To Homeschooling Parents
We're all Homeschooling Parents Now!
We have faced something of a once in a lifetime event. It still seems unreal that we were in a situation where most children were unable to go to school.
Of course, we hoped we wouldn’t reach this point, where home learning services have become a general need, but regrettably they are. Our children have a greater than normal need for our support to learn for themselves in our homes.
Even the government admitted that every child needs help to catch up. But they aren't going to fund it all. It is us up to you.
The My Own Tutor study programme has been used by thousands of children since we started in 2009. The service contains exercises and lessons in Maths, English and Science from year 1 to year 11 and exercises in all other subjects taught in schools.
We provide virtual classrooms should you wish to make use of those facilities and we can provide tutors for virtual classes in core subjects.
Our content is provided through an easy to use portal, where each student has their own login and work given to them on a weekly basis. Weekly reports are created at topic level for easy identification of progress and problem areas.
P.S. Please check out my easy to follow guide below.
Sam's Easy To Follow Guide to Home Schooling
(For parents new to all of this)
Now before you read my guidelines, I want you to reflect on something very important that all good teachers know: Every child has individual ways of learning. So, what works for one may not work for another. That means you may need to try different things before you get to the level that works best. And it includes a generous dose of patience.
Create Space To Work
Just as if you wanted to sit down and concentrate, you would make sure you limited the distractions. You don’t need a specific place in the house or a big desk because most of it is going to be in a book or ideally a laptop.
Allow your children different places to learn. They can lay on the ground, sit at a table – whatever works best for them. It just needs to be somewhere where your child can focus. That also means switch off the tele, radio and any other device.
However, there are some important safety and wellbeing matters for you to consider. If they use a laptop on their lap, please make sure they put a cushion between the device and their legs. They can get really hot. Secondly, be sensitive to their posture. They may not have been getting as much physical exercise as usual while schools were closed, so don’t create more problems for them in the future from being slumped in a bad position.
Make The Time
Now a whole bunch of people will tell you about structure. You can follow your school’s timetable structure throughout the week if that helps you to prevent disrupting your child’s routine. However, no matter how hard you try, your kids will push back doing extra lessons to start with. So, my approach is be flexible and study in small chunks.
In reality, especially in primary schools, teaching is broken into around 15 to 20 minute chunks. They aren’t much longer in secondary school.
The My Own Tutor activities are based on this. In my experience, you can’t expect your child to maintain focused concentration at home for any longer than that. Plan for one or two 20 minute sessions everyday and make sure there is a reward afterwards, such as game time, a snack or some kind of break.
Also remember, different students of different ages will complete tasks and grasp concepts at different rates, so, don’t be rigid.
You Don't Have To Be The Teacher
Now this may feel like some repetition of point four, but it is an important distinction to make for your child’s development and your own mental health.
When your child is finding a particular task difficult, your role is to be available to make suggestions. You have to let them to try do things themselves as much as possible.
Modern teachers help their students to take control of their own learning and not rely on anyone else. You may need to take your child back a step to reinforce a concept before they move onto a new one. An example might be in long division, where reinforcing decimal points, or even subtraction, needs to be revised first.
You’re Going To Need Some Tech
Emphasis on the “some.” Anything that needs more than a browser and a laptop connected to WiFi is overkill. You can even get a free Word Processor from Google, so don’t go and buy any software. Chrome, Firefox or Safari are all perfectly good web browsers.
Gen Up Yourself
Although your school will provide learning materials for your child as homework to catch up, they probably won’t offer anything for parents. Don’t let this daunt you. You are a facilitator rather than a replacement teacher. That means you’re there to supervise, not do the tasks for them or give them answers.
If you’re unsure, ask your child’s teacher for some guidance, specifically 'what outcomes they are looking for' from the work they have set. In simplest form, outcomes are the goals your child is expected to achieve at a certain level.
Your teacher can suggest ways your child will show their achievements for any given level. You can then at least make sure your child is working towards what is expected of them, even if they can’t complete all of the homework.
The teacher can take care of the remedial work at school. You can share your My Own Tutor reports with the teacher so that ey can see extra information on your child's progress.
Kids Need a Comfort Zone
Home schooling is brilliant because it can be focused on what your own child needs.
As long as your child can focus and be safe, the learning that will take place can be limitless. So, back to my very first point, children learn in different ways and finding what that is, will take a lot of your patience.
If the course work is getting on top of you think of other ways your child could learn. They can undertake projects like making a model or a jigsaw, keeping a diary or drawing what they see outside every day.
And if all else fails, the one fallback that will never fail your child will be developing a love for reading. A child that can read well will succeed in all learning areas, no matter how long they don’t physically go into school.