Guidance to help create a positive learning environment at home.
Be realistic about what you can do
- You're not expected to become teachers and your children aren't expected to learn as they do in school. Simply providing your children with some structure at home will help them to adapt. Use the tips below to help you make this work for your household.
- Experiment in the first couple of weeks, then take stock. What's working and what isn't? Ask your children, involve them too.
- Take care of your own health and wellbeing. This will be new for your entire household, so give it time to settle. Take a look at the links at the end of this factsheet for some advice on mental health and wellbeing.
Keep to a timetable wherever possible
- Create and stick to a routine if you can. This is what children are used to. For example, eat breakfast at the same time and make sure they're dressed before starting the ‘school’ day – avoid staying in pyjamas!
- Involve your children in setting the timetable where possible. It’s a great opportunity for them to manage their own time better and it’ll give them ownership.
- Check in with your children and try to keep to the timetable, but be flexible. If a task/activity is going well or they want more time, let it extend where possible.
- If you have more than 1 child at home, consider combining their timetables. For example, they might exercise and do maths together – see what works for your household.
- Distinguish between weekdays, weekends and holidays to separate school life and home life.
Make time for exercise and breaks throughout the day
- Try to do some physical exercise everyday. It is recommended for primary aged children to do at least an hour a day.
- If you have a garden, use it regularly. If you don’t, try to get out once a day as permitted by the government (households can be together outdoors but 2 metres apart from others)
Other activities to keep children engaged throughout the day
- Where you have more freedom in the timetable, make time for other activities. Add some creative time or watch a dance video to get the heart-rate going
- Get your children to write postcards to their grandparents or to pen pals
- Ask grandparents to listen to your children read on FaceTime (or ask grandparents to read to younger children)
- Give them chores to do so they feel more responsible about the daily routine at home
- Ask them to help you cook and bake
- Accept that they'll probably watch more TV/spend time on their phone – that's ok but you might want to set/agree some screen time limit
- Take this time to have a go at learning some key life skills – Click here for a few ideas
Establishing any routine can feel overwhelming and hard work at first, but once your expectations are shared and agreed with you child/ children things should run more smoothly and happily.
Mindfulness and wellbeing – it is important to make sure everyone is ok.
- Check in on your class pages to find some mindful activities you could do for your well-being.
- Remember to talk with the people at home if you have any concerns or worries.
We hope this helps answer some of your questions – please contact us if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org