Home Schooling…. You Can Do This

As we are fast hurtling into a Coronavirus lock down here in the UK, the inevitable is happening families are in 14 day isolation and I think we are on the brink of school closures. These closures aren’t going to be like your typical snow drama, oh no, these are for potentially longer periods of time… and I can sense the dread of parents all over the country.

STOP THERE. Don’t worry you are all going to do a great job. This is a slightly different post from me but some of you may know I have partly home educated kiddo for 3 years. ( we flexi school but I won’t confuse you with that). I thought I’d try and offer some advice in helping you impart wisdom to your little poppets.

Your school’s will call it home schooling – I’ll quash that first myth for you. You don’t need time tables and plans ( do a loose one if you can be arsed but they’re very dull to do). You don’t need to sit your kids down and shout at them to work for the 6 hrs a day… you’ll get nowhere only into an argument and everything counterproductive.

When you are one to one with a child there’s no distractions, no hustle and bustle of class rooms, no “ Sit Still, stop talking “ it’s just you and your kids and 20-30 minute chunks are fine. Then have a break, get outside ( gardens are ok in isolation) go on a nature walk or bike ride if you all feel ok ( PE and science covered).

Try not to give endless work sheets, I find kids find these dull, quite frankly I find them dull. Do some experiments you can find some fab ones Here these are engaging and fun and gets children thinking and coming up with questions.

Play games like scrabble ( good for English and spelling) or monopoly. For those of you with Minecraft mad kids get the education version and do some coding etc.

Sites I find Useful

Corbett Maths

If you are after GCSE maths help this is a must visit. All the videos and work sheets are free and the kids seem to respond well to it. There are worked answers as well- great for those of you who waved goodbye to algebra years ago. Have a look Here

Twinkl

I love this site it’s handouts and lesson plans are fabulous, they’re fun and colourful and kiddo enjoys them ( no moaning = less likely for you to need wine). Even better to help with the current situation the generous people on the site are offering free membership for a month to parents who are finding themselves at home and teaching their children. I’m overly excited about this, can you tell?

Sign up Here and put the code UKTWINKLHELPS in to access the offer.

Beanstalk


Beanstalk
has your little ones covered and offers interactive learning material for children aged 1 to 6.
During the COVID-19 threat, they are offering full access for FREE. They offer live classes and ‘on demand’ classes.All you need to do is sign up Here

BBC Bitesize

This is a great site that is free, has good content and things like quizzes etc that makes learning a little bit more fun. It also covers all ages- including 16+

Teach my Monster

This is an app you can download. It’s usually £4.99 but currently free. It’s brilliant for those of you with younger children who are learning to read. It’s a colourful game format that gets them reading without then struggle.

Scholastic

https://www.scholastic.co.uk/

Click on the link above for free resource packs for KS1 and KS2

Some of my last pearls of wisdom are that remember not all learning needs to be done in a class room- kids are incredible and have the ability to learn outside the hours of 9-3pm. Use the opportunity to teach life skills, how to cook, how to change oil in their car, plant some seeds and how to appreciate the world around them. Use your time not as a chore, but as an opportunity to learn and bond together.

These are really weird and unprecedented times and we need to embrace the positives. Yes there’ll be tension ( get your wine in now) yes you’ll be frustrated at not being able to go places but we’ve all got each other, and like the age old parenting mantra states “ This is a phase- this too will pass”

I hope this has been useful is you need any more advise or pointers please free free to message me. Keep checking this post- I’ll update with extra links when a few more pop into my head.

Back To School…..

So it’s looming, Augtember is nearly over and that first week of school is starting to wave at me- do you know what? I hate it.

I mean hands up all of you who have a heart attack at the cost of the uniform- yep me to. I’m still trying to dissuade mini me from the god awful Lilli Kelli numbers she has her eye on, in swap for the slightly less bank balance haemorrhaging Clarks pair. Good luck with that one I hear you all cry.

I also despise the morning rush, and routine, I have crippling ( slight exaggeration) insomnia so getting up after about 3 hrs sleep is never fun.. Mostly though is that we have fun over the summer, and getting back to the grind stone is difficult for us all. There’s some parents who count down the days to school going back- I’m not one of them, mind you I’ve only got the 1 munchkin, if I had more I might think differently.

Good luck to all you reception Parents, have your tissues ready- you’ll need them. Mine skipped in, didn’t look back and gave it her all, I was proud but a mess obviously. Have that glass of wine in the evening, you deserve it.

Good luck if it’s the first time entering the playground as well. My goodness that was/is a minefield. Not only do the children have to navigate their way through new friendships and meeting- so do you, but with the parents. To those of you who don’t know anyone, seize the moment and say hello. Most people are great, ignore the scurry of gossip ( there WILL be some) and make your own judgement of people.

To the allergy parents, you’ve got this to. I won’t lie reception was the worst for me, I mean I’m always by my phone but that first year I checked it all the time. But we made it with no major incidents….How?? Good planning. My advice is get your child’s care plan in place and get the school staff familiar with it. I went in on the teacher training day to explain to the staff the signs and symptoms to look out for if L is having a reaction.

She has a medical box at school ( Epi pens, antihistamines, eye spray) she also has a safe treat box as well, just so the teachers can use treat if needed ( birthdays etc) and no one is excluded. It works well.

L has grown into a few more Allergies since starting, she’s now having to avoid gluten, dairy and latex is looking more likely. I get a lot of phone calls, and early pick ups, we now flexi-school her to help but it works, and the staff are managing her allergies. Just remember communication it key.

So there you have it, my advice to you all.

Enjoy it, it’s a stage in their development, they are growing up, they are learning. Embrace it, build each other up.

You’ve all got this

Welcome to the school run years……..

We’ve done it….

It’s over, we got there. What am I banging on about I hear you shout? Mini me has completed her first year in school. Listening to the waves coming in, on our well deserved break, it has got me reminiscing over the past year.

A whole year done, which millions of other children across the country have also completed, but for those with allergies, illnesses or difficulties it’s a little bit more relief.

It’s not all been plain sailing. L has seemingly grown into a dairy allergy and we are avoiding gluten due to ongoing problems with her tummy. She also has been in and out of doctors appointments due to severe hay fever ( I’ve never seen facial swelling quite so bad in someone before) and has had a nasty reaction to a sting- epi pens at the ready. But, and here’s the huge BUT….

This amazing little girl has taken it all in her stride, had a great ( mostly) year and a glowing report to boot. We couldn’t be prouder.

If your little one is starting school for the first time this September then the advice I’d would give to all you is this

1. Be prepared, have a care plan in place and make sure the school understand it and you are happy with it. We have a meds box including epi pens, antihistamine and care plan which is kept in the building during term times.

2. Ensure staff have had training in anaphylaxis and epi pen administration. This is the same of inhalers or other medications needed. Cross contamination risks are also important to go over.

3. We have a box of safe treats kept at school.

4. At the start of term we sent a letter out explaining L’s allergies and why she couldn’t eat certain foods. Just asking to be mindful of washing hands, brushing teeth before school if eating nut products. This helped a lot.

5. Try not to worry- it’s hard I know but persevere it does get easier

6. Talk about your concerns- there’s always someone who can help.

There we are, no go have a great summer holiday and let’s be grabbing year one by the horns hey?