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Home Schooling - advice for parents who have been thrown this curveball

Home Schooling-an educational method I have never personally considered-has been thrust upon us all in light of Covid-19 restrictions. Thrown into this unfamiliar situation and given a new job title all at once leads to many questions for individuals involved:

● Do I have to follow a routine with my kids? ● Am I supposed to teach each subject every day? ● How am I supposed to help my child in maths when I don’t get it myself?! ● When am I supposed to get my own work done?

I imagine some of these questions sound familiar? My sister recently commented ‘It’s ok for you, you know what to do-you’re a teacher!’ I told her I too have questions-this situation is just as alien to me. Also, I am sure my nephews are relieved their mum is not a teacher.. (my own kids were heard saying ‘at least your home school teacher isn’t a teacher in REAL life like ours is’!)

One thing for sure is that children benefit from some kind of routine. This doesn’t mean you have to set a school bell tone on your phone at 9am on the dot each day, but it does help to have a bit of a schedule. It could be something as simple as this routine that I created for us to follow:


I have allowed gaps for snack, morning exercise (a video, walk the dog, yoga?), housework, lunch, outdoor exercise, and ‘down’ time.


Photo courtesy of Joanna Begard

When I asked friends what is working for them, here are some of the tips they shared: ● Make sure the kids are dressed before starting school work ● Up at 8am each day (same time each day) ● At least 1 hour of exercise each day ● Structure..the kids need to know the routine ● Take breaks (kids as well as yourself!) ● Try to stick to school hours ● Create ‘to do’ list for the kids to help keep them focused ● Try to make it interesting & fun! ● Zoom calls with friends at end of school work (older kids) ● Use everyday items to help explain things in Maths And my favourite tip, which I second ‘have Ooooooodles of patience!’

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