Gordon Harvey, MPS Society Trustee and father of one, shares his tips for getting the most out of homeschooling as part of the #WeeklyWebinarSeries.
Many of us have been asked at the moment to homeschool our children, something that we didn’t really train for nor plan for, so what we wanted to do was to share some thoughts that we’ve had as parents but also from our friends and colleagues as to what they have learnt. Some of these tips might be useful, some of them might not, they may just help you think about what you could do with your children.
01. Change your working day
Some of our friends have split their working day, so one parent will focus on schooling in the morning, while the other one focuses on their job, then swap over in the afternoon. If your employer will allow it, perhaps alter your day a little bit, so you work in the morning, have a longer break at lunchtime where you can focus on the kids and then continue your work in the afternoon and into the early evening. Bearing in mind we need to make sure there is a balance between our work and our home life, particularly at this time.
02. Short bursts
Small children are notorious for not paying attention for long periods of time, so perhaps look at doing small sections, maybe three 30 minute chunks during the morning, with a break in between, go out and enjoy the garden, have playtime with them. It’s a good excuse to get a little bit of sunshine.
03. Share the learning
If you’ve got older children, consider maybe using FaceTime so they can learn with their friends and have a shared experience, it’s a little bit more social and might help them pay attention, or if they are doing something that involved group work it could make it a little more interesting.
04. Be flexible
If their teacher has set them some work, maybe some art homework for example, and your child doesn’t want to colour in the picture they have been given but wants to colour in their own picture, for me that’s ok, they are doing and learning as best they can and enjoying themselves at the same time rather than trying to make it a chore to force them to colour in a particular picture their teacher has set. It might be worth just checking with their teacher to make sure it’s not an important piece of homework or course work, just to make sure it doesn’t cause any challenges later on.
05. Video bombing
And finally, we all know we are on video conferences a lot more than perhaps we ever have been and your kids walk in or the cat walks across your computer screen. Introduce them to those that you are talking to and they’ll soon get bored and move on. It's lovely to see people’s families and we all in this and so everybody is having to face these new challenges of kids wandering in, wanting a drink or their socks putting on when you’re in the middle of an important call. And hopefully, most people will understand.
Anyways, as I say do the best that you can, Ofsted aren’t going to come round and review you, because everybody knows that this is an interesting time and everyone is doing the best they can.
With thanks to Gordon Harvey for producing this video.
Find more support, information and resources to help you with social distancing and coronavirus if you are living with MPS, Fabry or a related disease visit our dedicated COVID-19 pages. Or you can follow our weekly Wednesday webinars series here.
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