Below, we list some of the best resources to help you fill the gap left by school and offer some tips on how to balance life in lockdown three.
1). Find a space that works for you and your family
In the past year, you’ve likely set yourself up in a comfortable homeworking space and are already familiar with the best work from home tools to keep you productive and connected.
Though, in light of tougher lockdown restrictions, it’s important that your family is aware of your working space, and that you can work somewhere that allows you to supervise your children without much disruption.
A dedicated workspace helps to set boundaries with your kids, and helps your kids know the difference between work time and free time.
2). Create a routine for your children at the start of the week
The biggest thing your kids will be missing in national lockdown is a set routine. According to the NHS, routines make children and young people feel safer. Evidence also shows that routines support social skills and academic success in children.
Routines or weekly plans can be guided by the work that is sent from the school, but you can also customise it to what works best for your situation. You might set out times you’re available help your child with their work, or pencil in certain tasks around important meetings to avoid overlap.
As parenting never goes completely to plan, there’s the obvious chance that your kids might not follow the routine to the letter, but it’s good to have something to refer back to.
Also, be aware of over-planning. Researchers warn against too much routine, which might stifle creativity. It’s still important to be flexible, similarly to how you’d want your managers to be with you in this situation.
3). Make sure your manager is aware of your situation
By now, most businesses understand that people need the freedom to work a little differently. Now that children can no longer go to school it’s more important than ever to speak up when work commitments strongly conflict with your family life.
Feel confident in your ability to ask for greater flexibility. You will not be the only one in this situation and there is the possibility that you may need more consideration than others, for instance if you have younger children or are caring for someone differently abled.
4). Know what resources are available
There are so many educational online resources it can be hard to identify what’s right for your child. Take a look at the work they are receiving from school and filter your choices accordingly.
The BBC have announced they will be airing primary school and GCSE revision programming every weekday from 11 January and, unlike the first lockdown, the government are expecting schools to deliver their own online learning.
Other fantastic learning resources include:
If your child is differently abled, many charities and support services have produced helpful tips for educating children in particular circumstances. Some examples below:
- Resources for autistic people and families [National Autistic Society]
- Coronavirus and support for deaf children – information for families [National Deaf Children’s Society]
5). Don’t feel bad about screen time, but make it educational
Increased screen time is another side effect of the pandemic, but it needn’t be a cause for concern.
Whether talking to friends, learning or relaxing, we’ve been forced into greater reliance on digital media.
While it’s inevitable to be more relaxed about screen time at the moment, the NSPCC highlight the need to have conversations about how it may impact mental health and self-esteem.
This may mean limiting social media use to certain times or restricting access to coronavirus news to reduce anxiety, while talking openly to your kids about why you might be taking these measures.
Letting your kids play on phones and tablets is an easy way to keep them happy and stimulated, offering you a much needed break! But remember to monitor this usage and introduce educational content where possible.
For more advice on living and working in lockdown…