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Homeschooling and Juggling Life

I'm not sure the word 'unprecedented' has ever been used so much. We are all embarking on a period of very different set-ups at home, for the whole family. If you're all well (which I really hope you are) then you could be about to have children and adults all working in one space together for the foreseeable future. Although this situation means we're probably some of the lucky ones it has potential for a stressful juggling act. We've pulled together some top tips for keeping calm.

  • First of all remember to not put too much pressure on yourself and the kids - be realistic - if you don't get everything done, if some days it just doesn't happen then it's not the end of the world... this is a temporary situation.
  • Have a plan* - take a look at the whole week and create a timetable which fits in with you getting your work done while the kids have some down time and designated slots for you to help with their work.
  • Schedule family time - meals, a game or a walk together are important breaks.
  • Give children a list* of basic expectations for the day and some bonus tasks. Be realistic. Which tasks can they do alone and which do they need help with?
  • Most children don't sit still and focus for longer than 30 minutes (less for younger children) so break the day into chunks.
  • Have a break!
  • Schedule time for adults to have a break too - it's OK for the kids to watch TV while you hide away for a bit...
  • REWARDS! Children and adults need these. Children will repsond to stickers, marble jars or stars for completing tasks. They would get this at school and will need the encouragment even more at home.
  • Set up a space to work in, ideally seperate from the place they play: kitchen table, a desk or coffee table can all work.
  • Use technology to link with the outside world, but not all of the time. Drawing, writing, getting outside, role play, reading and relaxation are important to fit in between time on iPads or computers.
  • Fit in exercise! PE with Joe Wicks is on every day and the internet is full of yoga sessions and physical tasks.
  • Arrange Skype, Facetime, Zoom or Houseparty chats with friends and relatives.
  • Why not share a story - children can read their reading book aloud and send the video to a Grandparent - they'll be missing all of you.
  • This is the time for mindfulness - meditation, colouring, yoga and talking about our feelings.
  • Differentiate weekend from weekday - movie nights, family games, pizza night all have an important place.
  • Plan for free play - dress up, junk modelling, digging in the garden, Lego.
  • Try not to have the news and radio on (all of the time). Limit this to when the kids are in bed....they don't need to hear all of it. Newsround is great for filtered current affairs.
  • Use this as time to teach your children about community and looking after others - see if neighbours need help.
  • Share the chores out - children can sort socks, tidy bedrooms, sort recycling and sweep (for a little bit of pocket money)
  • Monitor the snacks - either have a home tuck shop to practise maths or a daily snack pot each.

None of us are perfect; this is new to everyone.

Above all: be kind, look after each other and take each day as it comes.

*TWINKL have a month's free membership - enter code UKTWINKLHELPS to access here. They have LOTS of resources ready for you to use.