10 top tips for non-teachers faced with home schooling

Not a teacher? Don’t worry, we have ways to make this fun for everyone.

Are you one of the many parents homeschooling since schools closed? Do you have a sharpened sense of respect for the teaching profession? Are those long summer holidays teachers enjoy looking less of a perk and more of a necessity?

Well, fear not, here are some home schooling tips for stressed out parents.

1. Get into a routine

By now, as you’ve probably established, you have to set at least a rough timetable.

It’s tough when the 10-year-old gets up at 6.30am as usual and the 12-year-old rolls out of bed at 10am, but try to stick to a routine. Otherwise the day ends up shapeless and people are still eating cornflakes at 11.30am.

Would they do this if school was open? No, they would be in detention.

2. Do some PE

Next, get those little ones’ hearts pumping.

Joe Wicks has taken the nation by storm. He hosts an online PE session at 9am every school day on his YouTube Channel The Body Coach and, by lunchtime, Wednesday’s had been viewed more than 1.7m times.

Just try not to be jealous of his pristine living room.

3. Make a timetable

Now let ‘the learning’ begin. Start off with subjects that your child likes the most and once they have got going, sneak in bits they don’t like. Teachers advise you break it up and not to try to do too much at once.

4. Get the right resources

Of course, there is a wealth of teaching materials online. Rosetta Stone is offering free language lessons, the Royal Society is sharing six videos of Professor Brian Cox science experiments, while Twinkl and BBC Live Lessons have many more.

5. Be creative

Make your own word searches, particularly around a topic they love. Get them cooking – it teaches numeracy, motor skills and patience. Encourage them to paint or draw something for a relative they cannot see, or plant some seeds and wait for them to grow.

6. Make snack time fun 

Set up a tuck shop. Give your pupil a set daily amount to spend and make healthy items cheap and sugary snacks more pricey. They’ll learn to manage their expenditure and stop pestering you for sweets.

Remember, treats are vital to break up the day.

7. Factor in quiet periods 

Younger members of your house could listen to an audio book. David Walliams is releasing a free story every day. Everyone needs a break from each other.

8. Start a diary

Encourage your child to express themselves in a journal, with words or drawings of how they feel.

This period will one day be taught in the history books and they will be able to pass on their diary explaining what they went through to their children and grandchildren one day.

9. Teach them about wildlife

What better time to look out a window and learn about birds? The RSPB has produced birdwatching sheets for young wildlife lovers. Set them a challenge over a set period to spot as many species as possible.

10. Be kind to yourself

Remember you are not a teacher, your home is not a school. These are unprecedented times. Take it easy on yourself and your children. They might not remember what you taught them during this time, but they might well recall how you handled it.