Wednesday, 25 March 2020

To all the parents who now find themselves home schooling

To all of you beautiful people who now find yourself home schooling your children, here are a few things I'd like you to know.

A few years ago I was in the same position as you. I found myself unwillingly home schooling my child. It wasn't something I wanted or I'd planned. Having a special needs child I was scared. I didn't know how I would cope with having him around me 24/7. I struggled to deal with his behaviour during the few hours that he wasn't at school. I was convinced that having him home all the time would send me insane. I was scared, stressed and had no idea how I was going to cope. 

Two days into our home schooling journey there was a moment when I realised it was all going to be okay. I'd told Chai repeatedly that he didn't have to go to school any more and he was starting to realise that it was true. We were at the park, the boys were playing and Chai threw back his head and laughed. In that moment I realised two things. Firstly, I couldn't remember the last time he'd laughed. Secondly, I knew it was going to be okay as he was a different child. He was happy. Once he realised he no longer had to deal with the stress of school he totally changed.

If you're finding that you are now home schooling your child, here's my advice. 

Take it easy. 

Don't stress. 

Have a week, two weeks or a month off, just play and enjoy your children.

You're now free. Free of routines, free from lunch prep, free from the morning stress of getting kids to school. Enjoy your freedom.

You don't need to spend six hours a day learning. We spend no more than two hours a day.

We do maths, english (reading and writing) and one other subject. 

They don't have to be sitting still to learn. They can write on the glass doors and windows whilst standing up. They can write in the sand. They can jump on the trampoline whilst you do maths. They can run around spelling words whilst you throw balls at them. 

Most learning can be made into a game.

Keep the learning fast paced and fun.

Take regular movement breaks. Get the kids to do an obstacle course or something that gets them moving. I make it up, they'll run around the table 3 times, skip around the lounge suite 5 times, jump on the spot ten times then run through the kitchen on their hands and feet 4 times. It's maths, it's movement and it's fun.

There are a lot of free resources available. This is a great one.

Youtube has a lot of books on it, so if your library is closed search Youtube and you'll probably be able to find someone reading that book.  

Rejoice in the knowledge that you can now stay in your pj's all day. 

Almost everything is learning. Cooking is maths and science. Playing minecraft is english and maths. Learning is everywhere. 

Have quiet time every afternoon. Get the kids to do a quiet activity for an hour every afternoon. We have our quiet time after lunch every day, it gives me time to rest and recharge. 

If you hate home schooling that's okay. Don't feel bad. There are days when I love home schooling and days when I hate it.  

Let the children guide their learning. I tell my boys what they need to learn and they tell me how they'd like to achieve that outcome. 

Use this time you've been granted. It's down time, time with your children. Love them, cuddle them, bond with them, remember how truly amazing they are.
You will get through this and it will be okay.

If you need any help or have any questions I'm happy to help so please reach out.

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