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What now...?
By Louise Martine
02 Apr
As the uncertainly of the world we find ourselves in swirls around, we as parents or guardians, have to face the day to day reality of trying to make our children’s worlds as stable as we can.
 
Some of us may have been trying over the last week or so to keep up with the technological demands of virtual schooling. I am certainly looking forward to the holidays when I can log off Microsoft Teams and take a breath and think about what we do next. Others may be juggling working from home, keeping their children occupied and worrying about how best to keep their children’s brains academically engaged. 

Personally, I feel the need to create a routine so that I can build a structure around our days. The perceived wisdom says that children like structure in their lives. Having one can often reduce anxiety because it provides consistency at times when things are uncertain. This is the perfect excuse to draw up a weekly timetable of things to do.
 
As my mind turns to creating a structure around our ‘locked down’ existence, I recall some of the information in my second book Study Skills for 11+ and pre-tests. (Don’t be put off by the title if you don’t have children in this age group – it is as relevant for them as it is for us as parents and children of any age.)
 
I am going to start with my goals:
 
1. To limit the amount of time my children spend on their own, on their phones, computers or tablets, or watching television.
 
2. I want to take this opportunity to spend more time together as a family and to make some memories.
 
3. Support their mental and physical health by planning appropriate activities.
 
4. Plan in home chores; tidying up, making beds, dusting, hoovering, doing their own washing, ironing, sewing and anything else I can think of that means I don’t become the domestic servant to everyone. I am of course preparing them for life away from home – life skills!
 
5. Keep their brains active through the Easter holidays, with a view to preparing them for the next educational targets they will be facing. This could be the new Times Tables tests in Year 4, 11+ and pre tests in Year 6, Common Entrance in Year 8, GCSEs, A Levels and so on. I currently have children working on their master’s degree, undergraduate degree, senior school exams and 11+ pre-test preparation.
 
6. And finally, think about the time beyond the holidays when schools may well still be closed. How am I going to ‘educate’ my children? There’s a part of me that is excited albeit with a fair amount of trepidation at the impending freedom I have to engage my children with some learning of my choice and maybe even their choice too! Perhaps I can also make their learning a joy – but maybe that’s goal too far but I am certainly going to try.
 
I shall be updating this blog as the days go by, to let you know what ideas I come up with to try and achieve my goals. I hope you might find them useful too. Please be reassured that in no way do I want to seem patronising, some ideas may be obvious, others not, but I would rather include all my thoughts than omit something that might be useful in some small way.
 
Until next time...
 
Louise Martine is a Freelance Publisher and Business Consultant, and is also a school governor. She has four children, which has given her an insight into education and how to guide the various personalities through school, revision and school exams.

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Tags: 11+, 11+ Revision, 11 plus, 13+, 13+ Common Entrance, 13+ Revision, 13 plus, Common Entrance, Easter revision, Entrance exams, Exam Preparation, Exam tips, family, home schooling, independent schools, learning, Learning Journey, objectives, Parents, pre-tests, revision, revision prep, Revision Tips, school entrance exams, schools, Study Skills

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