Advice for Banbury area residents on how to keep the motivation going when homeschooling during coronavirus

Self-isolation has caused huge changes to family lives worldwide.

By Matt Elofson
Friday, 3rd April 2020, 6:12 am
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 6:14 am

The coronavirus pandemic continues, and a week into homeschooling many parents are struggling to combine working and keeping their children motivated to learn at home.

Lee Wilcock, principal of Wolsey Hall Oxford, the Homeschooling College said: “The initial motivation and excitement of learning in a new way may well be wearing off now for many children, and this will be adding to parents’ stress.

“Some schools are supporting families with providing work to do at home, but it can be hard implementing and sticking to this new routine.”

Lee Wilcock, principal of Wolsey Hall Oxford, the Homeschooling College

Wolsey Hall Oxford has some tips to help parents through this period.

Create a schedule

The flexibility of homeschooling means your timetable can be created to suit the whole family, working around parental workload and virtual meetings. The key is having some structure to the day. Younger children may prefer to complete their schoolwork in the morning when their energy levels are higher while research has shown that teenagers are better studying later in the day.

Dedicated workspace

If you can, try and find a dedicated space where your child can set up their computer and work. While you won’t have visitors to your home, they will need to be able to concentrate away from other family members and distractions.

The importance of breaks

While you won’t have activities outside the home to factor in, it’s important to schedule in breaks. Now more than ever we need to focus on our physical and mental health. While we are all constrained to our homes, there are still ways children can exercise. If you have a garden, even a 15-minute break outside is beneficial in restoring concentration levels. If you can’t get outdoors, there are online workouts specially designed for children such as Fitter Future. Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, is also delivering PE lessons on his YouTube channel each morning.

Maintaining motivation

Tap into your child’s interests and dislikes. This is an ideal time to really engage them in topics they’d like to discover in greater depth.

Your child’s teacher would prefer them to just be enjoying learning at this time, rather than forcing them through a specific subject that is causing a battle.

Give regular encouragement and stay positive, there will be good and bad days. If your child is feeling overwhelmed by the changes, try breaking work into much smaller sections.

Socialisation

If your child is missing their friends, encourage them to video call each other (or arrange it for younger children). The opportunity to see how their classmates are getting on and to discuss what work they’ve been doing will give them a boost.

You may find your child completes their work more quickly while schooling at home.

There are plenty of online resources of activities that will help to fill the extra hours if needed. Wolsey Hall has some projects children may like to try at home: https://wolseyhalloxford.org.uk/homeschool-projects/

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