Important information about caring for and educating children when the schools close this Friday

Due to the current global pandemic times are unsettled and worrying for all. The government announced yesterday (18th March 2020) that all schools in the UK will close on Friday 20th March 2020 'until further notice'. Children who have parents that are 'KEY WORKERS' will be able to continue attending schools, the information on how this is going to work will be released today, i'll do my best to add it to this post when i can.

Please reach out NOW to any parents you feel might need a little extra support when the schools close. Give them your contact information so you can stay in touch.

- Read the official information from the government here. 

I wanted to share some important information to remember when caring for and educating children from home:

- DO NOT leave children with elderly or vulnerable relatives and friends so that you can go to work. This is so important as it would be putting them at risk.

- DO NOT think that you suddenly have to be the best teacher in the world. No one is expecting you to suddenly become an expert educator.

- DO NOT head to the park all day in large gatherings. This isn't going to help the situation. You can go to the park but ensure to follow social distancing as best you can.

- DO get outside, go for long walks, explore nature, do some gardening and if you have pets walk them. Schools being closed doesn't mean you have to stay at home (unless you are self isolating) you can still go out but you must adhere to the government social distancing guidelines.

- DO try to set a routine if you can, routine is good for children and for parents. creating a routine together is a good idea as it makes the children feel involved.

- DO reach out to fellow parents online and via the phone. Ask for help, support and advice when needed.

- DO remember to create variety in the educational content you put together. Children can bore easily so variety will help keep them interested and focused.

- DO NOT feel bad about using technology to educate and entertain your children. It is there to help us and there is so much good content online. Used well and in a sensible supervised way technology can be a great tool.

- DO eat healthy foods and keep hydrated through the day. Cooking is educational, why not get the children involved in making the meals.

- DO make sure you all have breaks from learning, breaks are so important for you and the children.

- DO continue to follow government health guidelines including regularly washing your hands.

Most importantly, DO enjoy your time with your children. They need you right now to be strong and to support them through this challenging and unsettling time.

Remember that children in most cases will be anxious and unsettled by the current situation and will need you to show them that they will be ok. That you love them and will care for them.

The main lesson you can teach your children through this is how to face up to difficult situations and overcome them.

There is so much educational content online, you've probably all seen the links but just in case you haven't here are a few:

Sumdog - Free content. 

Create & Educate - a group i created for those local looking for creative ways to entertain children. 

Arty YouTube - this is my arty YouTube, i'll be uploading new content daily for as long as i can. 

TWINKL - offering FREE content 

Here is a list put together by a fellow blogger of education content online.