We hope you and your families are all keeping well and that the children have enjoyed the Easter break?
Next week's home learning plans can now be accessed on the year group pages of the school website.
Learning at home is tricky and new for everyone! Our key message to you is, don’t panic and worry that you are not doing enough or the right thing. You have amazing children and they have amazing and supportive parents! Everyone will have highs and lows and we are all on a steep learning curve. Every family situation is different – there is no right way of doing learning at home.
There will be lot of challenges along the way and you have probably met lots of them already including: getting used to new and very different routines, shopping taking longer, working from home accompanied by your children and spending time online keeping in touch and sorting out problems. Added to this, you are contending with learning from home with a lack of resources and time!
We appreciate that there are lots of social media groups organised for parents and the support you are giving each other is a vital cog in keeping everyone connected and can help and give you ideas. A health warning though; please don’t think that the photographs and fantastic work everyone else is doing is better than you and your child is doing– it isn’t! Celebrate and use the ideas to support, but don’t think you have to do the same!
Below are some tips and ideas that may help. Not all will be relevant for you and it is not a list of things that you must do!
Getting some sort of routine together can be a great help and may prove to be good for keeping up morale and maintaining mental well-being. Providing some structure to the day can help give a degree of normality and take the stress out of not knowing what is coming next in the day. However, you should not feel it is necessary to run a school day - a school timetabled day will probably not work! Routines will be different for every family.
A couple of home learning sessions in the morning (with breaks) may be enough. This will then leave the afternoon for play, a walk, reading, iPad or TV time or carrying on with an independent project that your child is eager to work on.
Repeating activities within your routine is good for memory and helping your child retain new learning; so don’t think you have to move on quickly and complete everything every week.
Building some kind of physical activity into your routine will help- indoors or out. There are lots of online session, but you can always create your own e.g. dance to your favourite songs, create a circuit (e.g.10 jumps, 1 minute running on the spot) or sing a nursery rhyme and create some actions.
Home learning tasks
When you choose the activity from the weekly plan, be sure that you know what you want your child to achieve from it. You may decide you want to make it shorter or adapt the idea to support your own child in the time you have and with the resources that you have at home.
Keep learning sessions short. 15 to 20 minutes learning 1 to 1 is very intense for young children and once you sense them switching off , have a break or change what you are doing.
Use what you have to make learning practical. At school we call using hands on resources “concrete” learning. Learning with real objects to hold, manipulate, count and order is a very important part of learning. There are many resources at home that will do the same job as the equipment we use at school. For example counting materials could be Lego, stock cubes, cutlery, bottle tops, toy cars, toys, food, pasta, leaves, petals, pebbles etc.
Do not to worry if you cannot complete a task together. Concentrate on the things you can help with. When school resumes, we will not presume that your child has made a certain amount of progress or learnt new skills during the shutdown. Rather, we will be trying, as much as possible, to pick up where we left off and support children through a very different start to the summer term.
Am I doing enough/ too much?
You know your child. Often parents will instinctively know what seems right but this is new for everyone. It is important to remember that families have not chosen to home school, but rather your child is learning from home with you temporarily. There are no rules around this. Every parent will have different commitments, timetables and you need to make it work so that you and your child can be happy and safe. Doing too much may prove counterproductive and create tension- especially when, in this difficult time, maintaining a child's morale and mental health is so important.
No access to or limited internet access
Online learning is now part of our children’s world, but we can learn without it! You may have to share technology, it may break, the internet may go down. If this is the case there are alternatives you can access.
We hope that some of the information within this email has been useful and/ or reassuring. There are lots of ideas for home learning on our website in the year group pages and Latest News section. However we would like to stress that they are only suggestions and not meant to overload you.
We hope to see you soon. Take care and best wishes,
Mrs Forde and Mrs Smith