Since UK schools closed in March, parents across the UK have found themselves thrown in the deep end with homeschooling. Suddenly taking on the job of teacher, plus working from home and managing everyone’s emotional different needs at home is a lot to say the least. We’ve seen lots of different approaches, and the truth is there’s no one correct way to manage everything at the moment. The right approach is the one that works best for you and your child. Keep reading to see if you can find your homeschooling style – or one you’d like to try – in the list below.
For this parent, no subject is off-limits for them to teach – or try to. Not a Maths maestro? No problem. They’ll study all night until they’re ready to tutor their child in it. With their teacher hat firmly on, their kids can expect a full weekly schedule of lessons covering every corner of the school curriculum. We salute their dedication, and hope they catch a break too!
Some parents have taken lockdown as a chance to teach their kids some life skills that aren’t on the curriculum. Budgeting, D.I.Y., cooking, cleaning and gardening all keep kids busy and set them up for life.
With all the changes and challenges that covid-19 has thrown our way, for these parents, keeping their kids calm and emotionally well is the priority above all else. They might try yoga and meditation to keep everyone zen, or gardening, art projects and long walks where possible. Some focused learning in subjects they enjoy also boosts their mood by giving them a sense of achievement, helping them feel less anxious about going back to school. Let me hear you say ommmmmmm.
For families with more than one parent at home, teamwork makes the dream work. This sort of approach is the most relevant when the kids are younger and need supervision. These parents split up the weekly schedule by giving each other shifts, so one might look after the kids in the morning while the other works, and then swap over in the afternoon. Depending on different parents’ passions and knowledge, they’ll split up different subjects between them too. Both get to keep working, and the kids don’t end up giving each other haircuts.
For parents who want to keep their kids learning but don’t have time – or the expertise – to teach themselves, many keep everything going by outsourcing to an expert. With one-to-one online tuition, kids get to learn from a dedicated tutor who knows the school curriculum. Parents don’t need to read up on long-forgotten subjects, and with MyTutor, they get the fun of talking to a tutor who’s at a top UK uni and just a few years older. Sorted.
Some savvy mums and dads out there see time as something that can be used strategically. Heard of the 4-hour work week? How about the 4-hour school timetable. Instead of doing a copy and paste job with the school day, these guys know that students can learn more efficiently on their own rather than in class. They might prioritise just core subjects or what their child enjoys most to keep education on track without overdoing it. With just a few hours of focused learning every week, kids can spend the rest of their time doing extra-curricular learning or other home projects that keep them happy and busy.
Although everyone is staying at home at the moment, many communities and families are more connected than ever. Lots of parents have reached out to their extended families, school Whatsapp groups, community group chats, friends and neighbours to get help and advice for homeschooling their kids. An uncle who’s a Maths whizz doubles very well as a tutor for weekly lessons on Zoom. Grandparents isolating in their home can share recipes, stories and even history lessons on video chat too. Best of all, staying in touch with other parents provides somewhere to swap tips, favourite learning resources and a good old place to vent when things feel tricky.
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