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  • 05 April 2020
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    Home-Schooling Tips from West Way

    West Way we thought we’d help out with some little tips that may help you with home-schooling your child / children during Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Suddenly Mum has become Miss. Dad’s about to be exposed for not knowing it all. And it seems Google doesn’t quite have the answers for your child’s homework. Just like that parents and guardians have suddenly become teachers due to the social distancing measures in place because of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). And with everything else to deal with, taking greater responsibility of your child’s education so suddenly, can be a bit overwhelming.

So, at West Way we thought we’d help out with some little tips that may help you with home-schooling your child / children. We’re no experts by any means but we just wanted to help out where we can. 

If you’ve got any tips of your own – feel free to send them in to marketing@westwaynissan.co.uk and we’ll share them on our social media channels to help out others and spread a little #coronakindness.

1. Make the most of free online educational resources

This sounds like a no-brainer because there’s so much choice. But that’s half the issue – there’s so much choice that it’s easy to get lost.

First, try and get in touch with your child’s school to see if they can recommend any online resources. Your school may even have an online portal of their own where you can access lesson plans, learning materials and assessments.

As for online resources, here’s some sites that could help:

  • Bitesize: It’s a classic educational site and for good reason. It’s got plenty of free resources for a wide range of age groups, across all subjects. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
  • CENTURY: This award-winning site is offering free English, maths and science courses during school closures. It’s also got a handy section for parents about Coronavirus that can help answer your child’s questions about the current situation. https://www.century.tech/
  • Twinkl: Don’t be fooled by the cute name, this site is a powerhouse of teacher-created resources which provides entire schemes of work, lesson plans but also thousands of free activity sheets to get creative such as build a car out of a plastic bottle, design your perfect playground, recipe cards, and other crafts. https://www.twinkl.co.uk/

These are just 3 which stood out to us – but there’s loads out there, just search based on subject and your child’s age to avoid being overwhelmed with results. And a tip within a tip: make the most of free trials, loads of educational sites are offering these due to the school closures.

2. Try to set a routine with your kid(s)

It’s important to maintain a sense of routine for productivity and more importantly mental well-being. Plus, it will save you from having to think of things on the spot to keep your child occupied.

But you don’t have to come up with this all by yourself – involve your child in putting together a weekly schedule. Ask them on what day they’d like to do each subject and whether they want to do it in the morning or afternoon. Making planning decisions like this is not only a key skill for your child to develop, but could also help them take ownership of sticking to that routine.

To help you do this, we’ve put together a Weekly Home-Schooling Routine template that you can fill in together with your child.

Some other tips to help you set a routine are:

  • Try to mirror their normal school day as much as possible for familiarity – such as the length of the lesson and number of breaks
  • Let your child learn at their own pace and what’s suited to their skill level – it will help their confidence, especially in these uncertain times
DOWNLOAD: Weekly Home-Schooling Routine template 

3. Create a clear, distraction-free workspace

This doesn’t have to be a dedicated and fully equipped home-schooling room. But more just a comfortable space for your child to sit and somewhere to do their work.

Even if it means clearing a space in the bedroom, living room or kitchen during “school hours” and then putting it back. In fact, this could even be beneficial as the process of putting the work-space together is a bit like the journey to school and gears your child up to be in the mind-frame for work.

No matter where this space is, here’s a few tips to create a good space for your child:
  • Clear as much clutter from the space as possible – that includes all toys, book and gadgets that your child doesn’t need for learning
  • However, make sure you do keep the things that might be needed within easy reach – such as craft materials and stationery - so there’s not risk of wandering off to find something and getting distracted
  • Only keep the screens your need – in the current climate, you almost can’t do without a PC or a tablet for online learning resources, but if you can make sure the TV isn’t in the space. And make sure smartphones are put away just as is expected at school.

4. Not all learning happens inside the classroom

Not all learning has to be academic! It’s just as important for your child to develop key life skills such as the following “how to” skills:
  • Look after personal hygiene and health – something that’s very important right now
  • What to do in an emergency – again something that’s very important right now
  • Make a few basic meals and use cooking appliances safely
  • Do household activities such as cleaning and the laundry
  • Look after a plant or the family pet
  • Save money and spend wisely
  • Manage time
  • Interact and socialise with others
  • Make decisions
  • Manage emotions in a healthy way

Learning practical life skills are just as important as academic ones so don’t overlook these in your child’s routine. There are plenty of resources online, we recommend searching on the web for practical life skills based on your child’s age to get suggestions of activities that you can do.

5. Don’t worry!

This one’s for you – the parent! The word “unprecedented” has been used a lot but it does sum the current environment very well. Don’t worry if your child isn’t learning every day as would be expected at school. The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in some uncertain and unsettling times so don’t feel like you’ve failed if you’re child hasn’t been 100% productive.

If your child has had fun and felt at ease during the day, then that’s all that matters and that is an achievement in itself. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

We hope that’s been useful for you – like we said, we’re not claiming to be experts, but we just wanted to help in a small way to spread some #coronakindness. If you do have some tips, send them in to marketing@westwaynissan.co.uk and we’ll share them on our social channels. See below for some further links to resources that you may find useful.

Our top articles, guides and resources for home-schooling your kids:

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