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Parents share their best tips for home schooling

With the third week of school closures underway , Sennies has been reaching out to our SEN Parent community to put together a few homeschooling top tips!


With all forms of childcare comes a form of trial and error and nobody always gets it right. Our tips are merely suggestions as ultimately each child is unique.


Routine

Everyone in our community knows just how important routine is.

Visual timetables have been important for many parents

While this may seem obvious, there are sometimes elements of the day you may forget when transitioning to homeschooling. For example, one parent mentioned her daughter who has ASD was struggling with the concept of learning at home, but quickly followed her daughter's lead when she decided she wanted to wear a school uniform during ‘school hours’ which made a huge difference.


Another mother mentioned that she had been able to get her child's teacher to call in every couple of days, which really helped. Of course this may not be possible for everyone, but if you feel your child would benefit from this, then it's worth a quick email/call to ask.


Visual timetables have been key for many parents especially those who have children with Autism. Here is a fantastic free online resource that includes everything you need to create a daily timetable with pictures/symbols, plus more! CLICK HERE


Do your best and don't compare yourself to anyone else

One of the major things we’ve heard is the importance of limiting social media use, and not for the children!


The internet has been awash with pictures and videos of ‘super parents’ running all sorts of activities and keeping their children engaged and educated.

Don't compare yourself to insta mums/dads

As with all social media, while this can be good to get inspiration it’s vital to remember that it isn’t a reflection on reality.


“Do the best you can until you know better, when you know better, do better” - Maya Angelou


There is no instruction manual and things may get a little ugly from time to time. Forgive yourself for these moments, minutes, hours and save highly preferred activities for these days.




Behaviour

Behaviour is just a form of communication. Whilst no home will be spotless during lockdown we recommend dedicating one area to your school ‘zone’ however big or small that area is, dress it up and keep that one zone in order, as problem environment = problem behaviour.


Lucy shared the following story and picture with us :

My older daughter is on the autistic spectrum and attends a special school. She needs to have visual aids and a strict routine. When it became clear that schools would be shutting, I ordered lots of things from amazon. The last order came yesterday so they are still delivering things quite quickly.


All the work is colour coded and divided into literacy, numeracy and miscellaneous categories. The school sent me quite a few sheets but I have signed up with Twinkl too as they provide free resources that are usually grouped together based on a theme, which makes it easier.



We strongly suggest investing in a printer, laminator, laminating sheets and a visual timer to make homeschooling that little bit easier with reusable resources.


Do your best to minimise negative effects / triggers, but also take into account everything else that has been going on for your child all day long, as sometimes the trigger is not obvious or even directly related to the event where things started to become more challenging.


Block access to things off limits, do not expect your child to just follow the rules - this can be done by physically removing things (eg. keyboard and mouse of a computer) and only bringing them back during allocated screen time or if you are unable to do that we had a great suggestion from a parent who created an ‘off limits’ sign accompanied by the opening times to place on the computer when out of bounds.


Follow your child’s lead

Homeschooling could be the new normal.

If your child finds a new way of engaging with an activity go with it. If they start asking questions that naturally lead you into a science lesson swap science with the current lesson and ride the wave. The best timetables are made with velcro or blue tac so they can easily be changed/updated throughout the day. Every timetable should be created with an element of flexibility.


Resources

If your child isn’t attending a specialist school, much of the lesson plans being sent home won’t be catered in the same way for SEN children.


Thankfully there are loads of online resources available to help tailor your day, including www.Twinkl.co.uk and the National Autistic Society.


The National Autistic Society has teacher resource packs that include lesson and assembly plans. These have been produced for world autism awareness week, but can be used at any time.


Homeschooling is hard, so hang in there! When you need help, we’ve got you covered! We have loads of Experienced SEN Nannies and Teachers ready to be placed with families today!

Contact info@sennies.co.uk or call 07312 099105.


If you would like to be featured in the Sennies Blog, sharing a story or an activity with our growing community, please send an email to Joshua ( Joshua@sennies.co.uk) who will be in touch with how to get involved.


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