With ‘unprecentented’ being one of the buzzwords of 2020, it looks like it isn’t set to go anywhere in 2021, with very challenging times ahead shaping up infront of us for the month of January.
With thousands of school children up and down the country unable to return to their classrooms after the Christmas break this New Year, you may be one of many parents now taking on the role of teacher, along with the dozens of other titles you already have.
We’re all well aware of the importance of keeping children’s educations going while they can’t physically attend lessons, but little is said to sympathise with and support the parents who are now struggling to juggle yet another ball.
For this reason, we’ve rounded up 5 tips for parents to create their own fool-proof guide to educating from home.
Maintain a routine
It might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surpsied at how quickly you can fall out of a routine once the normal structure of the school day isn’t around. To keep this going as close to normal as possible it might be wise to establish a timetable together ie. wake up at 8am, begin lessons at 9am, take lunch at 12pm etc.
This is the best way to keep your little ones engaged. Other simple things such as getting changed out of PJs, eating a breakfast and having a set bedtime will also work towards a structured daytime.
Allocate a work space
It may be tempting to hop on the sofa with a blanket to do some school work on these cold and dark mornings, but this is a sure fire way to make productivity go downhill. Instead, between you and your children choose a specific work space, it could be the kitchen table, a desk in their bedroom, or even a fold up table that you transport into the living room.
Whatever it may be, having a specific place where school work happens will help to keep the balance between home and classroom. Many parents have been working from home for the guts of a year now, so we know a thing or two about keeping those two entities seperate – apply the same logic to the seomra ranga too!
Make use of resources
Many parents will now be juggling both work and home-schooling, and although you would love to dedicate all of your time to your children and their education, that is just not possible when there are jobs to be done and bills to be paid. This is where it is important to make the most of the resources that are available to parents to aid them in virtual learning.
Tuning them in to facetime with their teachers will give you some time to get work done. While other resources such as Scoilnet and School days will help you to gain the right tools to both entertain and educate your kids. What’s more, RTÉ Junior also broadcast their ‘Home School Hub‘ every day a 1pm, all of which you can catch up on and retwatch on the player if needed also.
Get some air
A vital part of school-time is playing with friends in the playground. something that pupils of 2020 and 2021 are sadly missing out on. For this reason, it’s important for little one’s mental health that they get out and about, even just for a short while, as often as possible.
If you have a garden area, encourage them to play outside on their lunch break, just as they would normally. If you fancy getting out and about yourself too you could organise a short family walk around your area on your lunch break too, bring the dog and the kids along for a quick twenty minute walk on the days that the weather permits, both you and your pupils will feel the benefits of it.
Go easy on yourself
The most important tip we could give in all of this is to go easy on yourself. These times are certainly trying to say the least, and sometimes, just surviving the day is a triumph itself. No one expects you to be super-mum or super-dad, you are not a teacher and your home is not a classroom, so don’t beat yourself up if your ‘school’ day didn’t go exactly as planned, tomorrow is another day.
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