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Tips for learning at home

Supporting learning at home

With schools now closed, you’ll be worrying about how your child is going to keep up with their learning. We know that everyone’s situation is different and you’re already doing the most important job by supporting your children through what’s a really uncertain time for them, so don’t worry, no one expects you to be a teacher! Remember, they’re learning all the time from all the things you do together.

If your school has provided resources for you and your child to use at home, this will be the best place for you to start. If they haven’t, or you’re looking for extra, we have some useful resources here.

If you’re looking for ways to support them further in their learning, we’ve come up with some tips to get you started…

Set up a space

Learning can happen anywhere. However if you can, you might find it helps to set up a separate space for your child where they can focus on tasks. It also makes it easier to keep everything from school in one place, so nothing goes missing.

Try a structure

It can be helpful to try to structure the day, so that you all make the most of your time together and keep on top of everything else you need to do. Routines help children feel secure as they come to know what is happening and what will happen next. If it’s helpful, you might want to make a timetable together.

Flexible home working

We know that many of you will be balancing working with looking after the children, home learning and looking after the house… superhero capes at the ready! If you are working from home, it is probably going to be easier if you can be flexible about your hours. Head over to our working from home page for more info.

Take time out

It’s really important for both you and your child to have time to relax and time to move. So make sure you have regular breaks for playing, relaxing and exercising. There will be times when you and your wee one are struggling. When that happens, try to stop and do something fun. Remember, everyday life, fun, playing and talking are important for learning too.

Tap into their interests

No doubt there will be times when it will be difficult to get them motivated. If they are losing interest, try to think about things they like. If you follow their lead and join in, they’ll be more motivated to keep going. Love LEGO? There are loads of great YouTube videos on how playing with LEGO helps you to learn maths and building skills. Kids love helping out: if they’re interested in cooking, get them to help you make a meal. 

Let them be the teacher

If you have more than one child, or even if they are getting restless, it can be a good idea to let them be the teacher for a while. Get them to help you ‘learn’ your times tables. Just don’t forget to get some answers wrong. This will give them a chance to correct you, which will help boost their confidence.

Change is difficult

We are living in very unusual times and this will be a big change for you both. So don’t be hard on yourselves. It's probably a good idea to chat to them about how different it is. Ask them how they are finding it and make sure you take some time to listen to any worries they have. 

Praise effort

This will all be as strange to them as it is to you. Make sure and reassure them and let them know they’re doing a good job! Try not to get caught up in trying to correct all of their mistakes. Instead, make sure you are pointing out all their hard effort.

Staying positive

We know this will be very difficult but we're all in this together. This is new for everyone, so try to remember, you are doing a fantastic job.

Stay connected

It’s important that you both try to stay connected with family and friends. So make sure you have regular contact by phone or video chat.