10 Timetabling tips for novice home educators
1. A timetable doesn't need to have actual times on it. Add them by all means, it if help you - but simply dividing the day into 'blocks' of unspecified length, each allocated to a different activity, enables both structure and flexibility.
2. In most primary schools, English and maths tasks tend to be completed in the morning, with afternoons given to topic work and creative activities. Whilst it's not obligatory, sticking roughly to this recognisable routine might help with getting children's buy-in, as it will have a ring of official authenticity.
3. Whatever you do, build in reading time each day - independent and/or shared - and talk to children about their reading. Add it to your own work timetable if you need to; it should be right at the top of your priority list.
4. Specific learning tasks can be short. Younger children may only be able to work for 10-15 minutes independently, older children will be able to work for longer. Bear in mind, though, that some experts estimate once you take out assemblies, moving between classrooms, getting out books and equipment, tidying away, behaviour management, breaks and lunchtime - two hours of quality learning in total could easily represent the equivalent of a full school day.
5. Build in time for rest, lunch and free play; and plan to spend some time outdoors every day if you can. Adding these to the timetable reminds everyone of their importance.
6. Learning does not have to be all about formal worksheets! Cooking, helping with household chores, telling stories using their toys, planting seeds, playing board games... all these and more definitely count as learning; and being able to spend time like this can be a hugely positive aspect of educating at home.
7. Setting up personal projects about something your child is interested in can be really motivating. Perhaps they could have daily 'project time', where they research and make a book ,PowerPoint or piece of artwork following their own interests - and then teach you what they've learnt.
8. Encourage children to complete something creative each day (artwork, Lego models, making a den, baking and then decorating cakes, playdough).
9. Involve your children when planning their day so that they know what to expect and feel some ownership of their learning.
10. Above all, remember to be flexible - for example, let your child continue with an activity if they are enjoying it and fully engaged; and never be afraid to change the timetable if it's not working - you don't even have to run your proposed alterations past the Senior Leadership Team!
Derbyshire Music Education Hub - Music at Home - Weekly activities, ideas and resources for continuing music learning from home – for all ages and stages of education
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Thank you NHS - colour in these pictures and put them in your windows to show your support for our wonderful NHS staff.
If you always wanted to make Cherry Blossom syrup, then let Mr Ellison show you how.