Wednesday 22 April 2020

Helping Your Kids Stay Motivated to Learn While Schools are Shut

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For many of us the current situation all over the world has tipped everything we know on its head. It's a strange and uncertain situation and how do we all get through it? Well the answer is in reality nobody knows! The fact is all we can do is our best, listen to the advice and of course stay safe. 

But with lots workers now working from home and schools closed, many parents have had to turn their hand at helping their child stay on top of their learning. I don't want to say home schooling because lets face it this isn't home schooling, if it can be described as anything its lockdown schooling. This uncertain schooling where we are all just doing our best to help our kids retain their knowledge and learn what they can. But whilst you may have a lesson plan or idea of what they should be learning, the biggest task is often keeping everyone motivated! 

Ensuring your child stays motivated to learn during school closures is a challenging, yet crucial task for parents. It’s very important that children continue to keep their brains stimulated, which does not mean they should be playing on their phones 24/7. There are plenty of other things they can do that will keep them busy and allow them to continue learning in one way or another including fun learning games such as fenetic typing games, arts and crafts and even baking. Learning doesn't have to just be from worksheets and text books but If they struggle to find a way to continue learning, they are more likely to fall behind when schools re-open.  

As a parent, it’s your job to motivate your child to carry out some educational activities, regardless of their age. I have teamed up with an independent prep school in Essex to provide you with the following advice that will help your child continue learning while their schools are shut: 

Reading and writing 

If you have various different books in your home, you should try and encourage your child to read. In fact, if each member of the family is reading something different, you can all discuss your books at mealtimes and explore any similarities or differences in terms of the genre and character development. Once your child has a finished a book, you could suggest that they write a review or even get creative and write a short spin-off story. 

The great outdoors 

There are plenty of learning opportunities outside, so take advantage of the current UK lockdown rules and take your child out for a walk. Discuss how the weather is changing and what that does to the animals and plants. See if you can spot any unique birds or other animals and explore their natural habitats. If your child is into photography, you could encourage them to take some photos during the walk that they can edit later and add to a portfolio. 

Downloadable resources

Most UK public and independent schools have been adding learning tools to their online portals to keep their students busy with curriculum-related tasks. It’s important to encourage your child to complete this work and consider helping them with any areas that they might find tough. This will help them prepare for their return to school. 

How are you finding the current situation? Are you educating your children at home? If so what have you found that has helped you all stay on track and keep motivated? I think for us its been short bursts! We tried a "full day" mimicking a school day and it was just too much for my youngest. So now I try to be led by them and we do short bursts mixed it with reading and fun.

Let me know how you are getting on in the comments below.


**This is a collaborative post.**


  1. My kids are older and they are getting on with what the school have set, it is all on the laptop and they go to their older brother for help, so I'm mostly off the hook! Mich x

  2. I am focusing on getting the English and Maths their school sets them first thing in the morning and then we choose some activities to support their learning eg. Duolingo, Mathsfactor online or a science experiment. We are all doing out best and thats the main thing. My children have enjoyed each others company for one and become interested in cooking which is nice too.

  3. I need all the help I can get at the moment as both my kids need tons of motivating to get them to do homework. Somedays it is a breeze while on other days it can be challenging so these tips are helpful

  4. I am really struggling with Jack at the moment. He doesn't seem to want to do anything and complains yet if he was actually at school, he would do the work no problem.

  5. This is really handy for parents at the moment, as it is a really testing time. good on you for taking time out to write this xx

  6. it's really hard work home schooling children at any age - and doing it in short breaks is a good idea.

  7. We were doing really well until today. All three were winding each other up and ended up in meltdown. We ended up watching a film and trying again afterwards

  8. It's a tricky balance trying to ensure they are doing enough but without having to force them to do the work that has been set for them

  9. it's really hard home schooling children especially if there's an age gap so well done to everyone who's doing this. It's good to have some extra suggestions too.

  10. My nephews seem to be coping ok, but my sister-in-law is struggling a little with them being home alllll the time and having more energy than Energiser bunnies!