It has been a little while since I visited my blog. Covid-19 has effected my life in many ways that hampered the writing process.
I am happy to say that through it all though my planning paid off. My children now work independently to a set routine, completing at least 4 hours of school work a day. My son has loved the time at home, he feels he has stayed up to date with school work, improved his drumming and our relationship as a family has grown stronger.
My daughter has been less enthusiastic, she has really missed the social element but we have worked on this with socially distant catch ups with friends and lots of video calls. Despite the social side she feels she has kept up academically and has really enjoyed the family time.
My business has suffered though. With no need for after school childcare and parents increasingly working from home, there is little demand for my service. It is time for a new direction.
During lockdown I made activity packs for children who used to attend my setting, these included up to 5 challenges ranging from art and craft to maths, english and PE. These were incredibly successful and also enjoyable to create. The packs made me think of other ways I could support children and their families.
As a result I have now branched back into tutoring. Although my childminding business was not based on supporting academic progress, I have always supported children in becoming independent and effective learners, and this is something I am keen to work on in my tutoring.
As a teacher I was trained to ‘scaffold’ children, providing the right amount of support to enable independent learning. At university we were taught repeatedly that the aim of a teacher is to provide children with a love of learning and the skills to enable learning to happen.
I am now taking this into tutoring, not only looking at the support required in English and Maths but also as a learner.
I have children I work with who are hesitant about making mistakes, worried about putting things down on paper in case they are ‘wrong’.
I have children who mumble answers, not confident enough to explore their thoughts verbally.
I have children who confidently write down answers quickly and efficiently, no workings out, no deep thoughts and who refuse to check their answers explaining the work is now ‘done’ and the learning is over.
I have children who won’t do work sent home from school if it is ‘optional’ or they know it is not going to be marked by the teacher, children who do the work for their teacher, not for themselves.
I love working with these scenarios, exploring children’s ideas of learning, how they learn best, why they learn and what learning actually is.
I am excited with this new direction but I suppose I never really left. Every moment with a child is time for learning and I take pride in supporting them to become adults that thrive.