Follow our advice for a happy home during the school closures. You can do this!
This is probably going to be the most complicated time for most of us to juggle family life. Not only will your children not be at school, but you may also be trying to work from home whilst keeping the whole household busy to prevent boredom creeping in.
The advice we’re giving to our parents is – PLAN!
In this unusual situation, it’s natural to panic at first and wonder how you are going to get through the next few weeks, or even months. The philosophy of many parents is that if the children are happy and settled, then they are happy too. By planning how to keep your children busy and happy, you will more easily be able to plan the rest of your daily life throughout this self-isolation period.
In everyday life, children need to have time for learning, reading, self-play, playing with others, exercise and relaxation. If you are able to factor in all of these things, you will have a happy child who is fulfilled, despite not being at school.
How do you plan the day so that your children are fulfilled in all areas of their lives?
Our recommendation is for parents to rank the areas that are valued most by their children. For example, if they value their relaxation time or exercise the most, this should be a reward for later in the day, so they have something to look forward to and something to work towards.
We’re advising parents to get children’s learning time completed in the morning. Children’s minds are fresh from a good night’s sleep, and they can look forward to their rewards that will come later in the day. This will also help you to plan the rest of the day for your work and the chores that you need to get done.
How much learning should your children do at home?
The average school day is around six hours, however when you’re homeschooling, this doesn’t mean that children need to be educated for six hours. Our founder, Dr Stephen Curran, recommends two hours of academic work per day, with a short break in the middle. Allow an hour for maths (including times tables practice) and an hour for English. Children should also be reading with you or on their own for at least twenty minutes a day.
When your children are not doing academic work, you can easily create learning experiences in other parts of the day through games, exercise, self-time or even in relaxation.
To help your children with their academic work, we have over 120 titles dedicated to Key Stage 2 support (for children aged 7 to 11) and 11+ preparation. Parents use our range of English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reasoning materials for additional support at home and for homeschooling. Our range includes ‘How-to’ workbooks, testbooks and testpacks, which may be purchased individually or as large or small bundles, depending on the support needed for your child.
Our books are for parents too!
Our books are designed to support not only children, but also parents. It’s common for parents to be unfamiliar with the methodologies being taught at school, or to have forgotten how to tackle certain topics. Parents gain confidence in supporting their children’s education through our books. They simply work through each book with their child, and track their progress using the answers and progress charts provided at the back of the books. For every book a child completes, they will earn a certificate to recognise their fantastic achievement.
To find out more about our books and to place an order, visit our website: www.aepublications.co.uk (free delivery for orders over £15).
To help parents find educational, stimulating and fun things to do at home during self-isolation, here is a list of activities that don’t involve the TV, a tablet or a phone:
- Creative writing – encourage your child to write stories or a diary, or even create their very own magazine
- Playing board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, Payday, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit, Game of Life, Chess, Draughts, card games,
- Snakes and Ladders, Connect 4, Guess Who Jenga, Articulate
- Baking – great to keep children busy and create treats for the family
- Jigsaw puzzles (this helps with verbal reasoning if preparing for 11+ exams)
- Arts and crafts
- Grow flowers or vegetables in the garden, or in a pot on a windowsill
- Exercise competitions – see who can do the most star jumps, sit-ups, planks, etc.)
- Create a dance routine
- Sewing/knitting projects
- Create a board game
- Build a bug hotel in the garden
- Drama – challenge children to put on a show (could be an idea from their creative writing)
- Make a treasure hunt around the house or garden
- Find a cardboard box or use containers, sheets and towels to create a rocket, car, truck or den
- Play ball sports with a soft ball (don’t break anything!)
- Spend time with pets
- Create a funfair – design and build funfair games out of anything
- Test your children’s geography with a globe
- Make an assault course in the house or garden
- Play a memory game – place 15-20 items on a tray, look at them for 5 minutes and see who can remember the most when the tray is taken away
- Depending on their age, teach them some basic household tasks – dusting, ironing, vacuuming, etc.
- Write a song or learn the lyrics of a favourite song
- Make some musical instruments using the contents of the recycling box and play along to a tune