Worried about homeschooling in another lockdown?

Here are our 3 top tips for homeschool support during a pandemic. 

With yet another school closure and school-at-home stint, you must be thinking, how can I make the most of this time? How can I help my child to progress after so much disruption this past year? Read the Guest Blog on the Parent Practice website by Headteacher, Arabella Northey.

1. Create a schedule: 

Homeschool timetable

This seems like a simple enough task, right? But where to start? Start with your child. Talk to them about their schedule. Discuss their school timetable and base their day around that. 

You don’t need to do every subject, every day. That being said, make sure English and Maths are covered everyday; especially Year 5 children preparing for the 11+. Not necessary to have to make them sit down every morning from 9 until 11am and complete worksheet after worksheet. Instead, have a family reading session or get them to measure and calculate amounts in a recipe. 

If you have multiple children at home, try to line up their timetables so they can work on the same subjects together. They can often teach each other and come up with new ways of thinking. 

Ultimately, find a schedule that works for you and your family. And remember, do not stress if it is not followed exactly every day. Sometimes things go wrong and that is okay! Try the activity once more. If it still doesn’t work, scratch it from the list and move on. 

2. Set learning goals:

11+ learning goals

Talk to your child about what they need to learn and would like to learn. Find out what motivates them. These can be used to set learning goals for each day or week. Again, don’t just print out a load of worksheets and get them to sit down and plough through. Chances are, they will last 5 minutes lose interest and not achieve anything. 

Balance tasks between virtual experiences, written work and physical activity. Be creative about learning the material. If your child loves being physical, go outside for a walk and have them add, subtract, multiply and divide house numbers, stop and read the signs you see, or research the history of your area (you might be surprised what you find out when looking at the walls of buildings and gate posts). 

If your child loves trains: create a bridge for a model train using only newspaper and sellotape; watch a video about trains; write a story about a flying train; go to a train station and count how many trains come into the station in a certain timeframe; then put the information into a graph. 

Keep going back to those learning goals, to ensure they are on track as this gives ownership and responsibility to your child. 


3. Don’t be their teacher 

This seems like an obvious one, but as parents it is often hard to remember that you are not a professional teacher and that this period of school-at-home is temporary. Be a facilitator for your child’s learning rather than their teacher. Provide the opportunities to learn and let them discover the wonderful world around them. 

At Meta Prep, we train our teachers to be Cognitive Coaches, there is clear evidence in science that coaching children to understand the different forms of thinking and to equip them with the ability to self-reflect affords them the greatest chance of making the maximum progress. If your child is finding answering questions or worksheets too easy, get them to create questions that they can ask you; remind them that they also need to have written down the answers, in case you get stuck!

Use your own experiences and strengths, but when you get stuck or it all gets a bit too much, use the many resources available to you or come and ask us for resources. There are a multitude of websites with worksheets ready or watch an educational documentary and have your child write down the keys points. We use quizlet as it is a great way to learn English and Maths terminology, join our ​quizlet classroom. Two other great resources are: Twinkl – worksheets and presentations for everything and BBC Bitesize – for all ages.

As you prepare for the unknown term ahead, I wanted to reassure you that we will be able to provide the support you need amidst the challenges. As a ‘thinking school,’ Meta Prep is a community where all pupils and teachers give careful thought to everything they do.

Meta Prep is the complete online interactive solution for 11+ success for Years 4 & 5. With small groups and direct access to a Head teacher, Meta Prep partners with parents for selective senior school entry. Weaving fun, instilling key skills and learning behaviours to lift exam scores. At Meta Prep, we really want to ensure that it is a fun and enriching experience built on a strong foundation of learning principles. The goal is to get children thinking deeply, equipping them with a ‘metacognitive’ toolkit so that they understand how to learn and are set for life, able to sail through the 11+ and onto their next challenge with confidence. 

Try us out, join a lesson: https://metapreponline.com/free-trial-lesson/