Allstate Northern Ireland were proud to host their first ‘Home School Hacks’ sessions on 9th February for their employees. This is one of the many ways that the company have been supporting their employees with the pressures of home-schooling and allowing them to be flexible to achieve a healthy work life balance.
The two sessions focussed around tips for effective home schooling for parents of primary and secondary school children. Marcella Wilson and Sarah Workman from Donaghey Primary School and Juliette Barber from St. Cecilia’s College spoke alongside a panel of Allstate parents about how to cope with home schooling as working parents and shared their personal experiences.
Here’s some of the top tips that were shared during the sessions to help parents manage home schooling –
· You’re not expected to be the teacher
Your role at the moment is not to recreate a school day, this would be a sure way to exhaust everyone involved and create a stressful environment. Help your child/children to feel safe and secure and to do their best with the work plan, that has been set by your teacher.
· Overcoming blockers
If a task isn’t working, stop it. Take time out. Have a short break or swap activities. Maybe complete a more practical activity or a listening activity. Put on a short ‘cosmic kids yoga’ session, then come back to the table and try to start back to the tasks. This happens in school. Sometimes tasks don’t go the way we plan, they take longer or they just fail! That’s
okay. Sometimes we stop things in the middle of a lesson if it’s going really badly and just start something new. You live and learn!
· Do not compare your experience with other parents
Every child experiences school differently and every child will be experiencing remote learning differently. Even within your own family unit each child will be having different experiences so it is unhelpful to compare with other families. We are aware of this as schools and are doing our best to support you. Let us know what you need. “We are in the same storm but are all in different boats”
· Seize the opportunities
Teaching isn’t all about knowledge, it is about inspiring curiosity and building relationships. You have an unprecedented opportunity to forge deeper relationships with your children, engage more in their learning and share a love of learning. Relish the connection, the extra moments and the chances to be together. That will be more important to them as they navigate the world than any of the ‘stuff’.