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Weekly learn at home blog

Week 5: Keeping busy

Week 5: Keeping busy

This article has been written by parent blogger Emma Bradley.

As the Easter holidays come to an end, we have had confirmation that the current lockdown will remain in place for at least the next three weeks. It was expected but has left me feeling rather emotional. This also means that parents and carers will be planning how they are going to move forward with home schooling their children and working from home.

We have been lucky with some fabulous weather over the past week which means we have been making the most of the garden. Erin has been investigating what she can see in garden and identifying plants and bugs with the i-Spy range of books, these little pocket-sized books are full of facts and they challenge you to spot things when out and about. There is a whole range of i-Spy books which even include cars and nature, so ideal for children that want a focus when they are taking their daily walk.

Another activity we did in the garden was to close our eyes for one minute and listen to all the different things we could hear. It is a great way to tune into your senses and not just rely on our eyes. This naturally turned into us trying to guess how long a minute is and raising our hand when we thought the minute was up. I was not very good at this!

Erin is still doing lots of colouring, so I printed off a map of the world and she has diligently been colouring it. This has encouraged natural conversations about how hot or cold different countries are. We then got out the children’s picture atlas and found out more facts about the countries she was interested in. This is child-led learning at its best and because she is in control and choosing what to do her enthusiasm is high. I honestly think the key to doing home schooling well is to tap into children’s natural curiosity and be flexible.

I have been really aware that primary aged children are well catered for, with many online activities aimed at entertaining them. It is much harder for teenagers and so I turned my attention to what I can get my 16 year-old doing. He is planning on doing A-levels in September so I have tasked him with some pre-teaching activities to get started. Now is also a great time to look at some life skills and help him prepare for growing independence. I ended up writing 30+ Ideas to keep teenagers busy, safe and happy during lockdown. A few examples include starting to write a CV ready for the future and to research university choices both in terms of course and location.

We have had quite a laid-back approach over the Easter break and I am looking forward to gearing up a level next week. I really enjoy teaching Erin and I know from conversations I’ve had, that many others are enjoying it too. I do wonder where this will lead and whether there will be a national increase in those choosing to home school in the future too.

In next weeks diary you will see a more comprehensive range of learning intentions as our home school steps it up!


Missed Emma's previous learn at home blogs? Read the previous installments today: 

Week 1: Introducing your weekly learn at home blog 

Week 2: The new normal 

Week 3: Keeping emotional health in mind 

Week 4: Little and often 


About Emma

Emma Bradley, a qualified secondary teacher and current primary school governor with many years experience of working in different childcare and education settings. She has three children, the eldest is Chloe a second year university student, a son Dylan who is 16 and just found out his GCSEs are not going ahead and Erin who is 10 and still at primary school.