Are you one of the many parents homeschooling since schools closed? Do you have a sharpened sense of respect for the teaching profession? Are those long summer holidays teachers enjoy looking less of a perk and more of a necessity?
Well, fear not, here are some homeschooling tips for stressed-out parents.
1. Get into a routine
By now, as you’ve probably established, you have to set at least a rough timetable.
It’s tough when the 10-year-old gets up at 6.30am as usual and the 12-year-old rolls out of bed at 10am, but try to stick to a routine. Otherwise, the day ends up shapeless and people are still eating cornflakes at 11.30am.
Would they do this if school was open? No, they would not.
Wow, homeschooling went way better today with a schedule. Today has been a good reminder for how important a routine is.— Ashlee Stoeppler (@mominmovement) March 24, 2020
2. Do some PE
Next, get those little ones’ hearts pumping.
Joe Wicks has taken the nation by storm. He hosts an online PE session at 9am every school day on his YouTube Channel The Body Coach and, by lunchtime, Wednesday’s had been viewed more than 1.7m times.
Just try not to be jealous of his pristine living room.
3. Make a timetable
Now let ‘the learning’ begin. Start off with subjects that your child likes the most and once they have got going, sneak in bits they don’t like. Teachers advise you to break it up and not to try to do too much at once.
4. Get the right resources
Of course, there is a wealth of teaching materials online including Scoilnet, School Days, and Twinkle. For even more websites to entertain and educate your kids, click here.
In our series of Ask Me Anything's @RTEjr would like you to ask all the questions you have about Coronavirus. To answer them, Luke O'Neill, author of "The Great Irish Science Book" Ask your questions in the comments below this video.@laoneill111 @Gill_Books #COVID?19 pic.twitter.com/moaiyK9Lpb— RTÉjr (@RTEjr) March 23, 2020
5. Be creative
Make your own word searches, particularly around a topic they love. Get them cooking – it teaches numeracy, motor skills and patience. Encourage them to paint or draw something for a relative they cannot see, or plant some seeds and wait for them to grow.
6. Make snack time fun
Set up a tuck shop. Give your pupil a set daily amount to spend and make healthy items cheap and sugary snacks more pricey. They’ll learn to manage their expenditure and stop pestering you for sweets.
Remember, treats are vital to break up the day.
C19-induced home(not)schooling = constant snack requests throughout the day. I therefore co-produced a 'tuck shop' solution with the kids, where each child has a £1 daily virtual budget to spend. Choice and control for them + low hassle for me. #personalbudgets #virtualwallet pic.twitter.com/AB44f27cti— David Bowes (@deegeebowes) March 25, 2020
7. Factor in quiet periods
Younger members of your house could listen to an audiobook. David Walliams is releasing a free story every day. Everyone needs a break from each other.
Today's audio story from 'The World’s Worst Children’ is our 3rd of 30 delightfully dreadful tales, and is all about Grubby Gertrude. I hope you enjoy it and if you don’t you can’t have your money back because it is FREE. x #AudioElevenses— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) March 25, 2020
Click here to listen pic.twitter.com/QkZiW59tha
8. Start a diary
Encourage your child to express themselves in a journal, with words or drawings of how they feel.
This period will one day be taught in the history books and they will be able to pass on their diary explaining what they went through to their children and grandchildren one day.
9. Teach them about wildlife
What better time to look out a window and learn about birds? The RSPB has produced birdwatching sheets for young wildlife lovers. Set them a challenge over a set period to spot as many species as possible.
Alternatively, you could learn more about lions, tigers, elephants and penguins from Dublin Zoo with their new #dublinzoofun activity series where they release an activity workbook themed around one of the animals at Dublin Zoo.
These activity workbooks can be downloaded, printed and easily completed using the facts and information which can be found here and on Dublin Zoo's social media. Fun for all I think!
?? Animal Update ??— Dublin Zoo (@DublinZoo) March 25, 2020
The snow leopards, Amur tigers and Asian Lions are enjoying their lunch al fresco today! ?? pic.twitter.com/5tiX92lkUq
10. Be kind to yourself
Remember you are not a teacher, your home is not a school. These are unprecedented times. Take it easy on yourself and your children. They might not remember what you taught them during this time, but they might well recall how you handled it.
There needs to be a support group for all the parents homeschooling their kids realising today, for the first time, it wasn't the teacher’s fault afterall.— Jarlath Regan (@Jarlath) March 23, 2020
11. Watch TV
Yep, you read that right. Starting from Monday, 30th of March on RTÉ2, teachers on the RTÉ Home School Hub will present three short class segments aimed at 1st and 2nd class, 3rd and 4th class and 5th and 6th class. Classes will start each morning from 11am to 12pm, so plenty of time to get a solid breakfast in as well as PE with Joe Wicks.
#RTEHomeSchool launches this Monday! A daily, scheduled virtual classroom for all primary school kids. Watch it weekdays on #RTE2 from 11am, anytime on the @RTEPlayer and get all the resources at https://t.co/KSUgxxlRAu pic.twitter.com/pqkZgPu6jl— RTÉ2 (@RTE2) March 26, 2020