One of the first part time jobs I had as a teenager was as a tutor.
I helped children up to 11+ age with English and maths at a tuition centre that my mum ran. It taught me so much about how different people learn, and helped me find different ways to think about and explain things. It also had the fringe benefit of forcing me to relearn my times tables, although 20 years later I’m getting really quite rusty with them again!
I didn’t really think I’d use the skills I learnt doing that job all that much later on in life, so it’s quite interesting to find myself drawing on them again now with the children’s school being closed for the immediate future.
We’re not actually needing to do any school work at home yet, thanks to the children’s school bringing the Easter holidays forwards.
So at the moment we’re just getting used to working from home with the children around all the time. In a few weeks though we’ll need to start organising some learning activities for them to be doing.
Their school will be sending them work to do which is great, we will just need to supervise, help them out when they need help and organise sending things back to the teachers for them to look over. The message I got from the teachers though was not to feel pressured about any of it. To do what we can, when we can, rather than trying to follow a school-day-type-routine.
We’ve also been given links to various websites and online resources for fun learning activities we can do with the children at home.
I’m quite confident that with the children only being 6 and 8 I can manage to teach them what I need to.
I just need to keep in mind what I learnt all those years ago about different children learning in different ways. I know that I can explain something to Rhys one way and he’ll get it, but I might need to approach it from a completely different angle for it to make sense to Nerys.
I’m very aware of how lucky we are really that the children are so young.
If you have older children at home you might be worried about how much you can help them with work that might be completely unfamiliar to you. In those situations, if you have the means to do it, finding an online tutor who can help them could really take the pressure off both you and your children.
You can find tutors who specialise in a whole range of subjects, from English to physics to French and Spanish. So you can help keep your child on track with their learning, knowing they’re getting help from people who really know what they’re talking about.
I think we’ll end up doing a whole mix of things at home to keep our children learning while the school is shut.
There’ll be the more formal side of things, working through the bits and pieces that are sent to us from the school. But I also love the idea of using this time to try out some new things and help them learn through life experiences.
We’ll bake and draw, read and practice writing. Maths can be learnt with board games and playing shops, alongside sitting and doing sums. The science kits that have been sat in the cupboard can come out for some practical, hands-on learning alongside watching videos of experiments on YouTube.
However old your children are I hope you’re not putting too much pressure on yourself to replicate the school system at home.
This situation we’re finding ourselves in now is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before, so be kind to yourself. Slow things down where you can. Take your time to find the best way of balancing everything for your family. And ask for help if you’re finding it a struggle, there’s so much out there if you need it.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post