With the government shutdown of schools, many parents and guardians will be considering how they can best provide a school day from home for their children. Although the structure of such a day does not necessarily have to be the same as at school, ensuring that students have a consistent schedule allows them to more easily adjust to school life upon returning and will prevent them from falling behind on their studies in the meantime.
Set a consistent schedule
While it may seem easier to allow your child to study whenever they want, as long as they work for a certain amount of time in total, structure allows them to better focus on their goals. Consider maintaining a schedule similar to school hours, even if the length of each session or the subject mix differs.
Ensure there is a good subject mix
Ensuring that all subjects are covered in a scheduled period, for instance a fortnight, is important so that students don’t neglect certain subjects. Therefore, splitting the day into various periods, as schools do, and making sure that there is a variety of subjects covered each day, can be helpful. Research has shown that 52-minute sessions, followed by 17 minutes of break, are most productive.
Try to change as little as possible
Things like allowing your child to work in bed while wearing pyjamas, or eat junk food for lunch, can make it more difficult for them to adjust back to their school routine. Furthermore, working in bed can lead to aches and pains, as well as insomnia.
Allow time for exercise
Exercise is great for a number of reasons. It improves mood through the release of endorphins; gives the brain a rest from studying and has even been shown to improve cognitive function. Seeing as schools allow students to exercise, both in designated PE periods and at break time, it is important to give your child the opportunity to stay active at home.
Consider allowing some ‘20% time’
Although Google’s 20% time has been somewhat debunked, the principle is still a good one. It is worth bearing in mind that the aim of education is to instil certain habits and teach students how to learn, as well as to prep students for exams. Thus, setting aside some time for your child to learn about whatever piques their interest – even if it is not something they will be examined on – will help foster a love of learning, which will see their grades rise in the long term.
Enlist outside help
In some cases, it may be worth considering online mentoring with professional tutors. This will offer your child the opportunity of tailoring teaching and will also provide them with external accountability.
Oxbridge Applications offers various services to support your child’s education. Our comprehensive Online Summer School for aspiring Oxbridge students can provide your son/daughter with some structured, school-like teaching during this period of home learning. Additionally, our Online Private Tuition service offers tuition at various age levels, as well as in various subjects.