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Top tips for parents teaching children at home

With schools across the UK closing their doors to contain the spread of Coronavirus from Friday 20 March, many parents will be facing the challenge of home schooling their children.

Matthew Easter, parent and co-chair of the Schoolwear Association, has provided his tips to support families over the next few weeks.

Keep a regular routine

While it may be tempting to make the most of an opportunity of a lie in, it is important to try to maintain normal ‘working’ hours and stick to the structure of the school day as much as possible.

Not only will this keep kids sticking to good habits, it will also mean less upheaval when schools return to normal.

Keep wearing a school uniform

A school uniform is widely credited as a driver of discipline and concentration in the classroom and many families may find it beneficial to continue to get dressed for school as normal.

It will be important for parents to create a focus on learning and wearing a uniform can separate school-time from leisure time.

Some children may struggle being isolated from friends and teachers, so wearing a uniform could also help to maintain that connection with the school community.

Schedule lunch and snack breaks

If children are working at the kitchen table it can be easy to get distracted by what’s in the fridge or cupboards.

Creating and following a routine for snacks and lunchtime can go a long way to remove these distractions and also act as a motivation to continue working!

Take regular breaks for fresh air

It will be important to keep children as active as possible while home schooling, not only for the physical benefits, but also to release positive endorphins and improve their mental wellbeing.

If parents are following the typical school day, they can also stick to break times and make sure that children are getting outside for plenty of fresh air.

Going for a walk before and after sitting down for the day can also help to create a disconnect from work time and free time.

Be strict on screen time

Parents will be all too aware of the distractions posed by mobile devices, tablets and TVs. Messaging apps and social media are great tools to keep in touch with family and friends but they could also increase feelings of isolation and anxiety so keep an eye on phone use and be aware of your child’s mood.