Getting back to school at home – tips to support your family

Since back to school (at home) has started again after the Easter Holidays, we have some tips and tricks to help get your kids back into learning mode.

Stick to a timetable

  • Try to follow what would be a regular school day. For example, get them dressed, have breakfast before they start their day
  • If you haven’t already, create a timetable which includes the subjects of the day, along with regular breaks – involve your child with this process (see below for recommended learning from home resources)
  • Have a designated workplace (If you have the space) – set up a space specifically designed for schoolwork, this should be a clear cut off space – away from distractions
  • If you have more than one child and/or at different age groups, why not try combining their timetables, for example: exercising together
  • Children with SEND may have different needs and wants – The Department of Education have some great resources

Have realistic expectations

  • Children aren’t expected to learn as they would do in school, so don’t be hard on yourself or them either as you’re not expected to become teachers overnight. Just simply providing your kids with structure can help
  • Take some time for yourself – be kind to yourself and look after your wellbeing. Schedule some time for yourself – whether this be for relaxation or receiving advice on mental health and wellbeing (see resources below)
  • Relax screen time rules – accept children will be spending more time watching TV on their devices – it’s ok but ensure to set some screen time limits. See our balancing screen time diet tips for more information
  • Speak with your children’s teachers – Teachers are all online and available if you need them – you are not in this alone. Contact them if you have an issue with something
  • Talk to other parents for support – If you are a part of a parent Facebook or WhatsApp group reach out to them for home-schooling hacks

Stay active and healthy

Mum and daughter dancing at home

  • As part of their timetable, ensure that you include an hour or two of exercise. Check out our ‘Get active with tech’ article for some ideas if you’re stuck
  • If you have a garden, use it regularly, if you don’t you can go out a least once a day (following the government’s advice) and if you’re unable to go outside try a YouTube exercise class or a game all the family can get involved with. Also, Sport England have some great indoor activities

Socialise safely with tech

mum and son sitting down and both looking at his screen

Stay in touch with family and friends using apps like Skype, FaceTime, Zoom and social media platforms or set up virtual playdates with your children. Ensure you check your privacy settings are set up before use

Have regular conversations and check-ins

mum and daughter sitting on a coach

  • Have regular conversations at the end of their ‘school day’ to ask them how they feel with the current situation and if they have any stresses or worries. It is best to be prepared for these types of concerns. Dr Linda shares some great advice on supporting children during the lockdown
  • If you have concerns about your child’s mental wellbeing, there are many resources to help: Check out our article following PHE’s guidance for more information. Also, see the BBC OWN It app which has updated it’s keyboard function to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • With children spending more time on their devices there is a lot of misinformation and fake news they may come across. Be sure they know what is fake and what is fact. Check out our expert opinion’s Fake News blog for guidance

Learning at home resources

hands typing on a keyboard

Sky

BBC

BT

YouTube

Other resources

Mental health and wellbeing resources

StaySafeStayHome Hub document

Take a look at our Hub content curated for families adjusting to this new normal of staying at home.

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