We can’t imagine how your first day of home learning has gone. In normal circumstances, a day off school like a ‘snow day’ can feel like a bonus, an unexpected holiday. Our children are clued up and know this current situation is more serious and longer-term. We really encourage you to establish a routine for home learning: we could be in this situation for a while and so it’s important for your child’s wellbeing and education to have some structure and routines in the day, just like at school (it might even help you, too).
Why not sit with your child and work out a timetable? This will help your child to have a sense of routine and develop clear expectations – it’s definitely worth the investment in time (teachers spend a lot of September establishing this with a new class!).
- Perhaps your child starts the day at 9am with a live PE session from Joe Wicks (Monday to Friday).
- Your child could then do a couple of the home learning challenges set by the class teacher with a short break in between.
- Most younger children learn phonics just after Wake Up Shake Up in school – that’s at 10.10am. Stick to the same pattern using Phonics Play. (Children in Key Stage 2 could practise spellings in this time, too, looking back at previous lists or even making their own.)
- A mindfulness session mid-morning might be a good idea, or another workout session – Jump Start Jonny features both on a really easy to use website.
- After this, perhaps your child has a go at French, Spanish or even a new language using Duolingo – try to stick to one language so they can really progress in it – and impress us all when they return to school!
- The third home learning challenge could come straight after lunch.
- This could be followed by some reading – either independently or listening to an audiobook. (Audible has free access at the moment.)
- Maybe in the afternoon, they do another workout – one of his High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts specifically designed for children – or some iMoves that are linked to Maths and English.
You could use the ideas above, but we’d encourage you to agree a few things:
- timings for each activity
- the maximum amount of times they’re allowed to interrupt within each session
- don’t forget to weave into the day time for quiet reading, times tables or number bonds practice (eg 8+2=10 and 2+8=10, 18+2 and 2+18, 80+20 and 20+80), and handwriting practice
- what they should do if they finish early (we’d suggest you definitely avoid letting them drift online – stick to the task and see if they can come up with some extra learning linked to it)
Read our home learning suggestions to help you create a schedule of learning activities for your child. (This has already been updated with a couple of extra tips since we last published it.)
Finally, in all this, your child will be confused and anxious. It’s important that children have some sort of understanding of what’s going on at the moment, and some resources from Ineqe might be a good place to start:
- What exactly is coronavirus?
- What’s the difference between coronavirus and COVID-19?
- And even: what does the 19 mean?