With the world tackling the Coronavirus pandemic, Karen Binedell, mum to ‘Our Travelling Family’, talks about homeschooling during lockdown.
What a crazy few months, weeks and days it has been. With almost the entire world on lockdown, life as we know it has changed completely. Our three children have been homeschooling with Wolsey Hall Oxford for close on a year and it’s one of the few things that has remained unchanged over the last couple of weeks.
Right now there is a whole new army of Mum’s and Dad’s out there homeschooling, not out of choice but rather necessity. If you happen to be one of them my advice to you is not to stress. Don’t agonise if your child is not keeping up with the workload or worry that they are falling behind. At this point in time the most important thing is their mental and physical wellbeing and if you manage to get a bit of schoolwork done that’s an added bonus.
If you are homeschooling through Wolsey Hall you will have the added support of various tutors as well as your child’s Student Progress Manager to see you through this period.
Please bear in mind that I’m no expert and something that works for one child may not necessarily work for another (we have three so I say this with confidence) but hopefully you can pick out bits and pieces that may assist you.
I’ll say it again- don’t worry! We are all anxious, stressed and uncertain about the future, the last thing we need is to be worrying about our children not keeping up with the workload or falling behind. It will place unnecessary stress on you and your children.
Put together a family timetable. This doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed but set time aside during the day for things like schoolwork, exercise, cooking, games, reading and screen time. We’ve found this helps with focus and motivation.
Suggest Learning a New Skill or Finding a New Hobby Whilst in Lockdown
Be it learning some basic pleasantries in a foreign language or how to grow your own vegetables. Perhaps you could put together a recipe book and encourage them to cook their favourite meal for the family. Another great idea is keeping a journal as we are all part of living history.
Talk to your children about how they are feeling and ask them if anything is bothering them. Explain that the range of emotions we’re going through is completely normal- boredom, irritability, frustration. Encourage them to keep in touch with friends and family and look for the positive aspects in this new normal.
Limit Screen Time
As wonderful as it is to be able to keep in touch while we are all isolated there is also plenty of negativity circulating in the news and on social media. While I feel it is important for our children to be aware of what is going on and to question how different countries responded to this crisis I think there is also a point where they need to disconnect.
Lastly, there is no right or wrong in a situation like this so do the best you can for yourself and your family.