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Coronavirus: Advice for parents as Surrey and Hampshire schools close tomorrow

4 minute read
Coronavirus: Advice for parents as Surrey and Hampshire schools close tomorrow

Published by Grace Mcgachy at 2:25pm 19th March 2020.

Schools across Surrey and Hampshire will close tomorrow (20 March), along with others around the country, to help contain the coronavirus outbreak. 

It has left many parents feeling concerned about their child's education and how to keep them busy while they are away from the classroom. 

Eagle Radio spoke to Kathryn Hopwood who runs a Guildford-based private tutoring business for secondary school and college students.

She explained what parents can do to help their children continue their education from home. 

Now I know my child's school is closing what should I be doing to prepare?

"There's going to be disparity in terms of what schools are providing.

"Some schools are providing some level of help using online sessions, some are just providing powerpoints and others there's a massive unknown as to what support will be given at home.

"Over the next day make sure students bring home everything they could need for their studies at home; textbooks. exercise books and really importantly make sure they've got some kind of link with their teacher like an email address."

I am now working from home, what can I do to make the new arrangement easier on the whole family?

  • Where possible set up each adult and child with their own individual workspace, somewhere quiet where they can work independently
  • Try and organise your family so you are all working the same hours e.g. if you start work at 10am encourage your children to start their school work at the same time 
child cooking at home
While your child is at home you can teach them practical skills like cooking

I am concerned about how much time my child will spend on their computer and phone:

"There's a lot of worry generally about screen time and to be completely frank I think over the next few months I think those worries have to subdued.

"I think it's okay for your child to be online, it's okay for them to be seeing their friends on a screen it needs to be their point of contact with their social life.

"It does mean organising work time is really useful and planning playtime.

"Whether that be family games, quiet TV time or outside walks to get fresh air but making sure there's a provision for fun as much as there is this worry for work over the nexr few months."

What can I do with my child while they are at home? 

  • Education continuation- carrying on learning using the materials they are given from school
  • Practical skills- teach kids how to cook, garden, do DIY 
  • Business skills- how to do a good presentation, how to use excel, how to run a good meeting and maybe allow your child to observe how you do your job and how you work 
  • Lone study skills- this will teach children how to work and learn independently 

My child was due to sit their GCSEs or A-Levels this year.  What should they be doing? 

"Right now it's just time to wait to see what the government have to say.

"Keep your child distracted.

"Don't go heavy into revision, don't completely throw in the towel but to stay agile for the next few days."

teen working from home

More tips and advice include

  • Keep in contact with other parents, if you don't understand how to help your child with a certain subject reach out to someone who can help
  • Let your children teach you, let them show their understanding for a topic by teaching you or a younger sibling all about it
  • Consider your families physical health, make sure they stay active
  • Stay as relaxed as you can