| 8.6°C Belfast

Watch: Northern Ireland teacher shares top tips for home schooling

With thousands of children now out of school due to the coronavirus crisis, a Northern Ireland teacher has shared his advice for mums and dads getting to grips with home schooling.

Stephen McCord, from Larne High School in Co Antrim, shares his tops tips for running a productive classroom from your home.

Create a timetable

"It’s going to be very important that parents manage the child’s time. They will need some sort of timetable and structure throughout the day.

"It’s also important that they have time for rest and family life, time to maybe go outside and it’s very important that they're not overloaded with work.

"As a teacher, I’m going to make sure that my classes have got work in little chunks and that the teaching will continue in the amount of time that they would usually have at school."

Be flexible

"You have to be flexible with the amount of time that children spend doing school work. Some households will maybe have three or four children using one computer, so it’s important that it’s broken up into easy chunks.

There are so many different things that can children can do. They can read a book, they can do things about the house, get some exercise outside, but it is important that they keep focused and do the lessons that teachers are setting online."

Use time off school wisely

"We can use this time as an opportunity. It’s important for family time. It’s maybe important that children know how to cook, or that they do a bit of exercise. There’s so many things parents can do - it’s not just about the school work.'

Use all available resources

"BBC Bitesize is brilliant for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. There’s also so many things available through the library service (librariesni.org.uk) where you can download so many books.

"Many schools already have resources online through the Fronter service, through My-School, through Google Drive and through homework apps.

"This is a time of opportunity. There are many companies putting things online for children to access for free which you can find on Google."

Don't put too much pressure on yourself

"I think we have to be realistic. The school year is usually about 35 weeks long, so the next few weeks will be very challenging but that’s a very small amount of the entire year, so it’s just important that we can keep the children focused on as much work as they can."

Belfast Telegraph