Whether you choose to homeschool your children or home schooling is thrust upon you, there are several ways to make your indoor academy run a little more smoothly. Here’s our round-up of the best advice to ensure you stay more Miss Honey, than Demon Headmaster…


Create a learning zone

Set up a designated learning area in your home. Try to create a calm space with clean surfaces and no distractions such as the TV or the biscuit tin in view! This will give children a clear understanding that they are in a learning zone and an organised, peaceful environment will help them focus.

Prepare your equipment

Make sure you have a clear table/desk with all the supplies you need before you start work. Having to rummage for paper or nip off to find a pen will disrupt the flow.

Assume a teaching persona

If you’re worried about your children taking your authority seriously try to make this new learning situation into a fun role play. Assume a slightly stricter or more fun teaching persona that your children will enjoy responding to. We loved reading about Polar Post founder Charlotte Wood, taking on the character of Matilda’s Miss Honey in order to get her kids on board with her new role of home school teacher.

Find out what your children are studying at school

If you log onto your children’s school website there should be an outline of the topics that they are studying in their year and during enforced school closure teachers should send some topic work home. If information is hard to find, email the school to find out and ask your children to give you some pointers on what projects they’ve been working on at school.

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Create a Schedule

A timetable written out on a grid is a really great idea to create structure and help keep focus. Ask your children to help plan the timetable so that they can feel involved and then they can colour it in and decorate it as one of their first projects.

Don’t tire them out

Children, especially young children will be able to maintain focus if they are given regular breaks throughout the day. Half an hour study will be much less of a struggle if there’s a change of scene before and after. Study interspersed with activities or crafting is always a good idea and don’t forget the fail safe offer of a snack and drink to keep energy levels up.

Annual store home scool

>> Some Useful Home Schooling Learning Resources

Amazon - Amazon is offering free and inspirational learning essentials to help while schools are closed. Including Science (Dr Ranj Singh, the NHS doctor/TV presenter, is providing a short brain-busting lesson in biology for children in years 1 -7), Mathematics (where students can tune into a maths lesson from Countdown presenter, Rachel Riley), English (you can listen to stories at Audible with the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Rachel McAdams and Dan Stevens - see below) and, lastly Physical Education (children can practise their football freestyle flair with Lia Lewis, British freestyle footballer and TikTok superstar).

Audible Stories - Download a huge selection of stories for your children to listen to. Fantastic authors and narrators will transport your kids without the need for a screen.

BBC Bitesize - A free online study support resource for school-age pupils to help with homework, revision and learning. Find free videos, step-by-step guides, activities and quizzes by level and subject. You can catch up on BBC iPlayer.

Brain Pop - An online learning resource which encourages kids to delve deeper into a whole range of subjects and topics including STEM, Social Studies, Health, Arts and Music. Free during school closures.

Creative Bug - On line crafting courses with a dedicated section for kids with topics like How to draw Manga Faces and make your own Frida Kahlo inspired headband.

Love Writing Co. - Download free handwriting and alphabet practice sheets that are full of fun and engaging activities to help your child learn letter and word formation, build pencil control and establish a solid writing foundation.

Travelandleisure – This website has gathered together all the museums and galleries that offer virtual tours. A great way to see some culture without leaving the house

Twinkl – Teacher created planning and assessment materials and teaching resources for primary and secondary school children.

Tynker - Coding made easy – everything needed to learn computer programming the fun way is what they say. Suitable for ages 5+

>> Stylish Home Schooling Essentials for children

Home School Essentials
  1. Complete Learning To Write Pack (Ages 3-5), £28.99, Love Writing Co.
  2. Home S'Cool T-shirts, from £18, Annual Store
  3. Colour Me Kids: Crayons (with 12 shades of skin colours), £4, Acorn & Pip
  4. Harfield Large Plastic Meal Tray with 4 Compartments, £11.16, Crosbys
  5. Inspirational Quote Pencil Set by Sarah Hurley, £6, notonthehighstreet
  6. Classic Chinese exercise books, £9 for set of 3, HedgehogShop
  7. Multiplication Square Children's Print, from £17, Wonder & Rah
  8. Home School award badge, 80p, badgesonboard

And, we love this card! What better way for kids to thank parents who have become stand-in teachers with this humorous personalised report card! Personalised Home School Report by Of Life & Lemons, £5.95 notonthehighstreet

personalised home school report

{Main Images: Getty Images/Nattakorn Maneerat}