Our second part of our series looks at supporting your children with their schooling during the lockdown with the seven to eleven year olds in Key Stage Two.
Supporting your children with homeschooling in Key Stage Two is a challenge, particularly when you’re trying to work from home at the same time. This is the age when they can work on their own, but cannot be left on their own, and require guidance and interaction with the work or play they are doing. Unlike my teenagers, who work in another room, my ten year old is working in the same room as either my husband or I, depending on the work that we’ re doing, and is constantly asking questions and sharing ideas. This is good and what they are used to, but it’s not what we’re used to. Welcome to the new normal of the very abnormal family life for many of us in the Lockdown Britain of the Coronavirus Crisis!
This is the age group where their world is getting that bit bigger, stretching beyond the family. They are developing skills of applying logic and reasoning to events around them. So, how will they make sense of what is happening now? Everything has changed: they cannot see their friends; they cannot go to school; they cannot see their grandparents; and Mummy and Daddy are either working from home, not working, or maybe more worrying, having to go out to work. They will require lots of reassurance.
For all ages… Structure and Routine
More important than ever is to have structure and routine in your day. This includes having breaks together, eating meals together and making the week days different to the weekend. A structure to your day will help children feel more secure in this time of great insecurity. It will also help them to be more ready to return to school once they do re-open.
Talking to your Children about their work
Talking about work is a great way to learn and this is an age when children love to talk and ask questions. It is what they do with their friends and teachers all the time at school, both formally and informally, and it is difficult to replicate this in remote learning. As parents we can ask questions, ask them to explain what they are learning and share ideas.
Tips for Supporting your children with Homeschooling in KS2
- The focus for KS2 children is on keeping key skills bubbling whilst maintaining an appetite for learning. During the week, ensure your child’s day always includes at least thirty minutes of each of the following:
- some form of writing (lists, diary entry, letter to a grandparent, recipe for mud pies etc.)
- reading (comics, leaflets, instructions, stories etc.) Now might be the perfect time to enjoy reading a novel with your child (The House with The Chicken Legs has been a delight to read with my ten year old).
- number skills. The saying “use it or lose it” is particularly appropriate here. Key skills include times tables, counting in 10s/100s, mental addition and subtraction. Try to keep it fun – Monopoly, darts, snakes and ladders all incorporate important maths skills.
- Make a rough daily plan with your child by asking for suggestions of what they might like to do, in addition to the things that must happen. Children who feel they have some input and choice over their day are much more likely to take responsibility for their own learning, and be engaged and motivated.
- Baking, drawing, sewing, designing and making are all fantastic learning opportunities, and are just as important as the more ‘formal’ stuff. Give your child the space and time to create – something all teachers would say they never have enough time for at school and wish they could do more of. Blue Peter is a fantastic place to start, with loads of ideas that should spark your child’s imagination.
- As with younger children, try to balance activities throughout the day to ensure that your child has some time to work independently, and time to interact and work with others. KS2 children still need plenty of opportunity to discuss, share and collaborate. Balance screen time with opportunities to create, draw, paint, build and move – creating with Lego, PE with Joe Wicks, family walks, dancing to music in the kitchen etc. are all important to mental and physical health.
Getting through each day with a smile on your face and on the face of your child will be your achievement. If they’ve enjoyed it and learned something along the way, that will be a bonus. This crisis won’t last forever, and soon they’ll be back in school, continuing where they left off and they’ll remember this time, when they didn’t go to school, forever.
For more guides and support, check out Student Navigator.