Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us around the world are staying at home. Staying at home helps stop the spread of the virus and will help life get back to normal as quickly as possible.
It is a scary and uncertain time for everyone and on top of this many of us are expected to home school our children to keep their learning up to date.
Life has changed drastically for many people. Whether it’s social distancing when you go to the supermarket, working from home, not being able to hug your family members or home schooling your children, 2020 feels very different.
If you have little ones that are now off school, it is important that they keep learning whilst staying at home, even if this is not in the traditional way! Understandably, parents are usually not teachers and there are a lot of other factors to juggle at the same time. So don’t put pressure on yourself to be the best teacher in the world.
And remember that learning life skills and having fun is just as important.
Here are a few tips on how to keep learning whilst staying safe at home.
1) Stick to a routine (as much as you can)
A routine can help everyone stay busy and happy at home. Keeping your kids in a somewhat normal routine will help them know when it is time to work and when they can play. Sticking to a routine will keep them in the right frame of mind for when they do go back to school.
Plan your week out with different topics each day and make sure you schedule breaks, lunch and playtime. By planning ahead of time you will be able to help increase productivity and keep learning whilst staying safe at home.
A plan will also help your children know when their favourite, or not so favourite subjects are. Schedule time to not only learn the basics with paper and pencil but more fun and creative activities such as arts and crafts, and cooking. By having a weekly plan, your children will be more motivated to get more basic work out of the way so that they can enjoy fun activities.
2) Keep them active
Keeping your children active is essential to keep everyone happy and healthy. You might have to stay at home right now but you can make the most of your daily outdoor exercise as well as exercising indoors at home. Whether you have a back garden, live close to the beach or a park, or you can walk to the shops, every little will help.
Plan exercises to keep your children active and to help break up their day, let them get some fresh air away from their screens and to blow off some steam. You can quite easily create fun games that will help your children learn whilst staying active. Design some activities that meet your children’s curriculum so they can stay active and test their memory and knowledge of school subjects at the same time. All in the comfort of your living room or back garden!
For example, get a bean bag and 3 hula hoops. Place 3 possible answers for a Science or Maths question in each hula hoop. Ask your children to do 10 star jumps then answer the question by throwing the bean bag in the corresponding hula hoop. Create several rounds and use a tasty snack as an incentive of completing the game! You can also plan PE lessons and create your own home gym, or watch a YouTube video like Joe Wicks who is live streaming PE lessons for children.
3) Use the internet
The internet is many peoples best friend during the lockdown. There are so many resources online that you can use to help keep your children learning from home. Print out colouring-in and question sheets for a range of subjects such as geography and history to simple Maths and English. You could also watch online videos for remote learning available for children of all ages.
As tragic as this pandemic is, people from around the world have come together to help one another. There is so much great content online that people have created to help those home schooling during the pandemic. Check out some great resources including BBC Bitesize, Twinkl, Scholastic Home learning packs, and of course Geo Journey. Whether your child has just started school or is about to finish primary school, there is so much content online for you to access and teach your children, print for your children to work on, or let your children access online.
4) Have fun
Remember, as crazy as the world may seem, you’re doing your best. No one could have predicted that ‘normal’ life would look this at the start of 2020 and so it is important that you try to have fun whilst staying at home and learning. There are so many ways to have fun at home whilst learning and also after the home-schooling day. On sunny days, get outside for fresh air, enjoy a walk, go on a family bike ride, have a picnic or bbq in your garden, and take some time to have fun whilst staying at home.
Whilst indoors, create treasure hunts or quizzes for your family so you can learn and have fun at the same time. There are plenty of things to do at home that are both educational and fun such as science experiments, arts and crafts, baking and home cooking.
A subscription with Geo Journey is a great way for your children to have fun whilst learning at home. With the help of Geo the owl and Atlas the cute puppy, your children will learn about countries around the world with fun facts, activity sheets, passport and map, and a souvenir from the country of the month.
Each month they’ll receive an update from Geo and Atlas on their travels around the world, teaching your children new things about different countries. This is the perfect way for your little one to become a world traveller without leaving the house!
5) Take breaks
It is important that you try to take plenty of breaks when you are home schooling children. Taking small breaks often will benefit you and your children. You can take productive breaks to move away from schoolwork and the screen to exercise, have a snack, or bake. Breaking up the day with short breaks will help keep your children motivated and productive.
There are plenty of ways to keep learning whilst staying at home. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be the best home-school teacher. Do your best and don’t feel guilty for making the most of the free resources online. Take breaks often, find new hobbies from home and get plenty of fresh air.