How can we optimise the home learning environment?

How can we optimise the home learning environment?

With the education sector in a current state of ambiguity, recent plans could see schools closed until Easter depending on the level of severity with the ongoing pandemic. Education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has stated that although schools will be given at least two weeks notice before reopening, there are no time specifications as of yet.

Since the nation has been plunged into all-things homeschooling, there have been a variety of approaches and methods undertaken – from parents who have tried to adopt the role of teacher, to those taking a greater interest in wellbeing and extra-curricular activities alongside academics.  But the bottom line is that there is no correct answer when it comes to remote learning – different approaches will work best for each child.

Bertie Hubbard, the CEO of MyTutor, shares five of his key home-schooling tips to prepare your teen for whatever comes their way:

1. Routine is key

It may sound clichéd, but sticking to a routine makes the day run smoother for everyone! Wake up as you would on a normal school day, and try and get the content which your child struggles with out the way in the morning – whatever subject that may be. That way, the tougher work is not looming over them throughout the day. Plus, most children find it easier to work and concentrate before the post lunch-time slump!

2. Come to agreements in advance with your child

If you and your teen make an agreement prior to the day about how often they will study and at what sort of times, it makes it easier to ensure they’re getting a substantial amount of work done during the day. But remember that this also includes regular breaks which are spread out throughout the day, otherwise it’s likely they’ll start to lack energy and motivation.

3. Have some go-to resources lined up

You’re likely to run into situations where your child doesn’t understand some of their course content and you’re unable to help. In these situations, having some resources ready is wise. Look up the specifications for the subjects your child is studying from the relevant exam boards and bookmark any online resources that can help you out. Save My Exams and S-cool are two handy sites.

4. Environment and equipment

Set up a desk in a quiet corner of the house where your child can keep their laptop, textbooks and notes – teens will find it much easier to focus and the rest of the family can continue life as normal. As schools would normally provide things like flashcards, exercise books and planners, it’s certainly worth preparing these items now before the day of learning begins.

5. Think about lighting!

This is one factor which often becomes over looked – where many of us know a quiet working space works best for concentrating, a well-lit room is also of high importance to maintain energy levels. Also, make sure that your child’s screen is not in direct sunlight as they will struggle to see the screen through the glare.