In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen students in particular year groups returning to school. However, for the most part, parents are being asked to continue home schooling their children. This has brought so many fresh challenges for families and a question we keep being asked is: where do I draw the line? How much should I help my child and how much should I allow them space to get on with it?
There’s no one answer, of course, as it will depend on the individual student but there are some important things to consider:
Allow children time to learn what they love
This is a fantastic opportunity to go off piste and allow children the opportunity to learn about what genuinely interests them. In many cases, the pressure of the national curriculum has lessened slightly. Of course, core maths and English skills are still very important but try to set projects and allow children the freedom to learn for themselves.
Don’t place too much pressure on yourself
Your life and your work are still fundamentally important. You have to be able to keep on top of your own jobs and, even more importantly, your own mental health. Don’t place pressure on yourself to support every step of your child’s journey. Independent learning is an important skill so take a step back when you can and trust them to get on with it.
Create low pressure educational opportunities
Sometimes, it’s helpful to create ways of learning that are low pressure for both yourself and your child. There’s nothing wrong with putting on a documentary and allowing your child to absorb information passively on occasion. It may not always be the best way to learn, but it provides a helpful break and allows you time to take a step back.
Set research challenges
A good way to strike a balance between helping and allowing independence is to set a challenge by explaining the parameters and then allowing them time and space to get on with it. This allows you to guide their learning but still gives them creative freedom to learn for themselves.
Get a tutor in to help
Children are always so much more responsive to a fresh face and a new figure of authority (and fun!) to guide their learning. Taking sole charge of your child’s education is a real responsibility so getting a tutor in to support them with their learning can be hugely beneficial for you and your child – just an hour a week can make a real difference.