I am not a teacher and do not have any home-schooling knowledge or training so I, along with many other parents, will simply be trying my best. This article is focused on reception and year one primary school children so will cover activities from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1.
I made some planners to help me – a basic printable version so I could hand-write ideas and a typeable version which I can keep on my tablet or phone or print. I’ll probably use the typeable version more because I can change that without getting the planner into a mess and Big T will probably be able to read some of the words (and he will soon learn to read the rest!) You can access the planners from my Etsy shop. I’m also happy to take colour suggestions to fit your home décor.
First thing’s first
If the school has provided resources and materials, ensure you include those in your plan. They could be particular books, worksheets or activity suggestions.
The EYFS covers the following, mainly through play: communication and language; physical development; personal, social and emotional development; literacy; mathematics; understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
Children later into the Reception school year and Year 1 children will cover: English; maths; science; design and technology; history; geography; art and design; music; physical education (PE) and computing.
The good news is that you don’t have to, and wouldn’t be expected to hold separate maths, English and science classes!
My plan covers the following:
Phonics and reading: Big T will practise his phonics and will read to me. He will also be allowed to watch Alphablocks. I have a few Read Write Inc activity packs too.
Storytime: I will read to Big T (and Little T) and I know many of us do this as much as we can anyway. I will also play audio books, some of which will have an accompanying hard copy book.
Maths: Big T’s school subscribes to a service called Mathletics which has on-screen and print-at-home activities. There are also lots of resources available online from places such as the BBC or Oxford Owl. In my day there was Sesame Street but now we have Numberblocks and Numberjacks.
For PE, both Little T and Big T like to dance so they can do that. Big T also loves Cosmic Kids Yoga and provided you can keep the children 2m away from other families, a run in the park or a bike ride will do wonders on a good-weather day.
Everything else will be incorporated into the other activities some way or another. Cooking will cover literacy (reading the recipe and method) and maths (quantities and counting) as well as science. History and geography go well with art and design, especially if you have a children’s globe or atlas or a colouring book covering the subject. You might like resources from Very Puzzled or Lil’Ollo, the latter also being a site for language learning resources.
Children love blank pieces of paper and anything that will make a mark on it. Draw lines so that they can practise handwriting and they can try to write stories and illustrate them with colouring pencils. They also love making noise so if you don’t have any child-friendly musical instruments, make some so they can make music. I find that a clean saucepan and a wooden spoon is great for playing chef as well as doubling up as a drum! Children at this age can learn to repeat a rhythm that you either clap or bang on the saucepan with.
So, as long as you have a selection of the above, your child will be fine. Put more sessions in for the essential subjects and those that are not as strong for your child (“practice makes better”) remembering to mix sitting at a table with physical activity.
Example Lesson Plan
Here’s some samples of my “lesson plan”. You’ll see that I’ve used my handwritten plan to set out activities for Big T and Little T using different coloured pens. I’ve also fully filled out a typed lesson plan for Big T.
Let me know if you want me to provide stickers or printed sheets or if you have any others suggestions for me to make your life easier.