As many of you begin the prospect of home schooling, I felt a blog at this time may be able to reassure you. I’ve received many private messages through the facebook page about this topic over the last few days. It is without doubt, a worrying time and a time of uncertainty, juggling a number of responsibilities, remembering to keep yourself well and now the prospect of home schooling your own children.
The first hurdle to get across is the ANXIETY this is creating – for you and your child. If anxiety is high, this is not going to go well for any of you, let’s be honest!!! And seeing all these amazing posts showing what other parents are doing (and they are amazing!) may also be adding to YOUR anxiety. Remember you have a child with additional needs, different needs and so your timetable and activities may look different. That is actually okay. You are the expert in your child.
I hope the following 5 tips will help you get over the anxiety hurdle (as it may seem more like a high jump!) and help you make a good start to the home schooling experience.
- Use a social story to explain to your child why this change in schooling is taking place. The social story should reassure that this is okay and at some point they will be able to go back to school. There are currently many social stories out there to use.
- Think about the activities your child enjoys the most and finds the most motivating. My advice would be not to start with something they find difficult as the main objective is to keep the anxiety low. If your child is particularly motivated by lego, trains, animals, Pokeman, theme tasks around this. It can be as simple as colouring or drawing but it is still a skills based task and based around something they like.
- Create a timetable. Again, there are many examples out there. Keep it simple, try not to overload with tasks. Sensory, motor skills and chill down times are all legitimate activities to have on the timetable and they SHOULD be there! If you don’t think there is enough on there, it’s probably too much! Take it from a teacher with 25 years experience who always over planned……
- Keep it manageable. This is for the forseeable future at the moment and you don’t want to burn out through anxiety levels both you and your child may be feeling. When you feel your child needs to stop, then stop and rest.
- No one is going to judge you for how you do this – only you and you are probably your harshest critic …..
autism act is here to support if you feel you need it.
Keep your anxiety low if you can