Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Advice for Parents on Home Learning

With schools closed again, you might be looking for ways to keep your children entertained as well as supporting their learning. It’s not easy if it’s even possible, to replicate the school environment at home and many of you will be trying to balance having your children about all day with the demands of remote working. Our advice to you? Be kind to yourself and be realistic.

  • Your child’s school should be providing you with 3 to 5 hours of remote teaching and learning every day. How much of this is possible to complete will be dependent on your child (you know them best) and your circumstances. Do what you can. Any learning that takes place during Lockdown 3.0 is great.
  • If you can, try to establish a regular routine. Humans are creatures of habit and knowing when we can be rewarded with food, rest or play is a great motivator.
  • If you’re struggling to get your child to concentrate, timers are a good way of focusing your child on their work for a period of time. Use the one or your phone or, if you’re really keen, you can buy old-fashioned hour glasses on line. If you want to know how long they should focus for, take your child’s age, add 2 and round it up – so a 7 year-old might be expected to concentrate for about 10 minutes at a time (7 + 2 = 9) and a 12 year-old nearer 15 minutes (12 + 2 = 14). If your child will concentrate for longer – that’s brilliant!
  • Try and enjoy the time you’ve got together. One of the unexpected bonuses for parents is that we’ve had more time than we would normally have with our children (although that can also feel like a curse). Why not involve your child in some of the day-to-day tasks that have to be done? Cooking together can be a way of encouraging reading (deciphering the recipe) or maths (measuring and weighing). Practical application of skills is one of the best ways to learn.
  • Take time to get outside. If you can, schedule in some outside time every day. The benefits of exercise and fresh air are well documented and can miraculously diffuse short tempers and clear bad moods.
  • Make use of your TV! This advice may go against the clamour for less screen-time, but TV can be a powerful ally in learning. If you’re in any doubt, think of the impact that The Blue Planet has had. There are fabulous documentary channels (available on Freeview as well as paid-for channels) and the BBC have come to the rescue with their 20 minute TV shows targeted at specific age groups Bitesize Daily on BBC iPlayer and TV via the Red Button.

Remember, when schools open again (and they will) teachers will be ready to support your child to make up for lost learning. That’s what they’re trained to do!

Useful Information

Phonics for Parents

It is expected that all pupils will be taught to read using phonics. In order to be able to support them effectively, that means that parents also need a knowledge and understanding of basic phonics. That is particularly important at this current time when the majority of children are not in school.

This short presentation covers a few basic principles about phonics.

Online Safety for Parents

It’s understandable that you will have concerns over your child’s safety online at the moment. The dangers are no different to before the Covid-19 outbreak but the chances are that they will increase just because of the amount of time we are spending online and on social media. Take some time to look at the links within this article which will help you identify how your child might be at risk along with steps you can take to protect them.

Help and Support for Children, Young People, Parents and Families

Lockdown can be tough. We’re not used to being confined with the same people all the time. Relationships can strain. Children and young people’s behaviour can be challenging. It can be difficult to know how to have conversations about the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This page has links to resources that can help you, whether it’s a story to help explain what’s happening, advice about particular issues or a helpline for times of crisis. There is a wealth of help available to support you.