Many of us have now found ourselves in a scenario of needing to homeschool our children for the foreseeable future. This way of schooling may present us with challenges and at times be overwhelming. I wanted to be organised and draw up a temporary home schooling schedule, together with activity ideas, all in one helpful post.
First off I’m not a qualified teacher. I will be following the advice from our teachers on what work they would like us to study. I will then build into our schedule some outdoors, creative, electronic and free play with downtime ideas for us to utilise around our curriculum time. I’m hoping that these ideas will balance the routine with enjoyable downtime together.
We have 4 children aged from preschool to secondary school, so I have drawn up 3 schedules that will work alongside each other. This will make homeschooling siblings easier as everyone is on the same timings and similar topics, just at different learning levels. I will be including a breakdown of each part of the day further into this post.
Each Schedule will be available as a free downloadable printable at the bottom of this post
I will most likely set my alarm at least 1/2 an hour earlier than the children to have some me time and to get organised for the day. I often try and do my cleaning schedule in the morning so will try and carry on doing this in the mornings, as cleaning often helps clear my mind and make me feel organised. I follow The Organised Mum Method for cleaning as for me it’s an achievable routine for our home.
7am Schedule -I will be seeing initially to the younger ones of the house. Primary aged children will be encouraged to make beds and tidy up showing the younger siblings what to do. The teenager will have a little longer in bed (as they need the extra sleep to function well), and will see to their own breakfast and chores independently.
We’re used to getting a very short walk from the car to school. I really miss having our old walk to school where we used to live. I will be incorporating a walk to home school, a nice walk around the block for some fresh air will start the day off well (I hope!). If we’re unable to walk around the neighbourhood then we will make use of our own garden space.
During this time we will make the most of being outside and spot nature signs. I have a post with some ideas for outdoors play and also a post on motivating the kids to get outside more. For my older ones allowing them to rollerboot/cycle/skateboard usually motivates them to get outside.
Also encourage the children to help hang washing out to dry, so you’re all mucking in.
After SNACK TIME, this hour will be dedicated to more structured learning which has been sent home from school.
My secondary school aged child will be expected to have more of a structured learning schedule from now until dinner time. He will be focusing on his core curriculum subjects of Maths and Science in this hour.
My primary aged children will be using this time also to study their maths and handwriting. I will come to some useful resources to aid study time later in the post. It will also be really lovely if they practice writing some letters to people who are self isolating or family and friends.
Top tip – play music or an audiobook to create a calm learning environment
The preschooler will have free play or be able to join in on some of the home schooling creative time with her siblings.
This is the time for everyone to do creative learning. My secondary aged child will be doing more science studying as per his school work provided or curriculum study guides.
The primary two will be able to explore some science experiments using our handy science kit. There are plenty of science experiments on Pinterest using simple home ingredients and you don’t need to have a kit to do them!
The preschooler will also be able to join in with some relevant experiments. science for 3-5 year olds
We will be making the most of starting our springtime arts and crafts as well as exploring any art influences that interest them. See my resources section for online art support.
Our kids are big Lego fans so having Lego and Duplo building time will definitely be a part of our day. We will be scouring Pinterest for zip wire builds and other interesting challenges.
Homemade Play Dough recipe
Homemade Play Dough with Natural Dyes – STEM Opportunities
Indoor Activity Post – Ideas for junk modelling, indoor road game and go on an indoor expedition
Bake Banana Bread – Learning opportunities with measuring and following instructions.
Chocolate Easter Brownies
Jam Thumbprint Cookies – a good one for fugal baking
Slow Cooker Fudge – A fun one for a treat
Where possible I will try and be organised with packed lunches (made earlier) so the kids can get their lunch on time and they can have some free play. They will preferably have time in the garden and I can catch my breath and eat lunch or get organised in the house for the afternoon.
The preschooler will have a nap or quiet time with stories etc at this time.
The primary two will take this time to read / be read to and do some comprehension / book review work from their reading time. Again I will cover some handy resources further down in this post.
The secondary aged child will use this time to look at languages/humanities and finish off any academic work from the morning.
For those who prefer an audiobook here is a useful post for 20 Audiobooks for Kids of all ages.
Reading time isn’t just for books they may prefer a magazine or comic which you can subscribe for delivery in my resources section.
This can be any educational apps they may enjoy doing, an educational tv program / documentary (of which I will cover some in resources) or some gaming time if they’ve worked well that day. This will also be an opportunity for me to tidy up/ prep tea/ get some work done.
See the Resources section for a handy list of electronic resources.
The preschooler could have an opportunity to do some Spring sensory play or free play now. The older ones will be having music practice, languages, history/geography/religious study topic time or hobby time.
See 9am for the outdoors inspiration – remember the exercise!
I know that home schooling may seem a little overwhelming for large families, but try not to let it. I think that being organised will be the key for us parents. Once the resources are all set up and everyone is used to the schedule it will hopefully be a fun learning environment. A few of the preschooler activities may take a little setting up but then can be stored away for use on other days. I think having the preschooler kept busy with open ended play resources or helping you with chores will also allow the older ones to get on with their study time more.
Teach your Monster to Read – free phonics and reading app
Twinkl Currently offering one free month sign up due to covid-19. They provide some fantastic online resources. You will also find the phonic phase sound mats and high frequency words for KS1 on here and much more.
Quizlet – Learning resources for Maths, Science, Humanities and Languages for KS3-4
Corbett Maths – KS3-4
BBC Bitesize – Free access and for all ages from Early years to KS1 up to KS4
Top Marks A wide range of subject resources form KS1-4 plus games like Hit the button
Mr Thorne on YouTube – Phonics fun
Oxford Owl Maths games and activities for KS1
TT Rockstars – Times tables practice from around £6 per month or Schools may provide you with an access code.
Numbergym – Also providing a 2 week trial or again schools may have access codes for you to use.
Mr Demaio – Helps with times tables for older children
Horrible Histories – History made fun
Epic Read – Free trial and access to a leading digital library
Symbaloo Contents – Web browser – Save and organize all of your favorite websites, videos, documents, articles and more – all in one place!
Khan Academy – Non profit organisation for science and humanities
60 Second Histories – 60 second histories are currently offering a 2 week trial
Art for Kids Hub on YouTube
Yousician – Music
Michael Rosen – poetry and Stories on YouTube for KS1 -KS4
Activity Village – Thousands of colouring pages, kids crafts, educational resources, puzzles, printables of all sorts, worksheets, sudoku for kids and lots more fun activities for kids! £19.95 for a years membership
Audible – Library of audiobooks for kids and offering a 30 day trial.
March of the Penguins
Chimpanzee – Disney nature
David Attenborough Documentaries – Ants,Bears,Big Cat Diary, Life of Mammals,Turtle,Life in the Undergrowth,Blue Planet and Arctic Tale
Spy in the pod.. Spy in the…-Nature Documentaries
Top Science Stories
Magic School Bus
Ask the Storybots
Disney Nature – Oceans
Dream Big – Engineering achievements
Growing Up Wild
If I were an Animal
The Who Was Show
Night on Earth
Bill Nye – Saves the World and Science Guy
Here are some simple resources that will not break the bank but could prove useful for home schooling.
If self-isolating you can make online orders for craft from Baker Ross, Hobbycraft and WHSmiths.
These magazine subscriptions should provide a really interesting read for home schooling literacy time.
•The following links are part of an amazon affiliates scheme where I could stand to profit a little if you order through these links.
All that is left to say is stay calm and carry on parenting, oh and educating! Please don’t forget to take some much needed coffee and snack breaks for your own well being, and join the kids for outdoor exercise! Make use of keeping to structured term time bedtimes as everyone will need some quiet evening time to unwind from each other’s company! Shelley who blogs over at Wander and Luxe shares her tips on how to keep positive in uncertain times. Well worth a read if you’re feeling overwhelmed from homeschooling.