Making homeschool work for you

Posted April 24, 2020

Since schools closed in March, parents everywhere have been trying their best to keep their kids keep learning at home. Parenting can often feel like a juggling act anyway, and throwing in working from home too makes for quite a challenge. Recently we asked 700 parents how they’ve been doing it*, and here’s what they had to say.

Putting your “teacher” hat on

Out of the parents we surveyed, 45% said that they’d tried to teach their child something themselves. If you’re fluent in French or a master of Maths then helping your child with these might come easily to you, but if it’s been 20+ years since you sat your O Levels, you could struggle to help with the latest GCSEs.

When we asked parents what subjects they found the toughest to teach, 46% parents agreed that Maths was the hardest to help their child with. This was followed by English with 32% of the vote, and Chemistry with 30%. So if you really can’t tell your pathogens from your particles, how can you make sure your child doesn’t miss out?

How parents are finding help when they can’t teach a subject themselves

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53% booked an online tutor

Finding help from an expert can give your child the focused support they need. With MyTutor, all our tutors are from top UK unis, so they studied the same subjects as your child in the past few years. They can explain tricky subjects to your child in a way they’ll really understand, and their up-to-date curriculum knowledge means lessons are focused on what they need to learn.

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48% helped them find other online learning resources

Another great way to learn from home without you bending over backwards is to find online learning material they can use. From TedEd to BBC Bitesize to P.E. with Joe Wicks, you can find hours of fun and subject-specific resources for your kids to learn with. See our blog about setting up homeschooling for a longer list of top online learning resources.

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47% tried my best to teach them anyway

To any parents to have read up on a new subject to help their child, we salute you! Even if you’re not an expert, having a bash at something you’re not confident with can be a fun way to get more involved with your child’s education. If it’s causing more stress than it’s helping them though, you might want to give yourself a break with another option.

21% contacted their teachers

Although schools are all closed, most teachers are still working hard to bring regular learning material and activities to their pupils. If your child is really struggling with a subject, try reaching out to their teacher by email to see if they can offer some personalised advice.

11% found help from another family member or friend

Despite the UK being under lockdown, many families and communities are staying closely connected online. So while you might not know what was going on in Germany in 1526, someone in your community might know, and be more than happy to share their knowledge over a video chat. If you have kids of different ages at home, an older child could try helping their younger siblings with subjects they studied previously.

Beyond the curriculum

Keeping your child’s core learning is a concern for all parents at the moment, and if that’s all you manage to do you deserve a pat on the back. Many parents are also using this time to get them learning things they wouldn’t at school. From our survey, 51% said they’d been doing just that, with cooking, gardening and a new language the most popular extra-curricular subjects. Coding lessons, creative projects and musical instruments are also some common answers we saw, as well as “freestyle disco”, “army planning”, “ironing”, “entrepreneurship” and “debating” among many more original subjects! If you’d like to add something new to your child’s home learning, have a think about the skills that you’ve got to hand and have a go sharing your knowledge.

And don’t forget, whatever level of homeschooling you’re managing to provide at this tough time – parents, you’re doing great.

*Data from a MyTutor survey of 700 parents (customers and non-customers) in April 2020

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