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Supporting your child if they have to learn at home

If for any reason your child can’t go into school and needs to learn from home, we’ve got some advice and tips to help. 

The important thing to remember is that if this happens, no one is expecting you to take the place of their teacher, and there are plans in place to make sure your child won’t miss out on their education.

Learning at home

What is learning at home?

Parents have a vital role to play in their child’s learning and development throughout their lives. Learning at home is the learning which happens in the home, outdoors or in the community. It can take place through everyday activities that families already do and can overlap with aspects of organised or active learning activities. 

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, children have at times had to do their formal school learning at home as well. This is the case if:

  • your child’s GP or healthcare team has advised them to stay off school 
  • you are in self-isolation or quarantine as a family
  • your child is having to self-isolate 
  • your child’s school has to close in response to a coronavirus outbreak or national increase in cases.

If this happens, your child’s school or local authority will make plans so that your child can carry on their learning at home. This is known as ‘learning at home’. It may also be called ‘remote learning’ or ‘distance learning’.

The National Parent Forum of Scotland has helpful advice on learning at home which you can download here. The Parentzone Scotland website also has useful information on blended learning which includes time learning in school and at home.

How will my child's school support learning at home?

While every school is different, learning materials will usually be made available online or there may be physical learning packs which your child will be given to take home. Depending on your child’s age and the arrangements at their school, live online lessons may be provided and/or they will be given access to recorded lessons or some online learning activities. Your child’s school is expected to support their individual needs – for example, if you don't have access to the internet at home the school may send you materials through the post. If your child doesn’t have a digital device to use for learning at home, it may be possible to receive or borrow a digital device from your school. 

If your child does have to switch to learning at home, remember that their school will provide all the learning materials they will need for you to follow as best as you can. No one expects you to replace their teacher and you can always contact your child’s school for help and support. 

All schools will have slightly different plans in place, so for more information, you can get in touch with your local authority or contact the school directly.


How can I support my child if they have to learn from home?

While no-one’s expecting you to be a teacher, if your child has to learn from home there are some simple things you can do to help them. Check out our tips below and visit our page on supporting your child’s learning for more ideas and resources.

Tips for supporting your child if they have to learn at home

Blended learning

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is an approach which includes learning in school and at home but it extends beyond online learning. A blended learning model involves a combination of ‘live’ interactions between the teacher and learner, and learning which takes place away from the direct presence of the class teacher. Further information is available on Parentzone Scotland

The National Parent Forum of Scotland has a useful guide to blended learning which you can download here.

When may blended learning be introduced?

Different local councils would only bring in blended learning at schools if it’s strictly necessary in your area. Each school will approach things differently. For more information, you can get in touch with your local authority or contact their school directly. 

How would blended learning work?

While each school will be different, some things would be consistent. For instance, your child would always follow the same curriculum. Blended learning means that your child would spend some time in school, and the rest of their learning would happen away from the classroom – which could be outside, online, or at home.

To support your child’s learning, their teachers would continue to plan their learning. Your child may also get regular face-to-face or online time with their teachers. This is really important, because it means they are always able to get help with their learning from their teacher. Teachers may also send home or post home materials your child needs – whether that’s online materials like slides or videos, or physical notes and diagrams.

What are the positives to blended learning?

It goes without saying there are lots of reasons why physically going to school is great for kids. But this doesn’t mean blended learning isn’t a good option, too. It might be different to what most of us are used to, but lots of children around the world already use blended learning as a really effective way to learn.

It’s also good to bear in mind that if your child does have to do any blended learning, there are lots of skills they might get out of it, too. For instance, it could help them to learn how to work on their own, which is an important skill they will need when preparing for exams or for future study and work. It’s also more flexible than traditional learning, as they can learn at their own pace and in their own time.

How will I know if my child’s school are going to start delivering blended learning?

Your school will be in touch if they have to move to blended learning, and they’ll give you all the details you and your child will need. 

What would lessons be like?

Your child’s teachers would still plan lessons and the school would work out the best way to deliver these. For more information about this, you can call your child’s school or get in touch with your local council.

If your child has to do any learning at home, don’t worry, schools and local councils will work to get back to 100% in-school learning again as soon as possible. In the meantime, they’ll have a plan to deliver effective blended learning to make sure your child doesn’t miss out on their education. If you have other questions about your child’s education, you can contact their school or your local council. 



General questions about home and blended learning

What if I have any other worries about home or blended learning?

Remember, you’re not expected to be your child’s teacher. You’re already doing an amazing job! And don’t forget that if your child can’t be at school, there are plans in place to make sure they won’t miss out on learning. Schools have had time to make plans for blended learning and will be prepared if this has to happen. But if you have any worries, it’s best to get in touch with your child’s teacher or the school to talk it through.

What if I don’t think learning at home or blended learning is going well?

If your child can’t go to school, that doesn’t mean the school isn’t still there for them, and for you. Whether it’s getting advice from teachers or raising any concerns you might have – don’t put off getting in touch with your child’s school for help and support.

What if I don’t have the technology to support my child’s home or blended learning?

Don’t worry, just get in touch with your child’s school – they are there to support your child's learning.

Is learning at home the same as home education?

No. Home education is where a parent or carer chooses to become the main educator of their children and takes the legal responsibility for deciding what they will be taught and in what manner. Our page on home education explains more.

Last updated: 22 Oct, 2021