Establish a Successful Home Learning Routine
Home schooling has become a necessity once more. Are you struggling to get your kid’s focused on their work and motivated to complete it?
Routines are crucial for educational success. School days are very structured and teachers create weekly timetables of lessons; children know which lessons they have and when. A routine helps your little learners know what to expect and leaves no room for unwanted surprises and subsequent unhappy faces.
Our top tips aim to help you to establish a home learning routine as well as suggestions on how to structure your day, striking the correct balance between learning and free time.
The first step in successfully building a home schooling routine is to draw up a timetable. A timetable helps you to organise your day and helps to prepare your kids for the day ahead. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find the timings don’t quite work out; it is trial and error. Rather than assigning specific times, simply break the timetable up into slots, and aim for around 30 minutes for each slot. You will need to adjust the timetable to suit your lifestyle and your responsibilities. Home schooling can be difficult to fit around daily lives and juggling will be necessary. But, once you are in the swing of things, the timetable will make home learning far easier and your children will likely be more focused and motivated to complete their work. Give kids some autonomy over their timetable and always sit down and share the timetable with them. Try to stay within school hours; for example, do not continue lessons until 6pm.
When leading lessons set by your child’s teacher, ensure you share the learning objectives first. This will help kids to understand what they are going to be doing. Throughout the lesson, check how your kids are doing, asking questions as necessary to check their understanding. When your child finishes the piece of work make time to discuss it and ask them to rate how challenging they found the task. This could be done using a traffic light system – red for difficult, amber for moderate and green for easy! Most teachers will check and mark work submitted online. However, if you are planning and teaching your own lessons then make sure you check the work to see if your little learner understood the task.
Regular brain breaks are vital! Home learning is a different ballgame to classroom teaching. Ultimately, kids tend to associate home with fun and relaxation after a day at school. Schedule 10 minute brain breaks every hour as well as a half hour ‘break time’ and an hour for lunch. Make sure your kids are eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with healthy snacks in between.
Don’t fight a losing battle. If your child is finding the work too challenging or is becoming upset and frustrated, take a break or try a different task. Be sure to inform your kid’s teacher about any topics they find difficult or even too easy! You can always re-visit tasks later.
Make time for outdoor play and exercise. It is important for kids to have fresh air and the opportunity to run around, play some games and burn energy. Utilise your garden during lockdown or, if you don’t have one, visit a local green space which is ideally within walking distance of your home. Outdoor play and exploration are perfect for brain breaks!
Many companies are providing free resources to support home learning. Use the internet to find a wealth of resources at your finger tips. Jaques of London have launched their Mini Minds Hub which comprises of a range of fun and free activities packed full of educational benefits for kids.
Ensure lessons, such as art, gardening and cooking, are incorporated into your home-school routine. These activities are fun as well as helping to build essential life skills and are a great outlet for creativity and experimentation.
Reward the good! Make sure your kids know that their hard work has been noticed. Positive reinforcement methods, such as reward jars and star charts, are great as kids can physically see their good behaviour being rewarded. When using a marble reward jar, reward your kids once it is full. The reward should be something simple but special, such as allowing them to choose the family board game or choosing an activity, such as a mini beast hunt or cooking a pizza from scratch!
Make time for play! Play has numerous benefits for childhood development and should not be underestimated.
Have fun with home-schooling. Finding positivity during difficult times boosts morale and motivation. Follow the tips and home-schooling will become a breeze.
Check out our Let’s Learn range of toys and games; perfect for home-schooling!