Monday, 16 March 2020

When you unexpectedly have children learning at home

In this pandemic, some countries have already closed schools and others are likely to close very soon. These are just a few ideas which may make learning at home easier.

First, though, please don't think that this is like usual home education. Usually, home educators go out, see friends and go to groups and classes. This is something that we will miss too. In many ways this situation is a caricature of usual home schooling.

Despite this, we are at an advantage in that we have a pattern to our day and resources at home. I know that most schools will be sending work home and teaching remotely so it won't be necessary to set up a curriculum, however, there will be much, much more time to fill with no journeys to school, no after school clubs and no playdates.

These are some ideas which help shape our days plus some extra resources.

  • Morning Time. We always start with Morning Time. We include prayer, read alouds, Bible memory work and sing a hymn, Our read alouds include a missionary biography and a chapter from a history book. This is an ideal time to read those books aloud that you have always intended to read. We have just finished making a homophone sheet where we added a homophone and illustration each day.
  • A set order. We always have English time then a break, followed by maths. The afternoon is a bit more varied. There isn't anything special about our order except that it means that we all know what is happening next and there is less argument about unpopular subjects. 
  • Reading time. 30 minutes after lunch for everyone's sanity!
  • Usually, we always go outside.
    I don't know how much this will have to alter but even a few minutes in a small garden will help. Swingball or a chalked hopscotch can be done in a small area.
  • Something fun. This depends on the age of children. Ideas are a board game, poetry tea,
     a film and educational treasure hunt. The prize for the treasure hunt only needs to be small. The clues don't have to be complicated.  We have used treasure hunts for learning tables with choices for answers. The right answer goes to the next clue!
Just a few ideas for resources. These are all free
Please do add other ideas. We all need to encourage each other in these challenging times.

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  1. Thank you Sarah, this is helpful even though we home educate already!
    A few other things that might work:
    - Skype or FaceTime with a friend. The girls are keen to do this to see friends as we can’t meet up
    - fun cleaning, the lively boy loves being let loose with a feather duster and isn’t that bad at it now! We sometimes do timed cleaning who can do it the faster wins a sweet etc
    - pick an overseas pastor to pray for during each week and learn about the country, colour in the flag, learn a few words in the language, watch a documentary about it, make a food dish from that country and pray especially for them
    - extended family devotions, learning more hymns together. I guess that’s more morning time though.
    - getting the children involved more cooking each meal alongside parent
    - no excuse for no time for music practise 😉 if they learn an instrument!

    Twinkl is really good we have got lots of free useful things from there for chemistry recently.
    Will miss seeing you on Fridays and Sundays, send our love to the children
    Emma xx

    1. Thank you for this and it was good to talk to your family yesterday. We are very thankful for the internet.
      I like the idea of focusing on an overseas pastor. That is being added into our timetable for next week. Making food from another country will definitely go down well here although it might take a bit of inventiveness at present. Using inventiveness is no bad thing though!