In this blog, Michael sets out strategies and resources to make home learning a successful experience for your child. The advice given here can be combined with online tuition to keep your child engaged and in good spirits while schools are closed.
Like many parents, you may be worried about the impact school closures will have on your child. Perhaps your son or daughter was expecting to take examinations this summer but has suddenly found themselves at a loose end with their exams cancelled. Perhaps you are concerned about the government’s new calculated grade system and feel that your child should still be keeping up with their key subjects. Perhaps you are just looking ahead to the likelihood that schools will not return until the autumn, thinking that you don’t want your child to fall behind in their learning.
Here is some advice, from a teacher, on how you can make home learning a successful experience:
Children are used to learning routines. From the moment they arrive in school, their learning is shaped by habitual expectations. If you can transfer some of these practices to the home, you can create a routine that is already familiar to your child.
Hopefully your child is receiving materials from their school to keep them occupied. In case this isn’t happening, or if you feel that your child needs extra support in some areas, there are plenty of educational resources available online.
Home Learning Packs
Home Learning Packs in a range of subjects are already available through the TES resource section. These packs have all been specifically designed by teachers and are therefore set up for children to work through independently.
The School Reading List is curated and reviewed by a small group of librarians, English teachers and parents who meet and discuss books that have worked well with different groups of children. You can find recommended books for all age groups, alongside fun competitions and exam resources. If you can, read the book your child chooses so that you can discuss it together.
For parents who want study activities that are focused on exam preparation, BBC bitesize is an excellent resource. Here you can find tasks and activities for different exam specifications alongside blogs and articles to support home learning.
News and Entertainment
Sometimes it is nice to have light-hearted activities for the whole family to participate in. First News is an award-winning national newspaper for UK children that aims to get students talking about topical issues in easy to understand and non-threatening ways. It also includes lots of fun activities such as entertainment, games, sports and puzzles.
Learning is better shared. In fact, research shows that collaborative and active learning are some of the most successful forms of study. So, if you can, make home learning a part of family life. You don’t need to be an expert to take an interest and ask questions about the concept your child is studying.
Hopefully, these strategies and resources can help you navigate your child’s home learning. If you combine this approach with some targeted tuition, then you can rest assured that your child is continuing to make good progress even when they’re not in school.