Advice for families needing to homeschool children due to the Coronavirus

As the Coronavirus crisis deepens and schools close, families across the UK are self-isolating and being forced to homeschool their children.

Some schools are providing extra support but if this is your first experience of homeschooling, you may find it overwhelming. Especially so if you’re also having to work from home alongside your children.

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 Lee Wilcock, Principal of Wolsey Hall Oxford, the Homeschooling College says: “Home education is a partnership between the child, the parent and the school. The best outcomes happen when a parent is able to support their child.

“Creating a daily and weekly timetable of study is essential to providing the structure that children need. Without between lesson distractions, children may complete work at home more quickly than at school. This will allow for more regular breaks as they become used to working at home. But they do need to keep to the regular timetable that you have agreed with them.  This will ensure they keep on top of their work.”

 Some tips to help parents through this crisis include:

  • Help your child prepare a daily and weekly timetable. It may help to follow the usual school timetable but perhaps working to the child’s preferred hours.
  • Give your child encouragement. These are challenging times. Such a sudden change will be unsettling for many children.
  • If your child gets stuck on a topic, see if you can offer practical solutions, such as finding a website with further information.
  • Encourage your child to email their teachers if they need help that you can’t provide.
  • Review your child’s progress daily. Make sure they are sticking to their timetable, are not cutting corners and are producing work to the standard of which they are capable.
  • Schedule in breaks. If you can, get them outside in the garden regularly so they can burn off steam. It helps to improve concentration when they return to study.
  • Your child may complete their work more quickly while schooling at home. So reward them with time off to do an activity they enjoy such as kicking a football in the garden or watching a favourite TV programme.

As everyone adapts to the new routine, it’s likely you’ll tweak the schedule as you go. Don’t worry about the time spent on each subject, it’s more about how well your child is grasping it.

 This page may also give some additional help for supporting a child while homeschooling.

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