5 tips for home education

Many people have just found themselves at home with their kids and suddenly having to help with their education. Bowles Outdoor Education Centre has come up with 5 tips to help you. This is the first in a series of posts that will share ideas and games for you to do in local parks and gardens. Just because schools are shut it does not mean that fun outdoor education has to stop.

1. Dont Panic

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The education of your child is still the schools responsibility. Teachers have been preparing for this situation for a while and will have created many resources for your children. Kids across the country have been coming home with BAGS full of work to do to at home. Many schools have already created a huge amount of online resources and have even created online classrooms via video links and apps.

2. You don’t need to know all the answers!

I will let you into a secret, teachers don’t know everything. It’s impossible to know all the facts of all the subjects, so don’t worry about being asked questions that you don’t know the answer to.

In fact, showing your kids that it’s OK to not know all the answers and then helping them find out the answer is a very important life skill. When you get asked how to do something you don’t know – the answers is…..

I dont know – how can we find out?

The internet is an amazing resource which can show us how to do anything from long division and welding to HTML coding and punctuation. A great place to start would be https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize.

3. You are already great at teaching – you just don’t know it yet

Children have a love of learning; they are knowledge sponges absorbing everything around them. You have already done an amazing job with your child, it’s just you may not realise how good you are.

Who taught them the English Language and help them develop their first words? – You did!

Who taught them one the most tricky physically demanding skills – walking? – You did!

Who taught them how to ride a bike, throw a ball, read a word in a book and how to count? You did!

Kids just need to be pointed in the right direction and nature will do the rest.

4. Embrace the passion for learning

Children love to learn – it’s what they are designed to do. This passion for learning is why tens of thousands of people choose to home educate already. One of the pillars of home education is something called Self Directed Learning.

My wife and I choose to self-educate our daughter (Emily), even though we are both qualified teachers. One of the main reasons for this was the ability to let our kid choose what she wants to learn. This might sound a bit crazy but it’s not a weird as you might think.

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Everyone enjoys different things, for some this might be dinosaurs whilst for others it might be space crafts, Romans or animals. If your child loves a certain topic, let them run with it. Let them explore that subject in detail with a passion and don’t worry about them not doing other subjects. Embrace that passion, nurture it and allow it to develop.

5. Allow your child to go at their own pace

Teachers are always working hard to ‘differentiate’ their lessons so each child has a lesson that will challenge them, without making the lesson too hard and risk de-motivation. This is extremely challenging for a class of 30+ pupils as each child has their own needs and challenges.

Now your child is able to work at the speed they need to rather than worrying about what their classmates are doing. It’s OK for them to make mistakes and not get things straight away.

The most important thing you can do is reward and praise them for having a go rather than getting the right answer. Try using some of the phrases below.

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