The coronavirus crisis has brought about a turn of events no-one could have predicted, with many parents facing the prospect of homeschooling their children over the coming months.
I have two children aged 9 (Year 4) and 11 (Year 6) and both have very different personalities, learning needs and styles. They don’t always get along either so it’s not going to be easy but I am ready for the challenge!
I thought I might keep a daily diary of our ‘home learning’ efforts and activities, both as a record for us and also to share what we are doing with other parents in the same boat.
I know that there is no right or wrong home learning style. Some of you will pursue a more structured routine and others will keep it informal and relaxed. It depends on the family, the children involved, the circumstances and also what we feel is important for children to learn will differ from parent to parent.
So how I will be doing it may be very different from how you will be doing it and that’s okay!
I know also that while I may call it ‘homeschooling’, it is not homeschooling in the strictest sense of the word; ‘real’ homeschooling would often involve regular meet-ups with other homeschooling families and educational trips out and obviously this is not a possibility for any of us at the moment.
So, here are my plans and aims of homeschooling my children.
- Keep it simple – I figure that if I keep a fairly flexible, uncomplicated homeschool routine I am more likely to stick to it long-term!
- Plan ahead – I will have a basic plan of what we are going to cover each day.
- Keep to a regular routine – especially important for kids at the moment and structure will hopefully help them get into the rhythm of things.
- Do it in short chunks – it’s not always going to be easy so each learning activity will be in short chunks (probably no longer than half an hour) and we will have regular breaks, including time outside.
- Keep it fun! I aim to cover topics which my kids should hopefully find interesting. I also want to do nature and history walks!
We received the following guidance and information from my children’s school, including what subjects to cover and how many times a week and for how long.
- Reading for pleasure – at least 30 minutes a day
- Reading comprehension – At least 30 minutes 3X per week
- Maths – At least 30 minutes every day
- Project task – 1 hour 3X a week
- Spelling – At least 15 minutes every day
I will be using this as a brief guide and a weekly checklist to check I am covering the fundamentals.
Over the next few weeks I plan to share our daily ‘home learning’ activities with pictures so do follow if you think this might be helpful!