Kids stuck at home? How to set-up homeschooling for your teen

Posted March 16, 2020

With the closure of UK schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak, you’ll probably be wondering how you’ll keep your children busy and keep their education on track. To help you make a plan and set up home learning for this period, we’ve pulled together list of how to support your child at home – and stop them climbing up the walls – in the coming weeks.

  1. Set up a space
  2. Keep healthy screen & social media habits
  3. Help them structure their days
  4. Find some online learning resources
  5. Look for online support
  6. Keep an extra eye on their mental health

1. Set up a space

The first thing to organise is a desk in a quiet corner of the house. Here your teen can keep their laptop, textbooks and notes – they’ll find it much easier to focus and the rest of the family can continue life as normal. Also, schools normally provide things like flashcards, exercise books and planners, so be ready to supply these yourself if necessary.

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Their own study space makes it much easier for teens to sit down and focus

2. Keep healthy screen and social media habits

Teens spend a lot of time on apps speaking with their friends anyway – and isolation will only increase their desire to communicate socially. While some communication will be positive for their mental health, the opposite is true when social media fuels feelings of isolation and anxiety. You’ll need to set some ground rules for how phones are used during the day, and keep an eye on your child’s mood.

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Taking time out from social media is a healthy step for mental health

3. Help them structure their days

Without the structure of the school day, and without the engagement of peers, motivation and energy can take a dive. Help your child set up a timetable that’ll work for them and covers the subjects they need. Divide up periods of study with active breaks. Make sure your child moves, goes outside, eats meals at the appropriate times and has offline conversations.

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If possible, staying active and getting fresh air can help reduce their anxiety

4. Find some online learning resources

You’re likely to run into situations where your child doesn’t understand some of their course content and you’re unable to help. In these situations, having some resources ready is wise. Look up the subject specifications for the exam boards your child is studying and bookmark any online resources that can help you out. We have lots of free online study resources for kids to use – 10,000 answers for GCSE, A Level and IB questions to be precise! Save My Exams and S-cool are also great resources for marking schemes and past papers.

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The internet has a huge stash of learning resources to help your teen – over 1 million kids have used ours!

5. Look for online support

Self-study is an incredibly hard skill to master and secondary school pupils may struggle without someone actively explaining concepts to them. It’s worth finding an online tutor who can help your child fill in any gaps in their knowledge. At MyTutor, we’re an online learning platform offering one-to-one tuition at GCSE, A Level and IB. Our handpicked tutors give personalised learning in over 40 subjects including online english lessons, online maths lessons and online science lessons. It really works too, and we see on average a whole grade’s improvement in 12 lessons.

Online lessons are like having a face-to-face Skype call with a tutor but with an interactive whiteboard on the screen too so students can upload documents and make notes. A tutor can keep students on track with the syllabus and give them a much-needed boost of confidence in what is a confusing and challenging time.

With online lessons, your teen can get expert one-to-one help from a friendly tutor

6. Keep an extra eye on their mental health

If you have to homeschool your child, don’t panic. We’re more set-up than ever before to manage a situation like this. Remember, lots of parents (about 50,000!) choose to homeschool their kids regardless of Coronavirus. What is important is to look out for signs that your child isn’t coping mentally with a home set-up. Despondency and withdrawal or anger and higher-than-usual levels of irritability can all point to stress. There are lots of great services you can call on for support such as Kooth and YoungMinds.

If you’d like to support your teen with a tutor, you can meet some for free with a 15-minute meeting. Have a browse for a tutor here or call 020 773 6024 and one of our tutor experts will help you find the perfect match.

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