Under normal circumstances, today would be the beginning of the Summer Term. Now, however, thousands of children across the UK will return to home-schooling instead, since schools have been shut officially since the 20th March. Many parents elected to take a break from lessons and observe the Easter Holiday; however, now parents and their kids must pick up their pencils again to carry on with the school curriculum.
MyTutor - the UK's leading online tutoring service - has compiled some great tips on how parents can structure and timetable their children's days, based on feedback from their own parent base:
If you have more than one child, timetables should ideally be adjusted depending on the independence and needs of each individual child. Younger children, for example, should work in short bursts of 30-40 minutes. Older children can remain focussed for longer periods of up to an hour.
Keep a combination of self-directed study, help from you and other family members, and free time when kids can focus on their own project or activity.
Try having set lessons in the morning, and then use the afternoon to try more creative or practical activities - including getting outside if you can do so safely. Lots of MyTutor's parents are doing exactly this and many are using the afternoons to bake and craft with their children.
- Try "shaping the day" with each child so they know exactly what to expect and what they should have achieved by the end of it. Establishing a routine is important - even if it's just that they need to have had breakfast and be dressed by 9:30!
To help disadvantaged students at home, the Government has also announced they will provide laptops and 4G routers to those families who do not have internet access. MyTutor hope to support all pupils, and has launched a free Online School which is packed with support.
The platform offers daily live group tutorials on key topics and new resources are added every day. Current offerings provide GCSE module tutorials, with Key-Stage 3 and A-Level modules in development. Pre-recorded videos focussing on popular topics are also uploaded to MyTutor's YouTube channel regularly, across a wide range of subjects, but are currently centred around the core subjects: Maths, the three Sciences and English.
James Grant - Co-founder of MyTutor - discusses the need for EdTech to help support parents taking on the role of teacher during this time:
“Pupils working in isolation from home because of containment measures could face learning challenges at a critical period. Fortunately, online platforms can be accessed in a convenient and hygienic way across the UK. MyTutor are incredibly pleased to launch this new service for GCSE students, which we believe will be a vital resource for those looking to continue their studies from home.
"MyTutor has advocated the use of EdTech in the classroom for a long time, and now we have the chance to assist schools, teachers and pupils as they work from home. We want to ensure we support all children with their continued learning during this tricky time and so are delighted to be able to provide this valuable and easily-accessible platform for free."