8 benefits of Lockdown learning for kids and adults.

How to make it work for you and your family.

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of focus on the stress of home learning. On the flip side, distance learning at home can have its perks, especially for those who find the school environment difficult.

Monty Python encourages us to “Always look on the Bright side of Life”, which can be incredibly difficult right now. However, if we can focus on some positives of lockdown learning at home it might help us get through it and even somehow enjoy it.

During the first lockdown, I discovered a company called Laughology, which promotes “FLIP-It” as a way of coping with situations like Lockdown learning and avoid anyone flipping their lid!

Laughology, founded in 2006, by Stephanie Davies, is a unique and ethical, training and consulting organization built around the psychology of humour, laughter, and happiness. During Lockdown, Laughology offers free workplace and education stay-at-home Laughology L&D learning bursts, including one focusing on the FLIP-It approach.

FLIP-It learning for schools and home-schooling parents

Laughology offers the FLIP-It model as a way to increase motivation, resilience, and engagement. It shows people how to find the positives in situations, embrace challenges, and deal with change and transformation. The phrase we often hear is Growth Mindset, but I think FLIP-It is much easier to relate to. Here is what FLIP-It stands for and how you can apply it.

F is for Focus

Module 1 of the FLIP-it Thinking model. This will help parents and children to be positive and resilient while they’re home learning.

L is for Language

Module 2 of the FLIP-it Thinking model will help parents and children to understand the power of positive language.

I is for Imagination

Module 3 of the FLIP-it Thinking model, helping parents and children to use their power of imagination.

P is for Pattern Breaking

Module 4 of the FLIP-it Thinking model, helping parents and children to understand the importance of pattern breaking.

P also stands for the Power Pose

If you stand like a superhero with your feet apart, shoulders back, hands on your hips, and head held up high, you will start to feel more confident and tackle something that you are finding tricky.

The links below will explain more.

So to get you started, here are some benefits of Lockdown Learning that you may not have thought of.

1. Avoiding the School run

No need to dash around on the freezing school run right now. Lots of us could relate to the school run scenes in Motherland, where they are flying up the road in a panic to get to school to discover that it’s actually half term! By the same token, you’ll avoid the inevitable downpour which usually coincides with School Pick up.

2. Opportunity and time to observe and understand your child

You can be a “fly on the wall” during live lessons and see how your child interacts with the teacher and students. You can gain more understanding of how your child feels about learning, what causes him to react in the way he does, and how you can help him.

Jodie Smitten, Children’s Well-being Practitioner and Autism specialist wrote a very insightful blog on how being curious about our children’s behaviour, instead of annoyed, can help us to support them and reach a better outcome.

3. Snuggle time at home

The children don’t have to sit in freezing rooms with all the windows open when you’re at home. They can be warm and comfortable, surrounded by their favourite things.

You can snuggle up together to read and listen to audio stories or take part in online learning together. Today I refreshed my music theory skills and knowledge of the digestive system!

My son and I are listening to Friend or Foe by Michael Morpurgo which is the Year group’s novel. This hits home the reality of the children who were evacuated from London during the Blitz. It may be difficult that we are all at home but the children in the story were taken away from their homes by train to new places and had to stay with strangers.

4. More flexibility

Your child can move or have a snack or a drink when they need to. They can also work in a place or position they feel most comfortable in. My son has a space hopper he can bounce on in between tasks and can feast on apples constantly. Your favourite tunes in the background might help too.

We have found it helpful for my son to move from one parent downstairs to the other parent upstairs when practising spellings and times tables.

You can also go with the flow. If your child is not in the mood for maths they can do another subject first. You can follow their interest more. They can have more time to do a task if they need to.

Ebiere Bolu, from Learn Tree online and after-school enrichment and The Help your child Love Learning Facebook group, has a great suggestion for helping children to plan and visualize their day during Lockdown learning.

Ebiere Bolu suggests, “Get your kids involved in planning their day and teach them the language to use to describe the different aspects that create a healthy mind.”

“This is a lovely illustration of Dr. Dan Siegel’s Healthy Mind Platter by @rubilovesarttherapy on Instagram”

“A useful activity could be to get your children to create their own visual representation of what they would like their day(s) to look like. Then at the end of the day, you can reflect on their day using their illustration. You should join in with your own healthy mind platter”

“We know we need balance but we rarely work to create this. So let’s be intentional about creating balance for ourselves and our children.”

Daily map of the seven essential mental activities.

I based the wheel on the clock face as a visual reminder of the time table and left room for the children’s own ideas.

learntreeuk.co.uk

5. Google or Ask Facebook for help and support.

If something is difficult to understand or grasp you can google other ways of explaining it. BBC bitesize is my go-to for snippets of information and clear explanations. It seems to have an article about everything! The BBC Teach live lessons starting this week and CBeebies favourites such as Numberblocks, Alphablocks, and Go Jetters will also help to engage and inspire children.

There is also a huge network of supportive teachers, parents, and educational companies on Facebook and online right now, offering help and support, such as Ask a Teacher and Team parents beat lockdown.

Bella Learning who set up Ask a Teacher has organized some free sessions for children during Lockdown and also offers affordable tuition and learning games for Reception, Year, and Year 2.

Hayley McLeod and Ellen Kerr who established Team parents beat lockdown have set up an amazing website full of resources for parents and home learners called lockdownlearner.co.uk.

6. Online communication

Children can chat with their teachers and friends on Google meets, Zoom or Microsoft teams. Younger children might still be able to do Show and Tell!

Teachers have worked really hard to get to grips with online classrooms and are able to communicate much more with classes than during the First lockdown, which they had even less time to prepare for. So it is a little easier for them to support children at home than last time, although it is still a mammoth task!

There is a comforting sense of camaraderie when the children and teachers are in a classroom together and it’s the next best thing to the class being together in real life. You can actually feel the warmth from the Teacher and children oozing out of the screen during my son’s lessons!

7. Gaining independence and taking more responsibility for learning.
Full time working parents are feeling terrible that they are unable to support their home learners as much as they would like. However, perhaps it can enable children to become more independent and take charge of their own workload and learning. I was really impressed when my year-old suggested writing down the sequence of his improvised dance, to help him remember it. He very proudly told Daddy that he was “on a call” just as Daddy would often say.

I was also happy to find my older son helping his brother to take photos on the iPad and insert them into his pictogram on Purple Mash.

8. Healthy at Home

Besides staying safe from COVID-19, the children avoid all the other bugs which usually leap all over them at this time of year.

There are lots of opportunities for children to stay active and support their mental health while they are at home, such as PE with Joe, Cosmic Yoga and Tumble tots live at home.

Please tell me your benefits of lockdown learning and the ways you have managed to make it work for you!