Many parents in the UK are now faced with an unprecedented challenge - keeping their children occupied and engaged with their education from home. It is now essential for parents to support their child's learning from home for the foreseeable future, even with the school subjects they don’t like.
For younger children, especially, one effective tool for doing this is to ensure that different areas of the house correlate to different subjects. If you have a garden, this is a great place for PE lessons to take place.
For those core subjects, a separate desk in one corner of the house will help kids focus. Other useful life skills can also be taught during this time at home, such as basic cooking skills.
For older children, having their own space in the house where they can work, away from their bedroom, will also help to set good work habits.
Putting up signs can help, too - whether they be subject signs for different areas of the house, or signs with a few key facts on, similar to posters that might be found in the classroom. Getting kids to help with these displays will also be beneficial and seeing their work on the walls will be a source of motivation.
Here, Nicola Anderson, Head of Customer Support at leading online tutoring service, MyTutor, provides her tips to reassure parents at this time, and advises on how they can keep helping their children learn while also keeping their homes as harmonious as possible.
Set good habits around phone use - and have honest conversations
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 make sure to have honest conversations with them about their mood.
Organise your days - and make sure to go outside
Without the structure of a work or school day, and without the engagement of peers, motivation and energy can take a dive.
Create a timetable that will work for both you and your child, covering their subjects and your own workload. Divide up periods of work and study with active breaks.
Make sure that you and your child keep active, go outside, eat meals at the appropriate times, and have offline conversations.
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.
If you feel unable to help your child study while also dealing with your own workload, it is worth finding an online tutor who can help your child fill in any gaps in their knowledge.
Online lessons are like having a face-to-face video 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.