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Top tips for home learning: nobody’s perfect

So we are back to home learning. This time the schools have prepared more work because remote learning plans needed to be in place. But as a teaching assistant in an infant school, we were not expecting last week’s Prime Minister statement. We were in school on Monday and instead of being able to plan for a mix of on site learning for key worker and vulnerable children, we were forced to assume normal school opening was proceeding.
But normal never happened.

Last week was tough as my colleagues and I responded to circumstances that literally changed by the hour. At home, things have been tricky too.
My older two have been home due to a major electrical fault and the school was closed anyway but we had Monday as notice. Zach’s bubble had to close due to low staff numbers. So whilst I went in to work, my kids were at home being supervised by Chris whose very patient and understanding boss and team allowed him time to keep an eye on them. He did not have the time to supervise any home learning and the kids are not allowed unsupervised internet access. I was therefore trying to cram in their home learning after school and this wasn’t sustainable due to exhaustion and time constraints.

By the end of the week, things had changed yet again. Matthew and Anya have been offered a place at a school 3 miles away as I am a key worker but this is not practical for us due to the increased risks associated with travel and their fears about being in a strange place, with staff and children from across 4 years. I have halved my hours so that I can be home with the older two to complete their home learning. Zach has returned to school thankfully!

So here are my tops tips for home learning:

1 Go back to basics as a minimum.
Read A LOT. Write: make a game of writing a shopping list or rewrite the book’s ending. Do some counting: use that shopping list and add prices. Get outside or join in with Joe Wicks.

2 Keep it short.
Make a session no longer than 45 minutes for infants and junior aged children. Try teaching life skills like tying shoe laces, chopping onions or making a cup of tea.
3 Use the resources provided by the school.
Schools prepared remote learning plans last term. Give staff enough time to get these up and running. Twinkl and Orchard Toys have online resources that can be used if you need extra support.

4 Don’t compare yourself to others.
I felt very inferior last time round with some parents posting multiple times a day with a range of activities. I had to work. I had to look after 3 children with very varied sets of work. We all have different circumstances and need to try our best. Our own wellbeing mustn’t be ignored or we will not be able to help our children


5 Teachers are not expecting perfection.
We are just grateful for any effort during these difficult times. We understand that there is concern about access to devices or resources. We know you have to work and care for tother children as well as do housework. We are human too!

Please follow the government rules so that the national lockdown lasts as short a time as possible!

If you look in my home learning category in my sidebar you will spot my posts from the first lockdown which have some resources for topics we enjoyed. Happy learning!


  1. Some really useful advice here. I also work in a school, and have to go in to work while my children attempt home learning. What a couple of weeks it has been! I agree that parents need to take the pressure off themselves and not even attempt to reach “home schooling” standards whilst attempting to do their own full time jobs. It is about getting though this as a family, trying to see the positives and enjoying this extra time together. My boys are still loving a bit of a lie in, and their home learning world has recently been revolutionised by the school moving to Microsoft teams and away from a torrent of infernal work sheets. Stay strong people. There is light at the end of the tunnel. #MischiefAndMemories

  2. It definately feels a lot more this time. I have one in year 2 and one in year 6. Year 6 is a full on timetable. They have 6 zoom sessions everyday between them, and we have to call the school if they are not going to be logged on as they are expected to attend. All their work set has to be handed in by the end of each week. I think teachers are doing an amazing job. But my head is spinning! #mischiefandmayhem

  3. Wonderful tips thank you for the reassurance, i agree we can only do our best. It is definitely a lot harder this time round for me as like yourself there have been so many different challenges which have had such an impact on home schooling xx #mischiefandmemories

  4. It’s so much to take in isn’t it! Ekk. These are great tips. I can’t believe it’s already the end of week 2 of home learning – the time has flown by. Ours is going 100% more smoothly than last year. I’m so grateful for my little ones teachers. They are quite amazing. #MischiefAndMemories xx

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