Homeschooling your kids because of Covid-19? Now that it has been confirmed that the schools in England are closing from the end of the day this Friday onwards, we thought it could be useful to share this plan created by Hattie Writes – a former primary school teacher and (very funny) Tunbridge Wells Mum of three, who has been self isolating with her family for the last few days.
We should point out that this is something to hopefully give some structure to your week should you need it (I know I will) but of course don’t have to follow it stringently. Hopefully it will spark some ideas…
Hi there! I am writing you this blog post from my first day of isolation with my husband and three children – aged 4, 6 and 9. It’s going really well, as the fact that my son managed to stab himself up the nose with a pencil within five minutes of the first activity will attest to. I wanted to share with you what I plan to do with my kids during the next 14 days (minimum) that we will be spending inside our house.
We are self isolating because my husband started to show symptoms of the Coronavirus and although his illness doesn’t seem remotely serious we are taking government advice (don’t know why – they never take mine) and removing ourselves from the community to prevent spreading the virus to the more vulnerable. Now that the schools are shutting, you are likely to be in a similar position too, so I thought I’d share with you how we are planning to spend our days – as a former teaching assistant and teacher I may be able to provide you with some resources that you weren’t formerly aware of or I may be able to provide a stellar example of how not to self-isolate, either way every day’s (quite literally) a school day. You can keep up to speed with how it’s panning out for me over on my Instastories on my Instagram account HERE.
A couple of disclaimers before I share our schedule – sadly I haven’t got the time to differentiate this schedule for every age group/ ability, I will share options where possible and most resources I mention will have options for all primary school age children. I also wanted to mention that more than ever I am painfully aware that we are incredibly lucky to have a house and garden in order to keep our children entertained and am actually feeling incredibly thankful.
I am thinking of anyone who is having to self-isolate in conditions that are less than ideal, particularly those for whom this situation will actually make them more vulnerable. If you are worried that your partner or that of a friend or a family member is abusive then please contact Women’s Aid for help, they are a charity committed to helping women and children escape domestic abuse and are obviously aware that self-isolation can shut down routes to support and safety.
Now on with the rough schedule:
For physical activity in the morning, we will be doing one of the following:
♥ Asking for help from my lovely friend Kate who runs Good Mood Club – Kate has been my personal trainer since the summer and has suggested some online sessions instead. If you would like a session, I’m sure she’d be able to help you via the wonders of technology too! The added feel good bonus is you’d be supporting a local PT to carry on running her business in these unknown times. (As an aside whilst I was writing this post Kate pulled up outside my house and dropped off a kettlebell for me to use because that’s the kind of person she is, thank you Kate).
♥ There are several free Joe Wicks workouts on Youtube (I believe he has some specific ones for children)
♥ Introducing the children to Cosmic Kids Yoga
♥ Engaging with Jemma’s Health Hub. Jemma runs free 5
minute Instagram lives and also is the founder of Jemma’s Heath Hub, a subscription service which gives you a number of workouts a week which you can do in your own home.
Read a chapter of a book
I’m a huge fan of thematic learning which is basically taking a theme and running with it to encompass all areas of the curriculum. For example you could study ‘Toys’ and think about how much money you would need to pay for them (numeracy) where they come from (geography) how they have changed over the years (history) and write a story about them (literacy).
We are going to read a chapter of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ each day and then do an activity related to it to tick off an area of the curriculum each day. There are some brilliant resources online to help you and lots are offering some free resources in anticipation of the schools closing.
For my resources for the Wizard of Oz I used Sparklebox and Twinkl. Twinkl has hundreds of resources and is very user friendly as has an app. The first chapter of The Wizard of Oz is about a cyclone so for that first activity we will be making a cyclone from a plastic bottle, glitter and fairy liquid (something we can all do together) and then finding out more information about cyclones online. My elder two will then write a fact sheet about cyclones.
Other activities we can do relating to the text (and many other books with a little adaptation) include:
♥ Filling in WANTED posters for the Wi
♥ Writing character descriptions (t
♥ Creating a magical land like Oz out o
♥ Writing about our own imaginary str
♥ Writing a newspaper report about The Wicked Witch coming to
♥ Writing a review of the book/film
♥ Making a tin man out of junk modellin
♥ Talking about tin and recyclable ma
♥ Researching information about Kan
♥ Writing a song for a play about Dorot
♥ Listening to music from the musical
And many more!
During maths hour I am going to target specific things for each child. My Reception aged child won’t be able to concentrate for as long or as hard as my Year 4 child so she will be doing a 10 minute maths ‘workout’ using text books I have got her and then encouraged to play a maths based game e.g. shopping games or play Snakes and Ladders with me. My Year 4 and Year 2 children have maths workbooks (I bought these ones) which they will work through along with (what I assume) the school will be sending home.
If this time gets a bit, errr, boring then I have printed off some great problem solving mystery’s from Twinkl which I know they will love because they’ve already spotted them and asked to do them! They basically involve being given a list of suspects and solving maths based clues to find out whodunnit! Think a murder mystery dinner party without the dinner or the party. Or the booze. Fun!
I will make sure this is outdoors whatever the weather. There has to be some time in the day to drink tea and scroll instagram!
Much like maths hour but less maths-ey. The kids will complete any school work sent back from school during this time and my Reception age child will do 10 minutes of phonics practice. Again, I have bought these books from Amazon specifically targeting literacy but I have also printed a load of stuff from Twinkl, particularly for my Year 4 child to help her Grammar and Punctuation because I am useless at Grammar and Punctuation.?;,.
I’m not sure how long it will last but I’m planning to use this hour to make lunch alongside the kids, I thought self-isolation might be a good time for us to do the kind of things together that we don’t normally have time for and chatting whilst preparing food is one of those things. Plus a LOT of meals are going to have to be prepared in the upcoming weeks, might as well split the load!
Again, I will make sure this is outdoors whatever the weather.
Where possible this will also be outside, some of my ideas so far include:
♥ Science experiments (e.g.making v
♥ Looking at resources that @the_mud
on her website which she is currently offering for free due to the unusual circumstances that we find ourselves in.
♥ Painting – changing the location (c
♥ Garden scavenger hunts
♥ Treasure Map making
♥ Cartoon creating
♥ Researching other countries- e.g.
then we will all have a Chinese take-away for dinner
♥ Colouring – we have a number of colou
♥ Baking- I can’t bake but I can order b
So that’s what we are attempting! What about you? Thinking of you all….
Ps. Watch this space – we will be linking to many more useful resources both locally and nationally for supporting us all through Covid-19. To get it directly into your Inbox, you can sign up to the My Tunbridge Wells mailing list HERE.
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