With the coronavirus outbreak possibly threatening to close schools across the UK – you might (understandably) be wondering how you’ll support your children’s education if this happens. Although the government hasn’t yet confirmed which way schools are going to go, we’ve pulled together some advice to help you make a plan just in case.
- Set up space
- Keep a healthy screen & social media habits
- Help them structure their days
- Find some online learning resources
- Keep an extra eye on their mental health
1. Set up space
The first thing to organise is a desk in a quiet corner of the house. Here your teen can keep their laptop, textbooks, and notes – they’ll find it much easier to focus and the rest of the family can continue life as normal. Also, schools normally provide things like flashcards, exercise books and planners, so be ready to supply these yourself if necessary.
Their own study space makes it much easier for teens to sit down and focus
2. Keep a healthy screen and social media habits
Teens spend a lot of time on apps speaking with their friends anyway – and isolation will only increase their desire to communicate socially. While some communication will be positive for their mental health, the opposite is true when social media fuels feelings of isolation and anxiety. You’ll need to set some ground rules for how phones are used during the day and keep an eye on your child’s mood.
Taking time out from social media is a healthy step for mental health
3. Help them structure their days
Without the structure of the school day, and without the engagement of peers, motivation, and energy can take a dive. Help your child set up a timetable that’ll work for them and covers the subjects they need. Divide up periods of study with active breaks. Make sure your child moves, goes outside, eats meals at the appropriate times and has offline conversations.
If possible, staying active and getting fresh air can help reduce their anxiety
4. Find some online learning resources
You’re likely to run into situations where your child doesn’t understand some of their course content and you’re unable to help. In these situations, having some resources ready is wise. Look up the subject specifications for the exam boards your child is studying and bookmark any online resources that can help you out. We have lots of free online study resources for kids to use – 10,000 answers for GCSE, A-Level and IB questions to be precise! Save My Exams and S-cool are also great resources for marking schemes and past papers.
The internet has a huge stash of learning resources to help your teen – over 1 million kids have used ours!
5. Keep an extra eye on their mental health
If you have to home school your child, don’t panic. We’re more set-up than ever before to manage a situation like this. Remember, lots of parents (about 50,000!) choose to home school their kids regardless of Coronavirus. What is important is to look out for signs that your child isn’t coping mentally with a home set-up. Despondency and withdrawal or anger and higher-than-usual levels of irritability can all point to stress. There are lots of great services you can call on for support such as Kooth and YoungMinds.