Many of us are juggling home, school and work and for some that means keeping track of the curriculum and online lessons for more than one child. Sheina Wright, our Head of Prep, provides some thoughts and ideas that parents may find helpful when home schooling during lockdown.
1. Find a rhythm
We are creatures of habit, and yet our normal habits and routines have been hugely altered in recent weeks. Trying to establish and maintain a new rhythm, with similarities to what we are used to if possible, will undoubtedly help. Trying to keep to our everyday norms can help too, such as getting up and dressed in the morning, sitting at a table to work and not on the sofa, structuring learning in accordance to the school timetable and getting out of the house every day.
2. Separate work and play
As a child it’s often hard to compartmentalise and separate one activity from another. Therefore, it may be helpful to introduce an end of school day routine. Here are some ideas:
- Help your child feel organised. Have they handed in all the work they need to for the day? Are they prepared for tomorrow? They may find it helpful to write a to do list at the end of the day to help them start the next day afresh.
- Ask them to think about the day they’ve had. They may like to jot down a few thoughts about what went well and anything that didn’t go well before folding the note up and putting it away.
- Replace the school commute. Your child would ordinarily have a segway between school and home by means of a car or bus journey. So at the end of the day, you could pack everything up and go for a walk or have play in the garden before coming back into the house and recreating your return from school routine (I used to love tea and toast when I got home from school!).
3. Resources that to help you relax
There are many resources available to help us relax and unwind after a busy day of learning. Here are just a few of my personal favourites:
- BBC Sounds has both music and audio books free to download. If your little ones are having trouble sleeping, Sleepy Stories are a gentle help. If you are have trouble sleeping there are numerous classics texts for you to choose from in audio form. If music helps, The Mindful Mixes are great, particularly the one with classical music and the shipping forecast in the background!
- Exercise wise, Downdog is a fabulous yoga app with video instruction and music. They have now added Barre, Hiit and Meditation too.
- Put on your favourite song and shake off that desk muscle tiredness and create a shift in energy.
4. Take each day at a time
It can be overwhelming to look too far ahead, into the unknown, and it’s easy to get bogged down in thinking about what might be around the corner. Just focusing on today can make things more manageable. The small things add up, for the better or worse, so investing in small steps can make all the difference
5. Set reminders for positive habits
Self care is really important to ensure you’re not running on empty, therefore make sure your family makes regular time for the things you all enjoy doing – either together as a family or individual – be it running, walking, reading a book, playing a board game or chatting to friends virtually.
6. Look beyond lockdown
While it is beneficial to take each day at a time, it is also important to keep talking about life after lockdown. So as a family, you may want to discuss and sketch out plans for the things you would like to do together, the places you would like to go or the people you would like to visit, so that you have things to look forward to.
I hope some of these suggestions are a help. No-one in our Embley family is alone in this and we are here to provide support. Together, our community and well-being is stronger.