This is guidance based on what works for me and my child. However, you may find it helpful. Check out these tips before you get started!
You can download this here!
8:15 Get dressed, breakfast
8:45 Quiet reading, looking at some books from your bookshelf
At this point, I’m encouraging independence, a love of reading and a structure similar to school.
9:00 20 minutes formal English activity
This is going to be work that has been set by the teacher and sent home. Or, it’s going to be work from workbooks that we have. I have AMAZING ones from Scholastic (no longer available) but I also picked up some great ones from PoundLand.
Remember, at this point in the journey (week 1!), you want your child to experience success and reinforce prior learning. Do not panic if they are not learning ‘new things’. This will come.
10 minutes reading to you
This is so important. Daily reading should be fun! I love the songbirds phonics collection, written by Julia Donaldson. Cody loves the Scholastic DC Heroes Phonics books. He is finding such joy in being able to read to us.
9:30 Creative playing
This should involve learning prompts – a focus for learning through play. Tailor it towards what your children are into.
The prompts will help you generate conversation around what they are doing. So, if you child has built a lego spaceship, What features does it have? Where do the astronauts sleep? How do they drive it? Where is the fuel kept? How do they know where they are going?
- create a story with your barbies/ponies/pokemon/
- build a lego spaceship
- create a bridge to cross the gap between these two chairs
- create a ramp for hot wheels cars – which is fastest? Why?
- write the alphabet in this tray of flour
- make a bracelet for a friend (using beads, embroidery threads)
- make up a dance/song/story
- write your own story
- make a book
Switch things up and play some games – sorting ‘real’ and ‘fake’ words. Play I spy, or find an object beginning with the letter… can they spell that word? For older children, do a spelling bee, or read a page of their reading book and look up words they are not sure about in a dictionary.
Use this chance to get outside too. Can they write their spellings in chalk on the patio? Could they find objects outside beginning with letters? Writing in water with paintbrushes is fun too!
Here is a chance to get outside!!! Have a healthy snack and some water.
10:30 Active time
Obstacle Course in the garden
(safe) run/cycle/scoot round the block **observe social distancing**
Play ‘you are only safe if…’ one of the easiest games that can be done anywhere! e.g. you are only safe if you are on the grass, you are only safe if you are touching something made of wood, you are only safe if you are standing on one leg…. Take turns with who decides what to say.
Run/walk e.g. run to the lamppost, walk to the next one, skip to the next one (do this in your garden – run the length, hop back, skip down,
11:30 20 Minutes formal maths activity
This is likely to be work set by the school, or from workbooks. Again, PoundLand had some great books.
Be creative with this too – use playing cards and counting games.
10 minutes number fun
Counting or times tables
- Counting in 2, 5’s 10’s
- times tables
- Ping pong counting (one person says 5, the next person says 10, etc)
- Counting on AND counting back! Start at 100 and count back in 10’s
- Count in different voices (gruffalo voice, robot voice…)
- Read books about counting (e.g. 10 little monsters)
- Play a counting game (we like Orchard Tree 10 green bottles)
- Count with Lego – make a stack of 4 stud bricks and count in 4’s
12:00 Lunch and break
1:00 Project work/Skills learning
I’m trying to decide what this will look like… It might be a science project, a journal, puppets/plays, outdoor learning e.g. gardening, den building,
Learn together – e.g. British Sign Language, Spanish, a musical instrument,
Wouldn’t it set a fantastic example if you were to learn together?
1:30 Educational TV/games
Learning programs/apps – e.g. number blocks, Did you know?, Andy’s prehistoric adventures, Katie’s amazing machines
Or iPad/computer games, Spelling shed, my maths
2:00 Creative time
- play dough
- colouring in (link to their interests – e.g. Pokemon)
- cooking/baking – Check out ideas here
- nature scavenger hunt
- junk modelling
- Crafts – Check out mine here
- God’s eyes
3:00 Adult led story time
This will be similar to the end of the day at school and is a nice signal that you are nearly finished. Choose a story slightly above their level; one they wouldn’t be able to read by themselves but with a theme they would enjoy.
Some of my favourites for Years 1 and 2
- Anything by Ronald Dahl (make sure it is age appropriate!) We will probably start with The Enormous Crocodile or the Giraffe, the Pelly and Me. However, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Twits are fab!
- Horrid Henry
- Anything by Julia Donaldson
Some of my favourites for Years 3 and 4
- Anything by Ronald Dahl (make sure it is age appropriate!) Probably starting with Fantastic Mr Fox and The Twits.
- The Spiderwick Chronicles
- Any of the Narnia books
- The Secret 7
- The Worst Witch
Some of my favourites for Years 5 and 6
- Anything by Ronald Dahl (make sure it is age appropriate!). For this age group, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and, depending on how mature they are, Boy.
- Harry Potter
- Michael Morpurgo Books
These are ones of the top of my head – there are so many great authors out there. This is by no means an exhaustive list – these are books that you are likely to have in your house (or your neighbours house!). With the libraries being shut, you want to keep things cost effective as well. Try Facebook Marketplace, arrange book swaps (follow social distancing and make sure the books are clean. Use an antibacterial wipe on the covers).
Woo HOO! You made it to the end of the day! That wasn’t so bad.
Remember, give yourself and your children grace. This isn’t going to be easy, but you can do it. Take 5 or 10 minutes out here and there if needed. Stop and come back to things later if it is too much. Look after yourself and your children.
Let me know how you get on and what worked or didn’t work for you!
Anna is a primary school teacher, with experience in special educational needs, specialising in behaviour management. She has a Masters in Education, a PGCE and a law degree as well as being a mermaid!