Our top tips:
- Routine. Help your child prepare a daily and weekly timetable. It may help to follow the usual school timetable but perhaps working to the child’s preferred hours. See links below for resources to support this.
- Support. Give your child encouragement. These are challenging times. Such a sudden change will be unsettling for many children. If your child gets stuck on a topic, see if you can offer practical solutions, such as finding a website with further information. Please do not Google search in front of the children unless you use the child-safe https://www.safesearchkids.com/
- Reward. Your child may complete their work more quickly while schooling at home. So reward them with time off to do an activity they enjoy such as kicking a football in the garden or watching a favourite TV programme.
- Establish screen time guidelines. Talk through screen time ahead of time, so that your child knows what the expectations are. Keep in mind that unsupervised screen time in a crisis might be scary for young children; have to-go and approved apps and programs a child can access on their own.
- Independence is important. Invite children to come up with their own solutions or try things first without coming to you for assistance.
- Go easy on yourself. Do what you can. These are difficult and uncertain times for parents and children. Parents will feel stressed, and children will, too. Talk about this with your child, explain how you manage stress, and invite children to help think through ways they can be more helpful or ways you can both make a difference in your own community or family.
- If you can, have fun. Build a fort. Have an indoor picnic. Take a walk. Make a pie. Create playlists. Have a dance party in the kitchen. Write funny tweets about how hard this is. Try to find a rhythm or a time when you can get the most work done and maximize this. In a world where children often feel over-scheduled and overwhelmed, try to frame this time as a break from the stresses and pressures children face. Offering children opportunities to go outside or experience unstructured play are valuable opportunities.