Supporting Learning at Home – Independent Activities
Despite some schools starting to return to face-to-face lessons this term, many parents are continuing to juggle learning from home alongside work commitments and the million other jobs around the house! Even the most organised of us are finding this challenging.
Having some independent learning activities up your sleeve can be a great way to encourage children to become independent learners while freeing up some time for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Try starting a mindfulness journal with your child to support them through this unusual and uncertain time.
Choose a notebook or diary to keep track of some positive thoughts. At the start of the day encourage your child to write down a positive thought. At the end of the day, they can write down 3 positive things that happened that day. Younger children could draw some of the things that made them happy that day. Start with some simple positives like having a nice dinner, spending some time outdoors or having a great chat with a friend online.
Older children might enjoy a research project about a topic that interests them like their favourite animal, a country they would like to visit, a period in history or the history of their local town or area. Your child can research their chosen topic in books or through a safe web search. Encourage them to get creative with how they present their project. They could present it as a PowerPoint presentation, in a scrapbook, as a poster or even make a video presentation about it so that they can share it with friends and family online.
A Maths Trail is like a Maths scavenger hunt. Children are challenged to explore Maths topics or solve problems while moving around a designated area. You could organise a Maths Trail in your home or garden. Topics like measurement & shape work great for this kind of activity.
Ask your child open ended questions like “Find as many objects longer than 1 meter in the living room.” or “Find some 3D shapes around the house.” Depending on your child’s age they could record their findings by drawing, writing or taking photographs. You can find lots of Maths Trails online. Older children might enjoy creating Maths Trails for their siblings. You can try our Length Scavenger Hunt to help get you started.
Set up an Obstacle Course
Last week we talked about the importance of exercise and staying active at home. Give your child some simple props and ask them to create their own obstacle course or activity circuit. Use whatever objects you have in your home or garden. If you have sports equipment like a ball or racket they could incorporate activities like bouncing a ball while running between two objects. Encourage them to get creative with how they move. They could run, hop, skip or roll. Children can complete the obstacle course themselves or challenge their siblings or even their parents to complete it. You could even time each other and see who is the fastest!
Younger children learn through play so try to incorporate some play at home too. Pick a theme and try to focus some play time around this theme. Your child could set up their own shop, restaurant or even office. Have some simple props or toys to hand and maybe some old clothes or hats so that children can get ‘dressed up’. Children will use their imagination. They may incorporate some simple literacy or numeracy activities into their play like taking imaginary orders in a restaurant or writing an email at the office.