In recent weeks we’ve had lots of great discussions with families wanting to prepare for their children's time away from school, learning from home. How can I support my children while they are absent from school? What will I need?
While the new year is a great time to get back into routine and healthy habits - it’s also a great time to plan for the unexpected. Refreshing your first aid supplies and, as we’ve learnt over the past few years - being prepared to manage work and school from home.
I know that juggling work from home with little ones can be exhausting. I hope that this journal entry gives you peace of mind that things don't need to be complicated and that you can create a simple and fun space for your children to enjoy.
In our home we enjoy open-ended play, connection and celebrating our children’s passions and strengths. In previous stints of home-schooling, while juggling work, we encouraged our children to;
- Enjoy each others company! Play games - Five Crowns is a family favourite and great math learning! Spot It! keeps you on your toes, it's fun, fast paced and competitive!
- Help with jobs. Our children all help around the house daily, with dishes, laundry and their bedrooms. During our extended time at home they enjoyed more time in the kitchen, preparing food as well as helping with meal planning and online food shopping - all great life skills we want them to leave home with. In the past a simple roster on the fridge has helped our children identify daily tasks.
- Read, Read, Read. It's one of the best things you can do with your little ones. Our eldest was encouraged to read aloud to the younger two each day. A blessing when we needed a little quiet time! The older two, who can both read alone, were encouraged to read silently for half an hour or so - this tends to be just before bed.
- Free play! Our Hape Quadrilla marble run has never been used so much as it has in the last few years. A great option for a few hours of fun, working together and overcoming challenges. Our children love LEGO and DUPLO and there are plenty of online challenges and activities that you can get stuck into over a few hours or days. We've also picked up some great LEGO challenge books over the years.
- Write. Our children need plenty of encouragement to write. They enjoyed writing letters to their grandparents and family - a lovely way to stay connected!
- Be creative! We kept our dining room table set up as an art station - with paper, felts, crayons and play dough. This was a space that didn't get cleared away, just tidied and replenished at the end of each day.
Here are a handful of my favourite brands and products for learning from home;
mierEdu - educational toys and games for children aged 0-8 years. The wide range of puzzles, activity sets and art and craft packs give your child a basic understanding of skills such as maths, literacy, problem-solving and more. Best sellers in the range are the Wipe Clean Activity Set and the Body & Emotion Magnetic Set.
Bright Ideas for Young Minds Book - 70 step by step activities to do at home with your children. Online HERE.
The Kitchen Science Cookbook - an extraordinarily fun and practical book that shows science experiments can be just as easy as baking. Great for all ages! Online HERE.
Maps - our copy of this this stunning atlas, packed with facts is so loved! We often use it for a quick family quiz! Online HERE.
Puzzles - we're big on puzzles, encouraging our children to work on one themselves - or enjoying working on a family puzzles together over a few days. Swapping puzzles with friends and family is a nice way to enjoy something new! Our puzzles are broken down into Beginner, Floor Puzzles, Family Puzzles (500-1000 piece) and more!
Waterbeads - a fun activity for younger children (age 3+) waterbeads can be reused over and over! Burying them in the garden when you are finished is a great learning activity in itself. Online HERE.
Fiesta Crafts - have a great range of activity packs to support home learning from age 4-9 years. Online HERE.
Big Jigs Times Tables Tray - a helpful wooden tool to teach and learn times tables. Online HERE.
Classic World Balance Stacking Game - an affordable wooden piece that's great for setting challenges for children aged 2-6 years. Online HERE.
Djeco 20 Classic Games - we adore this boxed game set, with over 20 classics - generous sized pieces and incredible quality. Online HERE.
Brain Box - there is something for all ages and interests in these fun 10 minute brain challenge boxes! Online HERE.
Here’s to helping your little loves thrive,