Families all over the country are celebrating today as we prepare for schools to go back tomorrow. It has no doubt been a trying period for parents everywhere, and a sigh of relief can be heard far and wide. However, it’s clear that some consequences from home-schooling and the obstacles that come with it must be anticipated. Teaching a classroom full of students from a screen without proper experience and limited resources to adequately engage the material, plus only so much time and energy from occupied parents does not promise a full and enriching experience for these students. In order to anticipate the effects of home-schooling for this long, and for ideas on how to cope with them, our tutors Longina, Lilliana and Nirvasha offer their guidance.
If you notice trouble or shortcomings with Maths from your child, get as much information as early as possible and immediately start making plans to help. Be positive, make maths fun and practice every day. Practice and repetition is key when getting familiar with formulas and maths processes that may not have stuck the first time around. Using maths in everyday life is a fun way to help children understand the “point”. This can include cooking, measuring relative heights and volumes of buildings around the city, or using money and making change at the shops.
If you notice your child struggling with English, the most important thing is your passion for the language; make sure your child can see this. Your child will need a lot of encouragement and praise. Be gentle and patient. Maybe your child needs more time to learn and absorb new information. Your child will learn to speak, read, and write English in their own time. Reading more is the number one way to improve performance in English. Make sure to ready with your child; make time at bedtime and at the weekends and take time at mealtimes to discuss what they are reading and ask questions about what is happening in the story and how they feel about it.
If you are struggling to get into a routine at home, or change it up when school resumes, build a daily programme that functions best for your family. Choose times that are convenient for the whole family and be sure that everyone knows what and when something will happen. From the beginning, teach the ability to wait.
If you are struggling with your child’s focus and concentration, accept that your child can have a bad day but motivate and engage them as quickly as you can. Start by thinking about how you remember things. Use strategies that will involve taking a more active approach to learning.
If you are struggling with your child’s behaviour, observe your child carefully, look for body language. Is something too difficult, too boring, or too easy? Your child may experience frustration and anger. Your child will need your help.
Engage with your child’s learning, listen, and respect their needs.
If you are struggling to remove your child from screens (laptops/ iPads etc), children respond well to routine and repetition. Establish clear boundaries. Introduce a rule where there are no electronic devices after a certain time. Find something new where your child can become deeply engaged.
If you are struggling to develop your child’s communication and language, sing songs and rhymes, read stories, and ask your child to repeat words and phrases. Ask open questions. Play with your child using short instructions that your child can understand. Communicate verbally, but at the same time establish non-verbal ways of communicating with your child.
If you are struggling with your own mental health, you are not on your own. Speak with your family member or a friend. Do not be afraid to contact your GP or a therapist. Concentrate on the present day.
Students and parents should practise being kind to themselves. Going back to school after months of social distancing and online learning, and under the conditions we find ourselves in at this moment, can create emotional turmoil for everyone – that includes students, parents and teachers. And if you’ve felt overwhelmed or worried about schools reopening, that’s okay. It’s entirely normal.
So be kind to yourself and also to the people around you. Make sure you:
- Build in time for activities you find de-stressing
- Get some exercise (even if that’s just walking)
- Listen to yourself and take some time alone, if you need it
- Reconnect with your friends and teachers and thank them for all their hard work during these past few months.
- Discuss any worries or anxiety about exams with your teachers or your school´s pastoral care team- they are there to help!
- Focus on the positives of the lockdown such as increased confidence with online learning, more time spent together as a family, and less money spent on activities out of the house!
- Look forward to the promising warmer weather!
For more information on how Longina, Lilliana or Nirvasha can help your family or to speak to our team about other resources we have available to support you, please call 0207 034 0800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.