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It has been lovely ... really ... but now I'd like to scream!

In this blog, Beccie Hawes, SEND expert, explores some useful strategies and resources that can support parents with home schooling.

Posted on Thursday 04th February 2021

My home school experience has been interesting.

I had a marvellous time working with my boys (all four of them) whilst trying to also work full time from home. So marvellous in fact that now I’d like to scream!

The schools my children attend have done an amazing job of sending home work that is varied and interesting and I have done my best to supplement it with ‘stuff’ from the internet and activities from my own teaching career. We got through. Since they all went back to school our family has experienced incidents of further home schooling as classroom bubbles have inevitably burst and then another lockdown! All of which I have found tricky but survived. But, this got me thinking. If I am a qualified teacher who does this day in and day out and I find it tricky, what might it be like for parents with no formal teacher training?

From talking with many parents and carers about how to support their children’s learning, it has become clear that they are finding the following aspects of home schooling challenging:

  • Helping their children to concentrate so that they can complete the work set by their teachers.
  • Getting everything done – task organisation, maintenance and completion.

Here are a few ideas that might help you to help your parents that, for many reasons, might be finding home schooling hard:

  • Show parents how to break tasks into smaller ‘chunks’ and build in motivators for completion of each chunk towards the bigger picture. A task slicing device, such as the ‘Task Slicing Tool’, is a perfect resource to support this.

Home Learning Resource - Task Slicing Tool

  • Children really benefit from having opportunities to self-regulate their sensory needs. This aids their concentration as they feel ‘back in kilter’. At school, we often provide sensory fiddles and experiences for our children that work really well. It can be helpful to share what we offer and why it works with parents. We could share tactile fiddles, fidgets and chewable pendants.

Take a look at the whole collection here.

  • Some children really like having a personal space to work in. This can be especially helpful in a busy household where work is completed possibly at the kitchen table. A Pop-Up Concentration Desk Barrier could provide the perfect solution.

Home Learning Support - Concentration Barrier

  • For some parents having something to work through in a systematic way that targets basic skills can provide structure and focus. Some parents may also find this kind of school work easier to support. Many families have enjoyed working on handwriting using Writing Explorers.

Home Learning Support - Handwriting Programme

  • Don’t forget about the basics. Do your families need pencils, pens and paper?

 

A huge thank you to Beccie Hawes for writing this blog for us.

About Beccie Hawes

Beccie has worked in all aspects of Special Educational Needs including mainstream, additionally resourced provision and specialist settings. She has extensive experience as a SENCo, Inclusion Manager, Lead Local Authority SEND Advisory Teacher and has set up and led an inclusion advisory service.

Beccie is currently proud to be the Head of Service with Cadmus Inclusive, part of Cadmus Services, which is based in Walsall. This service has a national reach and actively supports schools with all aspects of providing a high quality education for vulnerable learners. Beccie is the author of ‘The Complete Dyslexia Toolkit’ and co-author of ‘Getting it Right for SEND’ and ‘How to Create the Perfect Partnership with Parents’. Beccie also writes the national Ebriefing: SEND Bitesize. She has developed a number of educational resources to support learners which schools across the UK have purchased and use.  Beccie remains very ‘hands on’ in the classroom and is passionate about being at the chalk face to support teachers and children to think differently for a brighter tomorrow. She is also the mum to four boys and a dog.

Beccie Hawes - SEND expert