The need to home-school right now has made life suddenly much tougher for parents, who, in some cases, are having to balance educating their children with holding down a job. You might be struggling with the task right now, but it doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare. Just follow these simple steps for solid home schooling without causing them or yourself any stress.

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Form a plan

The lockdown is no ordinary situation, so you need to form a plan, and because of the circumstances, you don’t have to stick rigidly to the schedule the kids would follow at school. That’s just not feasible. Think about what time you (both) have free. Since there’s the potential for fewer interruptions, you might find you can cover more than during their school day.

Make use of apps and other resources

Where would be without the internet? Make the most of learning apps and online resources to aid your child(ren)’s learning. The BBC Bitesize app is free, supplies material for children of all ages and is tailored to the National Curriculum, so you can be sure you’re teaching your children what they need to know. Support your children’s learning by downloading eBooks, which you can use in ‘class’ or encourage them to read in their free time.

Just now you’ll be relying heavily on the internet. If you don’t have fibre broadband, you should consider signing up for it. It’s fast, reliable and can cope with lots of different devices all connected to it at once. The best news of all is that it’s available to 97 to 88% of UK households, so there’s a good chance you can sign up for it.

Create time for play

Whether it’s a school day or not, your children will need downtime, so create time and opportunities for them to play or pursue leisure activities. They don’t have to be pouring over books at the kitchen coffee table nonstop. Break things up with activities such as baking together or exercise out in the garden. They could even just relax with an eBook for a little bit. This relaxation is important for their wellbeing (and yours, of course).

Encourage them to stay connected to others

Again, where would be without the internet? Social distancing means is stopping us all from seeing friends and family, so encourage your kids to stay in touch with their friends on social media. Get them to FaceTime their friends on the phone or video call them using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or even Instagram. 

Staying connected is especially important for older teenagers, who may have been feeling the pressure of their studies and may be feeling even more isolated because of the lockdown. If they seem to be spending a lot of time on their phones and this would annoy you normally, be patient. The fact that they’re still connecting with others is important. 

There’s no doubt that these are difficult times right now, but they don’t have to be the all-consuming nightmare for parents they first felt it might be. The simple steps above will help you to home-school your (child) during lockdown so that your kids can learn without either you or them sacrificing wellbeing.

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