Parents across the UK have found themselves in their new role as home educator. It hasn’t been easy and families have had to work our their own way of doing things, coming up with some great parent-approved easy home schooling tips along the way.
We know that teaching your little ones from home can be a tricky task, especially when there’s a mountain of washing piling up and popping them in front of the TV can seem like the easiest solution!
But, with a little creativity all of you lovely mums and dads out there have been doing an amazing job educating your children from home. We sponsored Britmums for their Home School Resources Twitter Chat to see how superhero parents like you are keeping their children entertained during lockdown – without overlooking their learning! Check out what parents like you had to say.
Exploring new interests
With additional time on your hands, now is a great time to let your children explore their interests. Combining what they love with education is the perfect way to help them to remember what they’re learning. Whether it’s animals, space, nature or whatever else they’re loving right now, use their enthusiasm to your advantage and turn their favourite toys and games into learning activities.
This is such a great idea from Laura B! Dinosaurs are such an interesting topic for children, and using boxes you have around the house not only gives them a storage place, it’s also the perfect place for them to get creative.
|If you’re looking to occupy tiny hands, these award winning Snap-n-Learn matching dinosaurs are great for improving fine motor skills, shape and colour recognition, and expanding imaginative play.|
|Or if you’ve got slightly bigger hands to fill, we love learning with these Counting Dino-Sorters. These colourful critters are great for everything from simple counting and colour matching to basic addition and subtraction.|
What a fantastic drawing! We love the way Pippa has combined arts and crafts with fact discovery! Here at Learning Resources, we have a range of free printable activity books, which includes a Learn About Animals book for you to get kids excited about learning.
Letting their creativity bloom
Creative learning activities are great for mental growth. Not only are artistic tasks a lot of fun for kids, they also help to keep the brain engaged and make connections between different areas of life. This is a fantastic way to improve problem solving abilities, and will feed directly into other school subjects. Definitely one of our favourite parent-approved easy home schooling tips.
If only we all had ducklings at home! We love the way Laura is letting her little one express her creativity in the way that works for her. Letting your kids loose with pencils and paper has a number of benefits for your child’s development.
Not only will these tasks help to hone their dexterity and fine motor skills, they will also help with concentration and visual analysis, helping them to understand distance, size comparison, and textural differences.
If you don’t have any ducklings at home, don’t worry! Any pet will do, although getting cats and dogs to stay still long enough may prove difficult. Why not gather some different objects from around your home, that are different sizes and textures, and practice drawing them (this is great fun for the whole family! Yes, mums and dads – it’s back to art school for you too!)
If they’re resistant to start drawing, why not turn it into a game? It’s simple enough to create your own game of pictionary at home, with some spare paper and pencils. There’s even a pictionary word generator online, so you don’t even need to think of what to draw!
|If you fancy a real challenge, Spindoodle offers a unique take on pictionary. This fun drawing game includes a range of different objects to draw on the revolving surface.|
Fun in the kitchen
Cooking and baking are not only amazing skills for your little ones to learn at an early age, it’s also an easy way to incorporate maths and science skills into your routine, without it feeling like a lesson. Home baking has boomed since lockdown came into force, and we can see why.
These home bakes look amazing! Not only are they learning while they create these tasty masterpieces, you also get some lovely sweet treats at the end of it. And, there’s no better reward than a cup of tea and a piece of cake after a long day of teaching. Yum yum!
We love this approach! If you’re worried about your waistline, why not get innovative with kitchen learning? This handy cheat sheet for creating a cheese sandwich will help to grow their independence, which has numerous benefits. Cultivating independence is important for improving a child’s confidence, as well as helping them with learning how to help those around them.
|If you don’t fancy doing any home baking – or you just can’t find any flour anywhere – there’s plenty of ways to enjoy learning with food. Why not ask your little one to draw what they want for dinner tonight? Our Magnetic Healthy Foods toy is a fun and educational way to get them excited about food, without any mess!|
Getting back to nature
Thankfully, we’ve had some really lovely weather recently, which means you’ve been able to take to your back gardens for your very own adventure. There’s no need for us to explain the benefits of fresh air and vitamin D from sunshine, we all absolutely love getting back to nature – even if we can’t enjoy the peace of parks. Getting outside is equally important for children, but instead of just running around why not make outdoor activities educational too?
We’re loving how productive Amelia has been during this time – we wouldn’t know where to start with building a circuit board! No matter how small your garden is, there are plenty of fun learning opportunities at your fingertips.
One of the simplest things you can do in your garden right now is to spend some time exploring the flowers and plants. We’ve created a handy Guide to Your Garden in Spring to help you on your way.
If your little ones are particularly green-fingered, why not try your hand at growing some vegetables? Not only is this a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved – who knows, you might get them to finally eat their greens. We have some really handy resources for this, including a printable Vegetable Growing Fact Sheet as well as a Guide to Growing a Vegetable Garden.
|Outdoor play is such an important part of childhood, from bug hunting to sports, which is why we have a whole range of outdoor toys for kids. If you have a budding wildlife enthusiast, like Amelia, why not let them get up close and personal with their favourite creepy crawlies with this GeoSafari® Jr. Mighty Magnifier.|
Physical wellbeing is just as important as mental wellbeing at this time, and with no PE lessons keeping them active it’s important that we keep them moving somehow – the last thing we need is wide awake 5 year olds at 10pm!
Joe Wicks has been great for the whole nation during this time, offering online PE lessons for everyone (even us adults, if you dare to take part!). Although this has been great for kids in the mornings, we love the idea of creating a game out of dog walks, and eyespy is such an easy and fun game for the whole family.
If you’re looking for more inspiration for ways to keep your kids active, check out our Top Ideas to Keep Kids Moving.
Using what you have at home
Teaching your kids from home doesn’t mean you need a lot of fancy toys and accessories. Utilising what you already have is a purse friendly solution to your home learning adventure. Whether it’s old toilet rolls, cereal boxes or milk bottles, you’d be surprised at how many craft-worthy items there are around you.
There’s absolutely no reason to let a lack of resources affect your ability to teach. Why not take a look around the room and see what you could repurpose? Maybe those sofa cushions could make a brilliant fort? Or are those sponge scourers calling out to be cut into fun stamps? Don’t let the kids have all the fun and get creative with what you have around you!
Keep a schedule
Having a routine is a really important part of a child’s development, it helps them to stay focused as well as being key to wellbeing. That’s not to say there’s a one size fits all approach to structuring your day, however you decide to plan out your days should fit with what works for you.
We’re so impressed with how you are all keeping organised during this time, from creating a structured school day to implementing plenty of breaks to prevent boredom. If you’re struggling to sort out a schedule that works for you, we have a helpful article with organisational tips for homeschooling to help you keep on top of things.
We couldn’t agree more with Donna, every single child is different and their needs will be different. It’s important not to compare your efforts to other new homeschoolers. We’re all doing the very best we can, and we think you’re all doing an absolutely smashing job!