Teachers are passionate about their job. An experienced teacher has so much to offer families through years of experience refining their craft. As many parents already realised before Coronavirus, it takes a particular type of light-filled human to teach a class of children who all need time and attention. It’s an exhausting profession but deeply rewarding.
If you are losing your glow from trying to manage your child’s learning at home right now, here are a few tips from an experienced teacher to help bring some flow to your day.
- Organise the resources and materials they need before starting a lesson. Being organised will save you time and prevent unnecessary interruptions to learning by having what you need ready to go. You will need to take five minutes to read through the class material, so you know how it ‘fits’ into the experience. Doing this will save you additional time trying to work it out later and finding resources. It will also prevent loss of enthusiasm and focus.
- Time tasks. Twenty to thirty minutes of independent working is a reasonable amount of time spent on a task. However, if your child is seven or younger, this may be a stretch depending on the exercise. If all is silent and they are still happily working, let them be (and do a quiet happy dance) – do not disturb.
- Plan for breaks. Have a ten-minute ‘brain break’ to help refresh the mind and transition your child smoothly onto the next activity. Movement breaks can be useful if they have been sitting for a while and need to get some sensory stimulation. Also, a fruit or vegetable snack is a popular break option during the morning session.
- Pack a lunch box. Trying to get your tasks done while helping with schoolwork can be stressful. One way to get a little more time to yourself during the day is to prepare lunch and snacks just as would be done on a school day. Let your child know where to find their lunch pack so they can do this independent of you, freeing you up to tackle your tasks or rest (is that wishful thinking?)
- Find something to look forward to. When children know that they’ll get to do something they enjoy, they are more likely to complete their tasks in a timely manner. You know your child best. If it becomes apparent there isn’t an activity set they are excited about, give them the option to spend the next brain break doing something they love like playdough, lego or a simple craft. Alternatively, involve them in deciding on a rewarding activity they can do once their learning for the day is complete.
These tips will help the day run more smoothly. However, as every teacher knows, it is not realistic to have every day run perfectly. There will always be things that come up and interruptions. Go easy on yourself and go with the flow. Learning is lifelong, and there is always tomorrow.
If you would like your child to get some support from an experienced teacher and give yourself a break, go to our Book a Teacher page.