(co-written by a real-life 11 year-old)
There are hundreds of blogs out there talking about “How to cope with home-schooling whilst working from home” tips and guidance are in abundance. Reading through them we noticed that, none of them brings in the thoughts of a schoolkid!!!
This blog aims to address that, with our “Real-life” version which has been co-written and more importantly proofread (read on to find out why) and signed off by an 11 year-old who’s opinion on the subject is just as important as an adult’s. After all, it would be wrong for a marketer to forget their target audience.
Q: Why is it so hard to get going when lessons start every morning?
Kid: There’s no walk to school and banter with the boys before the bell.
Mum: Yes, those quiet cups of tea at 8.30 have disappeared for me too.
A: Fresh air
Essential for lifting the spirits and blowing away the proverbial cobwebs. Our routines need to include as much fresh air as possible and that can mean a quick walk out in the garden or a sit on the balcony whilst enjoying a hot drink.
Q: What have you enjoyed the most today?
Kid: Helping you with “WOW words”
Mum: For me, spending extra time together is nice even though sometimes it is a bit fraught. And bringing school subjects to life by talking about how “adjectives” and “grammar” are important for my work has been a new topic of conversation. On top that, History is so much more interesting when you have some life experience under the belt.
A: Work and study together…sometimes
Relish in the new debates that happen about new subjects and show the kids how their efforts today really can make a difference for their life choices in the future. Getting them to proofread your “deliberate” mistakes makes them feel that they’re helping too.
Q: What have you disliked the most?
Kid: When you freak out!!
Mum: Yes that was a missed deadline!!
A: Time is of the essence
Plan your day to accommodate the school timetable, the work deadlines, and most importantly, build in time for the inevitable disruption. Agreeing slightly longer deadlines with customers helps and if you can involve the kids all the better. School’s out at 3-3.30 even if only 23 of the 5 classroom projects are finished – kids need time away for play and chilling. This a great time for a freelancer to catch up, uninterrupted.
Q: What about lunchtime antics?
Kid: I just want to play on my phone
Mum: I could really use a few minutes more to get things done now that the kids are “offline”
A: Lunchtime life skills
Get the kids to make the lunch (within reason) they love the extra responsibility and it’s great for building skills to use in DT. Teaching them how to use the sandwich toaster gives them a sense of independence.
Q: What happens when you can’t spare the time to “teach”?
Kid: I don’t know what to do, what does this mean, can you check it etc …
Mum: Hold on I’m needed on a call, ask me later…
A: Access alternative education
When there’s no live lesson or the internet collapses make the most of what’s available elsewhere. Always try to choose activities that appeal to your child’s interests – that way they really will engage. Here’s some we’ve either used or read about which have really worked:
BBC Lockdown learning – every day a good range of content for all age groups
Set a time for them to read their favourite book / magazine / comic
Educational phone apps – literacy, maths and languages are all available on apps such as Quizlet, Duolingo, counting caterpillar there’s too many to mention
Set mini art, craft and design projects – making a jigsaw of their favourite character really brings in lots of varied skills
Q: How can we stay motivated?
Kid: I can’t concentrate
Mum: I love to chip in, but he needs to work it out by himself too
A: Small rewards
Set some deadlines and offer treats when they’re achieved. Even better, as the end of the school day approaches the promise of gaming or screen time when the work is done certainly focuses the mind.
Q: What makes you feel blue?
Kid: I miss football training
Mum: I just feel trapped in
A: Essential Exercise
Whether it’s wrapping up in cuddly woollies, donning the running gear or kicking the football about, exercise every day even if you can only squeeze in 10 minutes. Especially during cold spells, it’s difficult to muster the motivation to get out and about, but it’s always worth the effort. Even the 11-year-old knows he loves the feel of endorphins!! And in fact, we actually came up with lots of the ideas for this blog whilst out on a 3-mile run.
OUR LAST BIG TIP – END ON A POSITIVE
Try to end each school day by celebrating any good feedback from teachers, admiring any newly created arts and crafts, or simply chatting about the biggest thing that everyone learnt today.
With that in mind, let’s end on a positive now …one thing that this, and all of the other “Coping in lockdown” blogs have in common, is to remind us that we’re doing this because keeping safe in the pandemic is crucial – if you’re doing that you’re winning.
Remember, YOU’RE NOT A TEACHER. Equally, your child’s teacher would probably struggle to create a marketing strategy. Take it a day at a time, don’t let the technology get you down – there’s always paper and pen and above all, don’t forget to laugh.
We’ll leave you now to put some of our suggestions into practice and we’d love to receive your recommendations too – please get in touch.