In these uncertain and challenging times things can be tough. This is especially true, if you are trying to do your best to keep your children’s home-schooling up, whilst also managing your own work – whether you are working from home or continuing essential work in the community. Please don’t let this get you down – whatever you are doing and however you manage the time you are doing great!
There are plenty of helpful guides and articles to support you with your home-learning mission but I’d like to offer my top 5 tips based on what I have heard in our community and seen online. Here we go:
1. Keep a daily routine and rhythm
I want to reassure parents that you do not need to replicate a school day but at the same time do try to keep to a routine. This will help to keep everyone in the household in a rhythm and make life that little bit easier and less stressful. Get up at your usual school time, get dressed and have a decent breakfast – together!
You should also try to set up a special learning space, with limited distraction in the vicinity (turn off phones!) so that learning time can be differentiated from family or fun time (not that learning can’t be with family or fun!).
2. Be realistic (and don’t worry if you feel like you are not keeping up!)
Do what you think is right to help your children stay engaged in their learning, within the realms of realism, whilst you manage your own responsibilities – and possibly other children at the same time! You can only do what you and your family can do – and you are not alone. Every family that I have been in contact with is feeling the same. It’s not worth getting everyone stressed and unhappy about it. If this does happen, (and it will at times, despite everything you do) it is best to take a break and come back to it later- once the calm has been restored. I think tip #1 will help with this last point, but don’t be afraid to adapt the routine to what works for your family, if it’s not working.
I am confident that whatever happens when we do return to school, whenever that is, that everything will fall back into place in no time. We are all strong enough, and adaptable enough to make it work whatever the challenges are that we face.
3. Reach out to your teachers
If you are finding it tough, or feeling are bogged down with the home-learning provided by your teachers, then do contact them, either through the Google Classroom, or via our reliable communication platform, ClassDojo. They will be able to suggest where to start, what is essential learning and what can be left out so that your child (or children) can focus on what’s most important. Our teachers, learning support assistants and admin team are still working. We are on a rota: working from home and sometimes in school for our key workers, so remember, we are still here for you!
4. Stay active
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, then I am sure you are making the most of the glorious weather. Get outside and get active! Even if you don’t have a garden there are numerous online resources to help you stay active, including Jo Wicks at 9.00am everyday on YouTube. You could also have a go at a child friendly yoga session or just try doing laps around your lounge or garden just like Captain Tom Moore! (I’m sure you’ve seen him on the news and if he can do it, you can, too).
Make sure you make the most of your daily exercise allowance, too. You could do this as a family to rebuild relationships if the day got a bit tense… or as down-time on your own to clear your mind.
Staying active is so important for your health and wellbeing so prioritise this in your schedule!
5. Make the most of the Virtual World
There are many, many great resources out there if you can get online. Of course, we have set up our Google Classrooms for you to be able to access your home-learning, and your teachers are continually updating what’s there for each week. Our teachers are busy drawing up their latest ‘Project Overviews’ for the summer term – in a lockdown version! You’ll see these popping up in your Google Classrooms next week. I know some of the teachers have got some great ideas to help make our teaching and learning more interactive.
So… what should we look out for? …
Look out for Mr Warner’s live bake-off on Tuesday which he is hoping to broadcast to Year 3/4 children and families. Details will follow soon and let’s hope our technology holds out for as I can’t wait to log on and see this! Our Year 1/2 team are planning to launch their new project with a series of fun videos, too.
Virtual Hot Chocolate Friday
I am hoping to hold our first ever ‘Hot Chocolate Friday’. For those of you who don’t know, this is something that I do in school as part of our rewards system. However, on this occasion, anyone is welcome – and you don’t have to have a hot chocolate – any beverage is okay – or just bring your lovely selves. There’s no agenda- it’s just a time to catch-up with me and others from our school community. More details to follow but look for these in the Google Classrooms.
Great resources, open to all…
There are lots of other great resources out there. Many of which have been linked here in my blog before or on the Google Classroom. I would like to point out, though, that the BBC have created some great resources to support families at home, including a daily schedule for you to follow. Teachers may link to some related resources here but take a look, too, as this could be just what you need to help.
Follow this link to see BBC Bitesize:
BBC Bitesize Daily Le
We are continually look at ways we can help improve our provision for our children at school and at home and we welcome any feedback through any of our usual channels, including our school email address found here. This week we held our very first virtual staff meeting using Google Meet, so look out for a few tweaks here and there to help you at home.
Thank you to everyone in Team Rownhams – staff, children, families and governors – for persevering. A special thanks, this week, goes to Steven Rice (one of our parents and member of the PTA) who has offered to give up his time every Friday to give our children in school an hour of cricket fun and instruction! Thank you Steven!
Stay safe and we hope to see you soon, online or in person!