We spoke to John, one of our Area Managers, about his experience home-schooling his own children.
How long did you home-school your children for?
We home-schooled our two children for a year while my wife went back to work following the 2008 financial crash, and would have done it for longer if circumstances allowed.
What’s the main thing you learnt home-schooling your children?
They both thrived on the 1-2-1, having previously been in large classes in school. One of my sons was showing dyslexic tendencies, and his confidence was dropping. Teaching them both together at home really helped develop their confidence.
For you, what was the best thing about home-schooling?
It doesn't feel like school, they could have discussions with me and with each other more freely. They were also able to work at their own pace, and we didn’t have to follow a traditional timetable. If they needed more help with something, we could spend more time going over it to make sure they understood it fully.
And what do you think your children gained or learnt from the experience?
Definitely confidence, and a love of reading, something which has endured to this day.
How do you monitor that your children are working when they should be? Especially when so much work needs to be done on computers.
As long as you’ve put safeguards in place, working on computers can be more fun. I monitored their work by setting them tasks that had an observable end. I would then review their work and we’d go through it together while it was still fresh in their mind.
Do you recommend children work together or separately to avoid distracting one another?
My children worked together, although I imagine if they were older and doing A-level work for example, sometimes they would need to be separate to help them concentrate.
What are your 3 main pieces of advice to parents who feel daunted by the prospect of home-schooling their children for the next couple of months?
1. Don't stress. Home-schooling can be fun! Just make sure you allow time for lots of short breaks. Get them to go out in the garden, or allow them time in their bedroom so they’re refreshed.
2. I found the mornings were better for learning. A lot can be done if you start at 8am, and then by lunchtime, you'll find that it's all done for the day!
3. Don't fall into the trap of saying, it can be done tomorrow, as you’ll struggle to catch up. Don't procrastinate!