Homeschooling at the moment, thanks to coronavirus? Brighton College (Singapore)’s Deputy Head, Lois Pugh shares tips on how to get you started.
Parents worldwide are scratching their heads as they desperately struggle to keep their kids engaged with learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic. For parents who have never homeschooled before (which is most of us), the idea of homeschooling might seem intimidating. To help us all out, Lois Pugh, deputy head of Brighton College (Singapore), gives the lowdown on how to keep our kids engaged and on track with their learning while at home:
Be kind to yourself
You should remember, first and foremost, you aren’t a teacher and you are not expected to know how to do this. Many schools have policies where their teachers don’t teach their own children – for good reason. Look at this situation as a chance to spend time with your children in a way you will never experience again. Your best is good enough. Enjoy it!
Set realistic goals
Let’s face it: you aren’t going to be able to cover the entire curriculum, every day. Focus on the core areas of maths and English. Take some time to look through the materials sent to you by your child’s school and take advantage of the wealth of free online activities available. A number of the larger online activity providers have recently announced free memberships for parents and have produced quite a number of homeschooling materials for learning at home.
Get your children excited about their new school
Many children, particularly younger ones, will be wondering what’s going on and why they have to learn from home. Sit down with them and explain what is going to be happening and give them the opportunity to have some input into the schedule and subjects that will be covered. Draw up a ‘new class charter’ with a few rules; most teachers do this at the beginning of every year to set the scene for expectations. Have a special space in the home to be their new schoolroom and set it up with the children. They will associate this with learning. Set routines, including break times and stick to these. If you can, coordinate break times with other families and allow the children to interact in virtual playtime.
Celebrate success and praise highly
This will be the only time in your child’s schooling where they will be in an environment where they won’t compare themselves to their peers. Focus on celebrating their best efforts and on improving their own scores and previous work.
Read to your kids
If all else fails, read, read, read, or if your child is younger, continue with their phonics programme. This is the most important thing that must happen on a daily basis to prevent regression. Being able to read is key to accessing the entire curriculum and there will be much to catch up on when schools are back to normal.
Pick your battles
Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you planned. This happens all the time in classrooms. If the task is becoming a battle or it is clear everyone needs a break, take one. This is precious time with your children at home, time that you never thought you would have; a luxury. Bake a cake, have an art competition, direct and star in an original drama production – there is plenty of learning that can take place at home outside of class activities.
Reach out for help if needed
Alongside the excellent online platforms offering services, some schools will also provide help, regardless of whether their children are currently enrolled. At Brighton College (Singapore), we are working with any families known to us to provide tailored activities and learning experiences. Contact us at [email protected] for further information and more home learning help.
Thanks for the tips, Lois!
Have you heard about Brighton College (Singapore) yet?
If you’re looking for a school that aims to turn out well-educated, respectful and intellectually curious learners who are ready to take a full, active and positive role as responsible citizens in the world, look no further than Brighton College (Singapore). It’s also Singapore’s newest English National Curriculum school that’s set to pick up the baton of success it’s already achieved in the UK. Lucky for us, it’s opening in August 2020, ready to give primary students the best start in life with a first-class British education in a small, warm and supportive environment.
But don’t just take it from us – get in touch with its friendly admissions staff via [email protected] to learn more about the school and sign up for an August start today!
This post is in partnership with Brighton College (Singapore).