Support for Home Schooling
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we are all facing many weeks of uncertainty and challenge. We will be remaining open and will work to ensure that our teachers can, if required, support you and your family throughout this period of school closure, social distancing and staying at home. We are extremely busy with requests from so many families now looking for support with home schooling but, if you have any questions at all or just need some advice, feel free to call us on 01993 774549 at any time. We have extended our working hours from 0900 to 1900 each day, including over weekends.
We have also created a Facebook group, to support families with home schooling, over the next few weeks and throughout the summer term (20 April to 21 July), which you are welcome to join. We have invited many of our qualified and experienced teachers to join this group with you. Our teachers will be available to answer your questions, provide you with free practical advice and support in shaping a home school curriculum and provide you with access to high quality, free teaching and learning resources.
Our teachers will provide free support and advice for all age groups, all abilities, all academic subjects and all exam boards: including Early Years, Primary and Prep, Key Stage 1 and 2, Learning Support and SEN, preparations for 11+ and 13+ Exams, Key Stage 3, GCSEs, IGCSEs and also A levels.
You can join this group here. Please feel free to share this group with other families and teachers who would benefit from membership.
Success in Home Schooling
Success in home schooling is found in the same way as success in school. The single most significant factor which determines the quality of education that a student receives is the quality of teaching they receive. It requires a parent (or teacher) to have a broad and good knowledge of subject content and curriculum; access to high quality teaching and learning resources ... and for the parent (or teacher) to be organised and to have lots of enthusiasm, energy, patience and resilience.
Make a Plan and Create a Routine
Get hold of a copy of your child's curriculum (or scheme of work) that they are following and make an outline plan, at least for the next month. Your child's teacher or school should be able to provide you with this.
Children of all ages need routine. You must provide a structure and shape to their day and week. Draw up a weekly timetable for them (and you) and stick a copy on the fridge door. Of course, this timetable does not have to replicate their usual school timings and can be much more suited to their particular needs and age. This routine and timetable will also likely evolve over the next few weeks and months, as you and your child learn what works best.
How Many Hours Each Day?
Children typically have about 5 hours of direct teaching each weekday at school, but one-to-one home school teaching is a much more efficient process, so you do not need to plan for 5 hours of teaching each day. Our experience would suggest Early Years Foundation Stage should be 1.5 hours of planned activity each weekday: Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) about 2 hours: Key Stage 2 (Year 3 to 6) about 2 hours: Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) about 2.5 hours: Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11) about 2.5 hours: Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13) about 3 hours.
It is important that your child works independently, reading or writing on their own, for a period each day. For younger children this may just be for 10 to 20 minutes; for older children this may be for an hour or so. Create a still point in each day for this, with quietness to encourage them to focus.
Reward and Refresh
Perhaps most important through all is to make this experience as enjoyable as possible. There are a number of benefits to home schooling, which you will experience. It will give you the opportunity to create a tailor-made education; one that suits the learning needs of your child. One-to-one teaching is more efficient, so your child will make much more progress with much less teaching time. This allows much more light and space in the week for you to do other things. The school day and week is flexible and will provide a much better balance between work and play. There are no school runs nor limitations on school holidays. Lessons can start and finish at times more palatable for teenagers or busy households. You also have a choice about what, when and how your child learns.
Our best wishes to you and your family,
Jim, Gill, Emma, Tessa, Nicola and Blanche