Look, some things are funny even in a crisis. I’ve seen a man cursing and blinding about 6th class maths and also Foil, Arms and Hog poignantly summing up the life of a remote teacher.
In reality, teaching your kids from home can be a challenge. I know myself, if I had kids, I’d be struggling to remember something I wasn’t 100% sure about back when I was in school. However, there are plenty of online resources to help.
The Lowdown On Home Schooling
Homeschooling is an official thing. You actually have a constitutional right to teach your kids from home. Most just opt for the traditional school method. However, because of Covid-19, there have been a few updates. Oral and practical performance tests which were scheduled to take place from Monday, 23 March, to Friday, 3 April 2020, are cancelled. If there was project work due from Friday, 20 March, to Friday, 24 April 2020, depending on the subject, will now be given until Friday, 15 May 2020, to complete this work.
This updates by no means suggest State exams won’t go ahead so you’re left with a few options. Hopefully, your kid’s school had already come up with some solutions. In the past week, I’ve seen teachers using Zoom, Google Hangouts and even Instagram to keep classes going online.
But when classes end and you’re the only one left to help teach your kids, you might need some help too!
YouTube Is Your Friend
I’ve accomplished some mad tasks at home because of YouTube. There’s a chance that you’ll be able to explain something better to your kids than your teacher can because you’re kind of learning yourself too. The best way to learn is to teach so really you just need to focus on being confident!
Take Paddy’s Theorem, or as others call it, Pythagoras Theorem. You’ll find endless numbers of videos online explaining how this works and even experiments to bring it to life.
The classic question of “when will I use this in real life” will undoubtedly come up when you experience the smartness your kids usually keep for teachers appears. So why not search for a video showing maths being used in the real world. You could inspire the next generation of engineers out there.
Just be conscious of screen time too. You’re the teacher here, not YouTube. Use this sparingly and don’t be afraid to put the screen away again.
RTÉ School Hours
Ok, I know I said don’t rely on the screens too much. At the same time, don’t put yourself under too much pressure either. Take the support where you can.
RTÉ will be broadcasting over an hour of “school on TV” to support primary school children and their parents at home. This has been spun together pretty quickly by RTÉ and the Department of Education and starts this Monday.
The hour-long show will run from 11-12 Monday to Friday on RTÉ 2 and also feature a shorter “catch-up” segment later in the afternoon. It will be aimed particularly at children in 1st to 6th class. Naturally, the show will also be available on RTÉ Player too.
The School Days Website
Your kids needing a bit of help at home might not be all that new to you. In fact, Schooldays.ie was created out of the need to support kids in school on a regular basis. The website was founded by a working mum in 2006 who was struggling to find simple things. These include resources to help the kids with their homework and things to keep them busy after school was a chore.
Schooldays.ie is full of information and support for parents throughout the school years, from pre-school all the way through to primary school and secondary school.
Whether your are looking for information on schools, afterschool activities, milestone events like communions, birthdays or debs or some parenting advice, you’ll find it all on Schooldays.ie.
Over on the website, you’ll find a wide range of homeschooling resources they’ve curated for the Covid-19 crisis.
Free Home Schooling Apps And Services
Hopefully, that’s enough to get you started in setting up your home school. You’ll also need some resources to go with that.
Access To Folens Content
Folens is a name that brings back a lot of memories for people. I’d imagine I was supposed to be another few years away from seeing this name again. Folens are a leading publisher of both primary and secondary school content. Over the past few years, they’ve moved into a log of digital content too. Their focus is helping for teachers and students by creating high-quality content which is effective but also fun.
Right now, Folens are offering open access to all digital resources in an effort to help teachers, parents and students. This includes eBooks, printable worksheets, interactive posters, videos, audio exercises, games and more.
Access To CJ Fallon Books
Like Folens, I remember having quite a few CJ Fallon books too. Right now, CJ Fallon is offering open access to all of their books online. This open-access will remain in place until the end of the term for teachers, students and parents.
Another major producer of educational content is Edco. I remember them best for having exam papers. Shudder.
Anyway, they’ve also opened up their platform to provide free access to Primary Level, Junior Cert & Leaving Cert ebooks for the duration of the pandemic. To access these details you’ll need to use some of the following login details.
Primary School Materials
- Username: primaryedcobooks
- Password: edco2020
Junior Cert Materials
- Username: jcedcobooks
- Password: edco2020
Leaving Cert Materials
- Username: lcedcobooks
- Password: edco2020
Look After Yourself
What do they say on the plane? Attend to your own mask first. If you’re stressed and tired, you’ll be no use to your kids. Take time to charge your own batteries. Headspace is offering free meditation, while DownDog is offering free online yoga classes. Eat well, rest well and try to have some fun with homeschooling. Your kids will appreciate it.
Found a resource yourself? Drop it in the comments below. Let’s help each other out!
Spreading Covid-19 Facts
While the likes of Contagion are full of facts, the movies themselves are fiction. If you’re looking for facts on Covid-19 take them only from trusted sources. You can check out the WHO WhatsApp information service or check out the HSE website.