Hello everyone! How are you doing at home with the kids during lockdown? We really have found ourselves in the strangest of circumstances haven’t we? After sharing how we were getting ready for home school last week I thought it might be helpful to talk about our homeschool timetable.
Different things are going to work for different families, and if you are trying to juggle working from home with teaching your kids you really have got a lot on right now. Remember that this isn’t home school in the traditional sense. We are currently in the middle of a global health emergency so do what you can and prioritise your families health and well being above any school lessons you have been sent.
My experiences of home school during the coronavirus lockdown are also very specific to us. Brook (aged 5) and Indie (aged 8) need to be kept busy and also really appreciate having structure in their day. It’s for these reasons that we have created a home school timetable loosely structured around the school day.
My main motivation was to have some structure around snack and meal times, and the fact that some learning happens in between is a bonus as far as I’m concerned. We are also making as much use as we can of the free online exercise classes and lessons we can find on YouTube and other social media channels. These are so helpful right now as it takes some of the weight of our shoulders when it comes to teaching the kids and it adds some variety into the home school day.
Our home school timetable is very much a guide to what is happening that day. We have it stuck up on the wall and the kids seem to like checking it for what is going to be happening during the day. I also suspect that when we are working on a subject they don’t like so much they can see that it’s not going to last forever! Times are also just a guide. break times may last a bit longer if they need too. If we only spend half an hour on a subject that’s OK too. If I need to fill some time then arts and crafts or reading are great activities for kids of all ages.
When it became obvious that the schools were going to close I ran into school and took a picture of the girls timetables. As you know I work from home anyway and when the girls are home from school, if they don’t have structure the struggle. Sibling fighting is a real issue for us, and the last summer holidays were the worst and it’s a situation I do not want to repeat any time soon. The girls are fairly close in age and both have big personalities so they have been known to lock horns on more than one occasion.
In our situation having a school timetable seems to be keeping the arguments to a minimum. I’m not going to say it’s easy as it takes a lot of energy on my part to keep them focused and help them to get their work done, but I’m spending more time with them in a constructive way and spending less time playing referee so for me that’s a huge win.
Somedays we make it through the whole timetable and some days we manage half of it. On Friday we didn’t do very much formal school work, and they were both asking questions about why we weren’t using the timetable. We did follow the timetable but we actually covered things like well being and watched some YouTube videos about learning Spanish (as I have no idea where to begin when it comes to teaching them how to learn a language!). They definitely still did some learning that day, but given it was the first week, and we felt we had done well to survive, I took the pedal off the gas so to speak.
I’m also finding following a timetable really helpful. I know when I can fit in some of my own work or chores so that my own to do list doesn’t come to a grinding halt. It’s also keeping me away from the news during the day which is having a huge impact on my ability to cope with what is happening with the coronavirus pandemic globally. I have followed this story very closely, and I did feel very overwhelmed a couple of weeks ago. Homeschooling a 5 year old (Year 1) and 8 year old (Year 3) is definitely keeping me busy and leaving very little time to read the news!
Online Lessons For Kids
Here’s the resources we are currently using for home school that you might find useful:
Exercise Classes Online for Kids
Cosmic Kids Yoga https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga
Art Lessons for Kids
Art for Kids Hub https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtforKidsHub
Science Lessons for Kids
Peekaboo Kids https://www.youtube.com/user/Peekaboo
SciShow Kids https://www.youtube.com/user/scishowkids
Science Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceChannel
Mike Likes Science https://www.youtube.com/user/comaniddy
Crash Course Kids https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcoursekids
National Geographic Kids https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXVCgDuD_QCkI7gTKU7-tpg
General Educational Resources & Lessons for Kids Online
Mr Thorne (Phonics, grammar etc) https://www.youtube.com/user/breakthruchris
BBC Teach https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach
Free School https://www.youtube.com/user/watchfreeschool
Geography Focus https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8HYERScBt-e0kV0fpe0asg
The Brain Scoop https://www.youtube.com/user/thebrainscoop
Kids Learning Tube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7EFWpvc1wYuUwrtZ_BLi9A
Homeschool Pop https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfPyVJEBD7Di1YYjTdS2v8g
Other Online Resources for Kids
Twinkl https://www.twinkl.co.uk/ Use Code CVDTWINKLHELPS to access all resources for free this month
Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/
Teacher’s Pet https://tpet.co.uk/
If our home school timetable is useful to you can download it for free here. You are also welcome to use the completed homeschool timetable which seems to be working for Year 1 and Year 3. I manage jugging their work by getting one started on their work, then the other. Indie does end up recapping some work she has already done, and Brook is also getting to see what her sister does. I honestly don’t see any harm in that given the situation we are currently in.
If you have been struggling for ideas, hopefully this will get you started. We try things out, and if they don’t work we look for something else. For example, last week we tried a live art lesson on Facebook, but it was just a little bit too old for the girls. This week we used the drawing tutorials on YouTube and they worked brilliantly. Check our Indie’s drawing of Else. She’s very proud of this!
Good luck with being at home with the kids. Our two week Easter holiday officially starts on Friday. We were meant to be going to Menorca, but obviously that isn’t going to be happening! I’m thinking of carrying on with homeschool. Have you thought about how you are going to approach Easter break during coronavirus? I’d love to hear what people are going to do in the comments below.