being expected to take over the responsibilities of the teachers. In some cases, schools are providing online learning. But we are here to give you some ideas and guidance on how to home school.

You may find that both you and the children need structure and strict time-management to have successful home education. You can maintain the status quo by getting up at the same time each day, and putting on school uniforms but here are some key tips.

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Open your new school

Is there more fun on your first day that creating your new school, including a name and badge? You will also find it easier to get engagement if your children feel part of the decision making.

Top Tip: If they struggle for ideas, try coming up with some and give them the choice from a selection.

Lesson Plan and Prioritise

It’s likely the school rushed something to send home with the kids and you can work with that. Depending on school age, there may be some key subjects on the curriculum that will have to be covered. If not, you cannot go wrong with Maths and English, and something creative like Art, Music or Dance. Outdoor play is a must, and we don’t mean field trips while the kids do the gardening.

This is a rare opportunity to really focus on your children’s strengths and interests. At school the lesson planning is dictated by the curriculum, and the class size limits one on one interaction with the teacher. You have a golden opportunity to focus on something your children love. Trust me, you will both enjoy it a lot more.

Top Tip: If you are struggling there are plenty of educational TV programmes for children that can cover the subjects. There is also a plethora of free online resources too.

Create Routines

Have a designated ‘class room’ and have a rough time table and stick to it. By this I mean start time, breaks, and finish. Remember you are not expected to replace the teacher, this is facilitating a need for home education. Keeping concentration is not easy, so take a break when needed.

Try not to break the routine, there is plenty of time to play at 3pm. If you give an inch, they will take a mile. If you also need to work from home, then balance this with low maintenance teaching periods like approved TV programs. It might be easier all round to split the day with learning in the morning, then work time in the afternoon.

Top Tip: Arrange a virtual playtime with their friends to encourage social interaction.

Be the teacher you loved

Who was your favourite teacher at school and what traits did they have? I’m pretty sure it would not be one you clashed with. Celebrate successes and be encouraging and supportive. This is new to them as well as you.

Tip: In the last 10 minutes of the lesson, ask them to tell you what they have learned to reinforce the information.

Create healthy snacks and lunches

Avoid giving easy sugary snacks and instead offer fruit and lots of water. Make sure the kids get some exercise while you prepare lunch. Lead by example, drink enough water yourself to limit dehydration headaches.

Top tip: Create snack boxes each morning for easy access to limit distraction.

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