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Weekly learn at home blog

Week 8: Looking ahead

Week 8: Looking ahead

This article has been written by parent blogger Emma Bradley.

Although some children will be returning to schools next month, home schooling will remain a priority for most families for the foreseeable future. Therefore, now is a good time to evaluate what you have been doing for the past seven weeks and look forward to how you can manage the rest of the academic year.

Many parents are feeling overwhelmed with planning activities and learning opportunities for their children. I am sure that schools will be looking forward at how they can best support families but, in the meantime, my initial thought for Erin is to expand her curriculum. So far, we have spent most of our time on maths and English skills which of course are important, but I want to broaden her experiences and look at what else we can do.

Firstly we are going to start learning a language together, it has been a long time since I have spoken a different language. After a quick discussion between French and Spanish, we have chosen Spanish. We tend to go to Spanish speaking countries on holiday, therefore it seemed a good choice, although most secondary schools teach French first so doing that maybe would have given her a head start. There is obviously no right or wrong just whichever you would prefer. To resource this Collins have audio books so we will be starting with those and I will be learning too!

We are going to learn about the country and have a themed day where we eat Spanish food and learn about the geography including the flag and some of the places of interest.

I have also found some more craft projects that we can do at home. We plan on making some thoughtful handmade gifts ready for upcoming birthdays. We have even ordered a glue gun which we are excited to play with! Pinterest and craft blogs offer a great starting point for age appropriate crafting projects.

Focusing on one maths skill a week is working well for us as it ensures that Erin has a really good understanding of the skill before we move onto something else. Sometimes it is better to take a slower approach and make sure it is understood otherwise you just leave gaps in the learning. I have been teaching angles so we started off with looking at acute, obtuse and right angles in the home. Next we looked at angles on a line or in a circle. We spent a few days on this and didn’t do anything else until I was sure that Erin had a good understanding and could recall and apply that information.

We are reading The Dairy of Anne Frank and this has helped Erin with her own diary writing which she as been doing since lockdown started. It has also been useful for discussing how bored we get. We remember that Anne was literally in a small space for two years, she could not go out and had to stay quiet too! I tasked Erin with drawing a new front cover for the book - this is always a great task to do. We also took a virtual tour of her house; Youtube has lots of virtual tours which are useful if you are researching a place.

As Erin is really missing her friends, we arranged to play trivial pursuits online virtually, it worked really well. I dropped off half the question cards (socially distanced) when I was on my daily walk. We then had the board game at our house but a dice each and took turns rolling and we moved the counters. I think this would work for lots of board games and Erin really enjoyed having the interaction with her best friend.

As home schooling will be continuing for another six weeks for several year groups, for most of us it is good to think of some longer projects.

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 

Week 5: Keeping busy

Week 6: Settling into a routine

Week 7: Taking a practical approach

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.