Top Tools to help with Home School
Resources to help with home-schooling. Using sensory tools to help your child stay on track and stay focused during home-school
Home-schooling has certainly had its challenges in our home, especially since both parents are still working.
We tried to make the transition from school to home school as easy as possible by doing the following…
- Creating a learning a space. We transformed the toy room into a learning space. We hung visuals on the wall like the ones from school to make it feel like school. This helps get into the right mindset prior to learning.
- Giving children tasks, such as keeping the class clean, making beds, and helping around the house allows them to own their day and space, providing a sense of achievement and responsibility.
- Using resources such as ball chairs, hand fidgets and weighted resources to help improve concentration and focus.
- Using visual planners and timers to help keep the day on track. When the day is planned on a visual planner, children seem much more focussed.
- Using reward charts and success ladders to help children stay on track with learning goals.
It is not easy trying to keep children engaged, especially since many of us have not been teachers before.
Below you will find a selection of resources that will assist with making home-school easier for you and your child.
We have been using many of these resources at home with much success. I hope you find them helpful too.
You will also find ideas and tips for using the various resources throughout the day.
Visual Tools for Visual Learners. I love the TimeTimer, it is great for letting children know how long they have left between activities. The TimeTimer has been our best friend. We have used it, to manage time on task, fruit breaks and lunch breaks, app time and screen time.
I am sure I am not alone when I say my kids cannot sit still. We introduced Ball Chairs into our learning environment with great success. They have improved concentration around tasks and have helped improve handwriting.
We even flip them over and use them as Space Hoppers for break time to let of a bit of steam.
We have been using our reward chart to promote positive behaviours in the learning environment at home.
Rewarding for tasks such as listening, participating, cleaning up at the end of the day, making beds, helping Mum etc…all rewards are collected over the week allowing them to enjoy a treat on the weekend. I often let them pick the reward at the beginning of the week, allowing them to visualise the reward whilst they are working towards it.
Daily planners are a great way for kids to keep on top of the day. Visuals of what is coming next keep the day on track. And if you are like me and new to home-schooling, sometimes it is nice to be reminded by my children what is next, since it is not quiet second nature yet.
I also find my children are happier to co-operate when they feel in control of the day too.
These are great for the kids to have on their desks whilst they are working. You can say 5 mins until the end of this activity, or 5 mins until lunch. You can also use these handy little timers for getting ready in the morning, 5 minutes until the end of breakfast, 5 to brush teeth and wash, 5 mins to get dressed.
My children have one each with their names on. We let them have the responsibility of taking care of them, creating independence.
Hand Fidgets have two excellent benefits
- Hand fidgets are great tools for helping to remember information. Provide a hand fidget whilst explaining the next task or whilst giving instructions helps them easily digest the information.
- Builds finger strength. Hand Fidgets like our fidget balls are great exercise balls for small fingers. Building essential fine motor strength makes many tasks easier such as writing, fastening buttons, opening containers, cutting with scissors, drawing and colouring.
Body Socks are great for self-regulation and body awareness. We have been using these at home, I find when my children are getting a little to hyperactive or silly and I am losing their attention fast, I use a Body Sock. My children think it is especially funny when I try to fit into a small one.
We play games like let us go on journey climbing up the mountain, flying through the sky.
We take turns to create the story and actions. It is a great way for kids to release some tension.
Being at home with our children learning is a great opportunity for us to see where our children are falling behind. I noticed my youngest was struggling with her pencil, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to test some pencil grips out with her.
These are great for keeping us focused. I use these a lot with my kids in our home-school and at night time. It helps them to relax and find their centre.
Other free resources we have been using include Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube and meditation cards, these help us to create some calm prior to learning.
There are lots of free yoga and meditation resources that you can find online.
I hope these helps ease your home-school journey.
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