Homeschooling Hacks with Sophie Ellis-Bextor: Learning at home

Focussing on learning for an entire school day can be a mammoth challenge for children, especially when they're at home! However, there are ways you can help them feel ready to learn. Singer and mum-of-five Sophie Ellis-Bextor explains what you can do.

Sophie's tips for learning at home

  • Signal the start of the school day. You could ring a small bell, or talk through their timetable.
  • For maintaining focus, nothing beats a good old-fashioned reward chart. You could put it next to their timetable and give them stickers for each task completed, or for an amount of time they spend with their head down.
  • Make some 'now and then' cards to help them understand their timetable. These are cards reminding them what they're doing now and what they will be doing when they're done - for example, now they're doing Geography, but after that it's lunch!
  • Kids are used to learning in a classroom with other people around them, often 20 or so classmates, so you could try sitting them in the same room as you or their siblings. Watch and see how this affects their work.
  • If they get stuck, talk to them about the problem and, together, try to get to the bottom of what's getting them lost.
  • Can you frame a question differently? Sometimes it can be difficult for a child to engage with written work, especially day after day. Maybe you could find a map online for their Geography lesson, or pictures and videos for a History lesson?
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