TIPS for parents
We hope we can help you stay positive and make home schooling work for you…
Establish a routine quickly
It’s important to have a routine and try to stick to it as much as possible.
- Sample Home Schooling Timetable
- Sample Timetable EYFS
- Sample Visual Daily Timetable
- Visuals for visual timetable
Don’t make excuses.
The better you model this, the more likely you child will follow suit. You might decide to start with learning tasks straight after breakfast, 9- 12 for example. Followed by lunch and further study, time in the garden or engaging mindfulness activities as a family if possible.
Allocate gadget/screen time clearly - too much is not recommended and this could be one of the hardest things for families to implement and manage. My advice to parents has always been set clear limitations but it’s always a good idea to give your child some control over when they use the hours or what they play (within reason). I can’t emphasize enough how much gaming can affect your child in school – playing inappropriate games shows negative behaviours in your child.
Celebrate the positive!
Start every day with “What’s going well?”
Even if it’s that you’ve managed to find a matching pair of socks… Celebrate it! End each day together with your family asking, “What went well today?” Focus on the good things.
Give your child praise for their effort:
I can see that you are trying really hard
I love that you are really focused
It is excellent to see that you are ready to give this a go
You have worked fantastically hard for the last 15 minutes and tomorrow we will try 20...
Lean into reading
Maintaining and building reading skills will serve your child well at every level.
While younger children love being read to by a family member, you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting. Actors are reading children’s books aloud online, and audiobooks are more accessible than ever. While most public libraries are closed, many offer electronic downloads of e-books.
Please try audible for children's books read aloud: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
Whenever possible, let your children choose their own books. Following a child’s interest is more important than identifying the right reading level; when motivated by their own curiosity, kids can stretch their reading comprehension. And don’t dismiss graphic novels; they are great for reluctant readers and voracious book worms alike.
Make the most of everyday and home economics!
We’ve all heard the horror stories of young adults going out into the world not knowing how to do even the most basic household tasks. Well, this is the perfect time for your children to learn key life skills, such as cleaning, cooking, laundry and pet care.
Try and encourage your children to take an active part in the running of the house e.g. helping to cook or laying the table.
With year five and six, you can introduce them to financial literacy by including them in your checkbook balancing, budgeting and online bill-paying.
Take the time to talk to your child and listen to them.
Establish respectful rules.
Take care – read our guidance below on managing challenging behaviour and emotion coaching.
It’s always worth writing down the ground rules for the whole family which lays out some rules such as how we speak and treat one another because things are going to get stressful at times.
Bear in mind that your children DO copy you so you have to model it too.
Some of our favourites are:
We are safe, happy and kind at home
We use calm voices.
We walk away and take 5 if we feel angry or feel like shouting- we do not shout.
We listen carefully to one another.
Think about rewards for following the routines and or contracts. Get the whole family to sign up to it.
Here is a sample reward chart that you can use at home too:
Keep a sense of humor
Have fun and laugh.
If things are getting tense, put on a good song.
Music and dance can turn the atmosphere around.
Manage behaviour challenges calmly - emotion coaching
We use emotion coaching at school and you can use this at home too.
With emotion coaching you can build brilliant relationships and avoid reaching the "peak" of behaviour by maintaining calm.
Here are the different zones - ask your child where they are.
If you can see they are in the red zone, show the picture and label it.
I can see you are in the red zone. It is okay to feel angry. Take some time to calm down and then we will talk.
Steps to follow for emotion coaching:
An example of how this could look:
I can see that you are feeling sad and are crying. It is okay to feel sad. This situation is also making me feel sad and I am here for you.
I know you are feeling sad because of the behaviour you have shown. We can put this right.
Kicking your sister is not acceptable.
Let's apologise and do something nice for her. What would you like to do to put this right?