Marie is a secondary English teacher and content writer for Beyond – in this blog, she outlines how she will be managing time at home and looking after her primary school-aged son and daughter with a mixture of home learning, activities and trying keep everyone busy!
If your kids are anything like mine, if left to their own devices, they would absorb the hours not in school with a mixture of YouTube, Netflix, Minecraft and Lego. The thought of them being at home all day every day is, to be honest, a bit daunting. My son needs a certain amount of physical exercise daily otherwise he’s just wild. My daughter is in year six and is petrified of not doing enough work to pass her SATS.
What’s going to happen to SATS? Who knows? And it’s the not knowing that’s so difficult. How long will schools be closed? If we go on lockdown, what does that mean? Anecdotally, many in Italy aren’t allowed to go beyond the confines of their garden without good reason!
So I’ve made a plan. I decided that our days will need structure to keep us sane and occupied. Bearing in mind my children are 10 and 8, so fairly independent. These are my ideas:
Even if this is following a workout video in the front room, running round the garden, doing a treasure hunt in the house under timed conditions, Twister – whatever. Even seeing how many times they can run up and down the stairs in two minutes would work. We all need to keep moving and my son needs to drain some energy off.
Timetable Your Week
I think if each day is planned, everyone knows what’s expected of them and screen time can be brought under control and used as incentive. Schedule everything that needs it. Exercise. Home learning. Cleaning the house.
Do Some Home Learning!
I figured they really should do some schoolwork and with the entirety of Twinkl and Beyond available for free at the moment, there’s loads to go at for all parents. It doesn’t have to be complicated and we have lots of resources you can use for home learning. You could choose your week’s activities together on a Monday morning and then each day do an hour on maths, an hour on English and then another hour on a subject they’re interested in. In our case, it will be dinosaurs and the Tudors all the way. Add in 20 minutes reading and you’re not doing so bad learning wise.
I’m going to set both kids a project on their favourite topic and get them to research it, write an info booklet and even a make PowerPoint. Let them go to town decorating and illustrating it – the stuff they don’t get to do much of in school. Then at least when they return, they can show something concrete that they’ve achieved.
I also think getting them involved in cooking could be good experience for all of us – weighing ingredients, working out quantities, cleaning up afterwards… it’s all valuable educationally. And great for me if they start prepping simple meals like sandwiches and beans on toast by themselves!
So that’s my plan so far, for the daytime at least. No doubt I will laugh hysterically at these words after two weeks of constant childcare as I give out sweets and iPads to keep them quiet… I’ll keep you updated!
We have a selection of great resources to support home learning. If you want to find out more about how Beyond are looking to help you, you can check out our ‘school closure’ blog here.