As the start of the summer term looms into view, there is a lot of talk about home schooling again. Are we now more prepared then we were when we were thrust into lockdown at the end of last term? Are we feeling more confident as parents to navigate our way through new timetables and new term motivation?
Firstly I think it is hugely important and also hugely comforting to remember although we are “home schooling” our children, this is not what a child who is home schooled experiences. We are in a lockdown of our country. Our children have no social interaction outside of their immediate family unless it is remotely. Most children who’s parents choose to homeschool attend extra curricular clubs, visit museums, galleries, places of interest to enrich their learning. They are allowed to join sport teams, and drama groups, dance classes and art clubs...they can mix and learn with others outside of the home too.
So, as we approach the new term please remember the important things that will benefit your children next week with their home schooling, and it’s not just a sharp pencil... • Routine. Children do benefit from structure and routine. So if you want them to concentrate on learning do create a simple timetable.
• Break times. To refuel with a drink and snack and a run around.
• Try to learn through hands-on activities.
Subjects are more fun when we learn while visually understanding concepts, numbers, experiments.
• Definitely mix up the ratio of academics and art based subjects. This keeps minds fresh, interest engaged and motivation high.
• For active children sitting for long periods of time just doesn’t work. If you have outside space then get your children involved in running games, tag games, skipping, these will all help burn energy.
• Energy is also dispersed when we are active in a non-sporty way too, for example; banging nails into wood to make a bird box. Digging the earth to make a simple bug house. Cleaning the patio with a brush and water...
The important thing to remind yourself, when it feels like an uphill struggle to teach your child anything remotely resembling school work, is our children will be learning. It might not be the same lessons they would be learning at school but they will be looking at you for lessons and absorbing how you deal with this unusual “lockdown” we are all in. If you show your children that with kindness and patience, imagination and commitment it is possible to learn new things then you will be teaching them “skills for life“ and when they return to school they will be equipped to readjust yet again.
Here at Dib Dab we will be ready to help you. We are planning on uploading some teaching aids that help us when we are in the classroom. We will share with you ideas for keeping your children engaged and happy. We will also be offering one-on-one paid art lessons on Zoom for 30 min weekly sessions that can be booked direct through our email and website.
Our art kits are already in the early production stage and should be available to buy within the next couple of weeks. There will be kits available for children of all ages and we will also run a virtual art club.
There is lots to think about and lots to plan. Lets hope the sun keeps shining and the children can learn outside in the garden, on a balcony or sitting by an open window listening to bird song. This time will pass and we will look back and remember the special time we were allowed to have with our children. So do embrace home schooling but embrace your children harder! They are learning. They are growing. They are going to be just fine...
Below is a papier mache model of the Flu virus. Science Year 6. We will share how we made this on-line so you can make them with your children too.