Since the 20th March parents up and down the country have been asking the same question “How do I home-school my children?”
For the last 2 months, families have been in lockdown at home while most classrooms stand empty, only some in use for keyworkers. Many children were sent home with homework packs to support their learning with many more having full timetables to complete online.
But with many parents not feeling confident in the realms of becoming their child’s substitute teacher and many more totally overwhelmed with the pressures of juggling working from home, we ask what the secret to this new life balance is?
With schools potentially remaining closed to the majority of pupils until September, how do you successfully create a school environment at home that children can thrive in and parents can survive in?
As many of us have come to appreciate, home-schooling is no easy task! It requires stamina, planning, some key office and stationery supplies as well as bags of patience as you juggle other demands. Below you will find some tips on honing your homeschooling as we hopefully approach the return of some normality in the months to come.
The Home Classroom
It’s possible that you might be teaching from a home office, a spare room or even the outdoors – weather permitting. Wherever you choose to base yourself, make sure it is a creative space. Try and keep it separate to the rest of the house, so that your children understand it’s not an extension of being at home.
Also, choose a room that is well lit, and has plenty of space for putting up creative artwork, notice boards or memo boards for instance.
Give due consideration to child-size desks and chairs to ensure your classroom is a comfortable, as well as a productive workspace for everyone.
The 'Substitute' Teacher
Depending on your teaching style, you’ll need a board of some kind to write and share ideas as your child’s stand-in tutor. Much like a traditional classroom, a shared whiteboard is a popular option as a focal point. This makes teaching easy by sharing information on the whiteboard which can be wiped clean after use.
If you have a small room, this is also a smart way of optimising space as small whiteboards and chalkboards can also be wall-mounted.
You've probably already used tons of pens, paper and exercise books in the last couple of months!
Why not modernise your home school and introduce reusable dry erase whiteboards that can be wall-mounted or used as a portable mini whiteboard.
For older students, an a4 whiteboard or whiteboard pad is a great tool for all kinds of activity – from quick maths to writing exercises. Or, for younger children, a dry erase magnetic whiteboard tile is a staple every household will benefit from. This not only has novelty value but is also an easy to use tool, encouraging little ones to learn to write. It comes in a host of colours too, so each child can have their own version.
Creativity is at the heart of any learning, so you’ll want to ignite and inspire ideas in your children while they learn. Whether you’re brainstorming, sharing ideas, coming up with plans, or creating a mood board, you’ll want to make it fun and interactive.
For instance, a mobile easel is a useful piece of equipment for quick jotting down of ideas – like storyboarding or learning new words. It also has dual use as a magnetic whiteboard easel, or you can easily attach a flipchart pad if you’d prefer to save your notes on paper.
If you have found yourself getting through reams of paper and refill pads at a fast pace consider an A4 whiteboard as part of your home school arsenal! Whatever stage your child is at, a whiteboard is a versatile way to jot down answers to quick homework or school questions and consolidate understanding. As they can be wiped clean easily, you can keep a steady and efficient pace of learning.