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12 Tips for Home Schooling During Lockdown

12 Tips for Home Schooling During Lockdown

With governments across Australia keeping schools closed as a precaution, many people have found themselves working from home AND having to home school the kids! A lot of schools have sent their kids home with activities, it can still be a juggling act trying to keep them busy, especially with the younger ones. Sometimes expecting kids to do a whole 6 hours of book work in a day at home can be a big ask, so here are some everyday activities that can be a learning experience.

 

Baking

Kids can learn many things from baking. Maths – weighing out ingredients is maths – ratios and measurements and for an extra challenge, halve or double the recipe and they’ll have to work with fractions! There is also a little science involved in baking. Bicarb makes biscuits and cakes rise, heating up a liquid makes things dissolve faster, they can learn about chemical reactions and how things change when heat and cooling is applied.

 

 

Gardening

While the kids are home, you can try and grow seedlings from fruit and vegetable seeds, dig a vege patch or even just do maintenance together. Trying growing plants from kitchen scraps like celery roots, bits of sweet potato, avocado seeds or even carrot tops. This article has whole list of plants that can be grown from scraps

They will learn about the life cycles of plants, where their food comes from, learn about nutrition and get some physical exercise. They will learn responsibility from taking care of little plants and watching them grow!

Plus, your garden will look great!

 

Writing

You can get your kids to keep a daily journal. This can be about their home school activities during the day, their thoughts or feelings. They can include pictures as well, just get them writing. You can also try creative writing exercises, like giving them a picture as stimulus and challenging them to write a short story about it. There are no hard and fast rules here, just try what works for your kids. Even if they want to write about their favourite game or TV show, it’s all about putting pen to paper.

Red apple on top of school books

Arts and Crafts

It can be a little daunting leaving kids to their own devices with things like paint, glue and scissors, so we suggest you supervise them during arts and crafts! If you are looking for something a little less risky why not try origami! Kids can make a range of cute animals and useful objects. You can also try activities such as finger knitting or making friendship bracelets. Getting your kids to read and interpret the instructions will teach them comprehension skills and doing the crafts will give them a great sense of accomplishment, develop their fine motor skills and most of all they will have fun! For an extra challenge, have them use the internet to research their own fun arts and crafts to make!

Another great idea is to try leaf tracings. Send them out looking for different leaves and traces them using a crayon or a pencil over a piece of paper. They’ll love seeing the different patterns of the veins and outlines. They can even create a unique piece of art.

 

Podcasts

Get your kids to listen to a podcast and explain what they learned from it. There are plenty of podcasts that are aimed at kids. They can do them while they are colouring in. Here is a list of some of the best podcasts for kids

 

Virtual museum tour

Kids can learn a lot in a museum, about nature, world history, art and more. While a trip to the local museum might be off the cards, many museums are offering virtual tours. Your kids can be free to learn and explore at their own leisure. Have a look at this list for ideas.

 

Visit the Science Centre

Visiting Questacon in Canberra is one of the must dos when visiting our nations capital. While they are closed they’ve put together a great resource centre to get your kids excited about science online. There are videos to watch, experiments with everyday household items and even apps you can download. You can find it all here

conducting science experiment with green blue and orange liqiuds
Questacon has lots of fun science activities for kids

Watch some TED Talks

TED talks are videos by experts that cover a range of topics and are a great way to get inspired. They have recently have a curated list of videos for kids. They cover topics from magic, to science, history and more.

 

Make time for play

Making time for unstructured play – or free play – is vital for kids imagination. Make some screen free play time and let your kids set their own activities. For younger kids, this can help them process a lot of the news they’ve been hearing and can help with learning and development, and for older kids, unstructured time can lead them to pursue new interests and goals.

 

Encourage virtual play dates

With social isolation, virtual meetings have become the norm. Why not encourage your kids to meet up with their friends for online playdates too. They will appreciate the social connection while they are home schooling. They can connect with Google Hangouts, create stories and scripts with shared google docs, or even play games like Minecraft online together. This will encourage teamwork and build computer skills that will be vital later – without them even knowing it.

 

Play board games

Try pulling out the board games that have been collecting dust in the back of the cupboard. Playing card games or board games or puzzles can develop literacy and numeracy skills, pattern recognition, build logic and reasoning and even teamwork and communication. Depending how seriously you take monopoly, they can also teach conflict resolution! But most of all, they are fun!

family playing board games in lounge room

Embrace family time

With many people working from home or spending a lot more time at home than usual, now is the perfect opportunity to be spending time as a family. You can watch movies together, enjoy family meals or go out walking.

 

Kids can learn many things from everyday tasks, not just from sitting in front of a book or a computer. So if you find yourself struggling to juggle activities just remember that not all home schooling has to be structured. And if you are really struggling, there is always Pinot Grigio.

 

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