Over the last few months, due to COVID-19, I’ve built a little experience with home schooling. I’ve had the children crying, refusing to work. I’ve cried as a bad mother unable to get them to work and I’ve stood back and reflected, this is temporary it will be okay. Their teachers will sort it when they are back in school. Then I start my cycle again, I’m mum, they need to work, we need to do this together.
As a working mum with two wonderful children I am grateful to their teachers for the timetables and worksheets. Every day I try and get my eight year old to do Maths and English. They are subjects that with worksheets from White Rose Maths and Oak National Academy he can do without my help. Though, there are things that he will still be confused with and this is okay, we try and discuss it later. Tuesday’s and Fridays are my days off, so I try and schedule the learning that he will need more of my attention, on these days.
My daughter age six is working with daddy. but will often refuse. So, Saturday’s she is working with me. Hence, I now work a six-day week. This last Saturday she reduced me to tears as refused to write about a beach. To me it was interesting, to her she just wanted to play. I’m hoping it is because it was still technically school holidays. Though she has Monday’s off, so it was a fair deal.
Last weekend we had a lovely lesson learning about soil. With the help of You Tube videos and then getting muddy in the garden, my daughter enjoyed it.
Reduced to tears
So, who else has been reduced to tears by a child or children refusing to co-operate with home schooling? The feeling of not being good enough. I’m not a qualified teacher but I’m working my hardest to support them. One problem though is I’m enjoying it too much. Yes, mum needs to get the balance right and step back from doing things for them. They need to make mistakes and it’s not a competition.
The frustration of having learnt something but the child can’t remember it. Or the need to write poetry but the child refuses. If you have read my blog you will know that I have a passion for poetry. So, when my child refuses to write words that rhyme I get upset. Helicopter parent steps in, and I know this is not good. I’ve told my children that we need to work on their poetry together. I’ve always enjoyed making words rhyme.
If you are a parent feeling overwhelmed by it all, maybe look at what the school have set and then print off the timetable or create one. After that set yourself realistic goals. For example, I know my son is still playing on the IPad between 9.00 and 10.00, so it’s after 10.00 that I will mention school to him. I’m sorry but we have not done any Joe Wicks.
The children doing circuits around the garden on their bikes, playing football and climbing the garden fence is PE.
Here is our schedule. It is set more by the children than myself, and it is flexible.
10.00 – 10.30 – start home school – Maths and English
11.30 ish morning break – toast and a drink
12.00 – home school
13.15 – lunch time
14.15 – home school – Science, Geography, History – Subject work set
15.15 – 16.00 – finish school
I try and get English and maths completed in the morning. Then the more interesting work in the afternoon. Today we were learning about oceans and he coloured in a worksheet. He was happy with this plan.
Useful websites – some you may need to subscribe to.
Time Table Rock Stars – I purchased a family account, which is currently £6.00 annually. We have this through school, but on the family account I can adjust the tables that are asked. Their teacher changes the tables asked on the school account. On my daughter’s school account the questions are very limited. On the family account I’ve changed it to focus on the two times, five times and ten times tables.
Numbots – appears to only be available through your school at present.
You Tube – many educational videos.
Pinterest for design technology ideas – art and craft
Purple Mash – we have it through school
I’m sure there are many more that I’m not aware of. Please add others that you recommend in the comments.
To help consolidate work I have made videos of my children presenting their work with my tablet. I can recommend video merge app and Video panda compression app these are essential if you intend to email them to school or / and family. Video panda in my opinion is amazing. Video merge I’ve had a few issues, but have managed to join video in the end. The compression (and joining if necessary) might take a few hours but incredible results. For example, over 600mb reduced to under 20mb and still acceptable quality, (this is just my personal opinion).
Home learning essentials
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A few months ago I purchased two Amazon Kindle kids, They have been worth every penny as both children will read them. My son is unlikely to read a paperback book, but with the Kindle he can not see how long it is. He is now reading his way through the works of David Walliams.
If you are needing a new printer I can recommend a Mono laser printer. They work out less expensive as they do not need a colour cartridge. Mine is connected wirelessly across WIFI to my tablet.
To all COVID- 19 home schoolers – Remember the time now with our children is precious. If you feel you are failing at home schooling then don’t beat yourself up. Your children are possibly learning other skills. Is your child reading more? Whether it’s a magazine’s or their kindle. Are they Lego building and problem solving? Maybe, playing in the garden or helping around the house?
My daughter is creative. She refused to do her writing on Saturday but here is her cardboard box dolls house. She is learning in her own way.
Try and stay positive, try and not get angry and cry like I did last Saturday, it really isn’t worth it. I’m sure however successful we are with home schooling, we are all trying our best. All living with different situations and different stress. I hope this post has been in some way useful.
For more see Quarantine poetry, looking back on today