Parents around the country are no doubt heaving a sigh of relief as the end of term arrives. It’s been a difficult time for many parents as they struggled to balance the needs of work with educating children.
Despite the best attempts by teachers and parents to continue delivering the curriculum, it’s highly likely that most children have fallen behind. After all, teachers had to juggle educating key workers with online learning, and had to quickly adapt to a new digital classroom. Many parents had to try and hold down a job, while trying to keep their children motivated to complete endless worksheets.
The summer is a good time to let children unwind and enjoy some downtime, but it’s also a good time to top up the education missed over the last four months.
If you’re keen to try and catch up with the curriculum this summer, here are our tips for how to engage children in their learning.
Less is more
Simple, short tasks – of around a minute at a time – help children stay focused and engaged. Moving through each task quickly helps maintain a sense of pace, and a satisfaction that a fair amount of ground has been covered in a short space of time
With each task completed, give plenty of praise and feedback. We do this in our virtual lessons both verbally at the time, as well as through email correspondence after the lesson.
Unlike a classroom, at home a child has less distractions. Their focus is on the screen, rather than other children in the class. We have found that this, along with maintaining a good pace of tasks, has kept children interested and motivated.
Variety is the spice
What we have also found is that home learning works really well with virtual classroom learning. In other words, children attending a group tuition session online, complemented by 1-1 or self-directed home-learning. This combination gives variety with the social interaction and group work in the classroom, followed by more focussed work online from home.
Making it fun
Making lessons fun has always been at the heart of our style of teaching. Nowadays, there is a wealth of internet-based games and quizzes that make learning a topic fun and engaging. Duolingo, for instance, for learning a language, or BBC bitesize for almost every topic has a simple quiz at the end of each learning section.
An active body is an active mind. Pepper the day with plenty of breaks to run around outside to keep the blood flowing and to prevent the brain feeling sluggish.
Here at Pen and Ink Tuition, we had to quickly adapt to the new situation and make sure that we could still continue to provide a thorough preparation of the 11+ for our students.
I’m pleased to say going virtual has been a resounding success.
Since March, when we took our tuition online, our students have not only told us how much they have enjoyed the sessions, but how much they have appreciated having a teacher constantly present. They have loved being able to ask questions through the chat facility, and we still use many of the fun elements we used in class to keep the learning fun.
Much of our teaching has been one-to-one, and the children have really benefitted from that focus. From the parents’ perspective, once they have set their children up, they can get on with someone else while also keeping half an ear out for the goings on in the lesson. Many of the parents we have spoken to have enjoyed having this window into their child’s learning.
Please do talk to us if you’re concerned about lost curriculum, particularly in the run up to the 11+ in November. This August, we are offering a set of six catch-up sessions at a rate of pay for five and get the sixth one free. The cost £40 a lesson for one to one and £45 for family group.
We are also offering free assessments to help you find out what level your child is at and how you can help them catch up. Do give us a call on 01494 773300.