Unless you decide to homeschool permanently, it’s unlikely that you’ll get another opportunity to give your child the kind of academic freedom which is available to them during the lockdown.
By Charlie Patteson, Lucky Gecko Discoveries
Once their structured learning is out of the way, it’s a wonderful chance to encourage them to explore their own interests.
It can be tricky to think of ways to get them to get out of their comfort zone though. Here are a few suggestions which might give you some inspiration. Anything which will get them thinking differently will be of benefit and it’s great to take advantage of the low pressure environment to practise things like public speaking, which will be so beneficial to them in the ‘real world’.
Hooked on a video game? Get them to write a campaign speech stating the benefits of the game and arguing that everyone has a right (nay, a duty!) to play for at least an hour a day. (It doesn’t have to convince you!)
Persuasive writing is a key component of GCSE English exams, and is also a very handy life skill. Plus, this will help them to practise public speaking and presentation.
Obsessed with Disney movies? Get them to research, write and host a quiz for a family games night.
This requires research and organisational skills which are absolutely invaluable. It also calls for a degree of Interpersonal Intelligence as your child will need to anticipate what the rest of the family might know if they want their quiz to be fun.
A voracious reader? Get them to write some fan fiction. Or challenge them to contact the author with a question or request.
Often, creative writing accounts for 50% of an English Language GCSE, so writing stories is always worthwhile practice. Meanwhile, contacting an author requires initiative, research skills and confidence – three things which will always be useful.
Crazy about sport? Encourage them to write a factfile on their favourite team or player. If done properly, this will combine informative writing, statistics and research.
Always off on their bike? Ask them to make a map of their favourite route.
This requires serious visual-spatial intelligence, and will also help to hone their attention to detail.
Whatever you decide, if you can get your child engaging with their hobbies differently, you might be able to spark a new passion or help build some invaluable confidence before they head back to class.
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