Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for your kind comments and recognition of the hard work teachers are putting in to get work up the the website for each age group. I know they are appreciated. I think it is important to clarify expectations for everyone and the easiest way to do this is in priority order:
1. This is not home education. Home education is a considered decision which some parents make with plenty of planning, ensuring capacity to be available to educate their child, resources, outside expert support etc. None of that is the same as the current situation, which is an emergency response to a global issue. Parents have been thrown into this with no time to plan or resource, many are trying to work at the same time or manage with precious little access to technology, printing etc. We totally understand these challenges.
2. The most important thing at this time is to keep yourself and your child sane and well. The situation is very unsettling for adults; therefore children, who have less understanding and reasoning capacity will be very likely to struggle too with the sudden changes and restrictions. Focus primarily on your child's wellbeing. For most children, the stability of a routine and the predictability of each day knowing what the structure looks like will help, but if you judge that they aren't in a place to learn and you feel they need to do less and spend some time with you just 'coping' with all the changes initially, then that is fine.
3. Mental well-being is supported by regular exercise. This can be the one walk a day, away from other people, which the government has prescribed, or it can be inside. We are using Joe Wicks workouts at 9am on youtube each morning here in school and the children could do the same at home.
4. Most children are able to do their Doodle Maths at home and can do more than the 10-15 mins a-day we would normally suggest. This will keep their maths skills ticking over and help to prevent a learning drop whilst they are away from school.
4. Reading is important as we all know. The more your child can read and you can read to them, the better. Chat to them about the stories they are reading / hearing. Audio books are another option if affordable for you and you have the tech - the whole family can listen to and gain from the same one if you choose carefully. There are some links below to free reading resources on the internet, which if you have access to it will help you if you are running out of reading material at home. Some children use Lexia anyway, and keeping this going if at all possible would be a good idea.
5. Encourage your child to have a go at some writing activities. Teachers are putting up plenty on the website.
6. There is lots of other material from different subjects on the different age pages and all that is great learning and if you are able to access it and enjoy it at home with your child, that's fantastic. Lots of the bits are creative and enjoyable and will provide you child with something engaging to do whilst they can't go out and about. BUT if you can't, please don't stress about it. Many other things for example construction toys, board games, playing in the garden (if you are lucky enough to have one), arts and crafts, junk modelling etc are all valuable and educational in different ways.
Above all, please don't worry. Children learn at different rates and in different ways. Obviously the ideal is that they keep going with basic skills and to that end we would really advocate them doing Doodle Maths, reading and some form of writing each day. However, beyond that, if they don't get through everything or you can't access it, please don't worry. We know that children will have had different experiences away from school and we are already planning for this when they return.
Note for children: If you are reading this, your parents' decision about what you need to do is final. We totally support them to make this decision for you and expect you to follow through with the learning they decide you need to do.
Stay safe and well everyone,