## World Maths Day: 10 easy maths games to play at home

World Maths Day on 3rd March aims to get children excited about maths. Here we share some easy, active maths games that you can do at home on World Maths Day – or at any time you have a couple of minutes to spare.

## 1. Beach ball sums

Cover a beach ball in sticky labels and write a sum on each. Sums could be addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fraction calculations – anything that’s appropriate for your child. For ideas use the internet by typing in your child’s key stage and ‘maths worksheets’ (for example: ‘key stage 3 maths worksheets’).

To play, throw the beach ball to your child and whichever sum their right thumb lands on they answer. Throw back and forth until they’ve answered most of the sums.

## 2. Calculator jump

Outside, chalk a grid (3 squares down and four across) that looks a bit like a calculator keypad. In the first row of squares write 7, 8, 9, -. In the second row write 4, 5, 6 +, and then 1, 2, 3, = in the last row. You could substitute the plus and minus signs for multiplication and division.

Children then make up their own sums (or you tell them a sum). They jump to the numbers, signs and answers. For example they might jump to 7, +, 1, =, 8.

## 3. Hopscotch

Play traditional hopscotch (if you’re not sure how to play look online for instructions). As your child lands on a number ask them to tell you the number that is one less/one more/two more/two less than that number.

Adapt the game to an appropriate level for your child. You might ask ‘What’s ten more?’ or ‘What number would you get if you added 21?’ As with the beach ball game, you could look on the internet to find ideas for sums.

## 4. Playing card calculations

To play this game you could either just use playing cards with numbers on them or include the picture cards and assign numbers to them (ace = 1, jack = 11, queen = 12, king = 12).

Divide the cards between two players. Each player lays two cards face up in front of them and then subtracts the lower number from the higher. The person who has the higher answer wins all four cards. If the total is the same, then the players turn over two more cards.

Make the game more challenging for older children by using the two cards to make a fraction. Whoever has the biggest fraction wins the cards.

## 5. Simon Says

Play the traditional game ‘Simon Says’ but with maths actions appropriate for your child. For younger children learning fractions and telling the time instructions could be: spin your body (or turn your head) clockwise, spin anti-clockwise, make a quarter turn, make a half turn, take two steps left (or hop two steps left), take two steps right.

Older children could make angles using their arms: acute, right, obtuse, 90 degree, 180 degree, parallel and perpendicular lines.

## 6. Skittles maths

Give your child a bag of Skittles. Before they eat them ask them to count each colour and record their results in a bar graph.

Older children could calculate the ratio of each colour to the total number of Skittles in the packet.

## 7. Times table catch

Throw a ball back and forth with your child, taking turns to say a times table. For example, you could count in 2s. When you have the ball you say ‘two’, when your child catches and throws the ball to you they say ‘four’, as you catch and throw the ball back you say ‘six’ and so on.

## 8. Twister recognition

For this game you need a Twister board. Place stickers over the circles. On the stickers draw different shapes (Google ‘shapes key stage 1’ or ‘shapes key stage 2’ to find appropriate shapes).

Play Twister in the ordinary way but call out ‘right foot triangle’ etc. You could ask your child to identify shapes by their corners and sides by saying, for example: ‘place your right foot on the shape that has three corners and three sides’.

Instead of shapes, children could identify fractions or money. You could write fractions on the stickers or use pictures of coins from the internet.

## 9. Weigh it

This activity supports your child to make predictions and to use scales.

Pick ten random items from your kitchen – a bunch of bananas, a tin of soup etc. Ask your child to predict the order of weight by placing the items in a line from lightest to heaviest. They then test their answers by weighing the items.

## 10. World probability

For this game you need an inflatable globe. Throw and catch an inflatable globe with your child fifty times. Each time you and your child catch the ball record whether your or their left thumb landed on water or land.

When you’ve finished the game, record the ratio. As 70% of the world is covered in water, the result will probably be around 7:3. Based on this ratio ask your child to predict the probability that your or their thumb will land on any of the continents if you play again. Test it out!

## More maths games to play at home

For more ideas to develop your child’s maths skills see our blog post, 10 of the best (free!) maths games websites for primary children.

## Would your child benefit from one-to-one maths tuition?

TutorMyKids offers one-to-one maths tuition for children from primary age upwards. Our tutors boost children’s confidence in their ability which in turn raises achievement.

Whether your child is struggling with a particular aspect of maths or needs to master a greater range of skills, we can support them. To find out more talk to us today: 01223 858 421/hello@tutormykids.co.uk

## How to keep teenagers busy on lockdown weekends

Lockdown weekends can be boring for teenagers who are used to going out and about seeing their friends. Many parents worry that their children are miserable and spending too much time playing computer games.

Here we share some ideas to keep teenagers busy on lockdown weekends – hopefully one or two activities will really spark their interest.

## Create an anime

An anime is a hand-drawn computer animation that comes from Japan. Creating an anime involves weaving stories and then building and illustrating a story world. Teenagers who are interested in art and design can acquire valuable new skills making these computer animations.

## Escape Room challenge

Escape room games are fun for the whole family and teenagers can play with their friends. These games can be played virtually during the pandemic. See Durham Escape Rooms and Escape Live online challenges.

## Go cycling

If your teenager needs an incentive to go cycling, try the Strava app. The app encourages cyclists to improve their distance over time.

## Join a stage school

The Stage Academy provide online classes in singing, dancing and acting for children and teenagers. The classes are taught by industry professionals and students receive one-to-one feedback. Even before lockdown these classes were popular as they are interactive, engaging and excellent value for money.

## Just Dance

The Just Dance computer game is a fun way for teenagers to exercise to the latest tracks. The game can be played on most platforms.

## Learn a new language

Learning a new language is something you might enjoy doing as a whole family – see Duolingo.

If your child is learning a language for GCSE or A Level, TutorMyKids offers one-to-one language tuition online with fully qualified, expert tutors.

## Learn coding for beginners

With a Code Academy online course, teenagers will learn to code computers and then apply their knowledge to real life scenarios. Coding skills are well sought after by employers and are worth the time investment for those interested.

## Learn juggling

This can become quite competitive for the whole family. There are lots of instructional videos online. We like CBBC’s Learn to juggle with three balls.

## Learn photography

Photography is a great incentive to go outside. If your teenager has an Iphone or Android they could take a course in smartphone photography to learn how to compose photographs by framing the subject and how to use the app to improve colour, contrast and brightness.

Alternatively, if they (or you) own a DSLR camera they could take an online course with The Institute of Photography.

## Learn to sew

For free sewing classes to inspire your teenager, see the Crazy Little Projects website. If your teenager is really interested in sewing and wants to make their own clothes have a look at Bobbin and Ink’s nine week sewing lessons.

They could even make scrubs for the NHS!

## Learn touch typing for kids

Touchtyping is an invaluable skill in the digital age. Learning to touchtype rather than jabbing keys with two fingers can prevent repetitive strain injury and speed up schoolwork.

## Make a photobook

Most of us have got photos on our phones and computers that have been there for ages, but how often do we look at them? Your teenager could spend time usefully designing a photobook of treasured memories.

## Make a podcast

Does your teenager enjoy listening to podcasts? If so, they could create their own. It’s very easy to start a podcast and many podcast hosting platforms have comprehensive, easy-to-follow guides for beginners.

## Listen to podcasts

If your child is looking for something new to listen to here is a list of 20 of the best podcasts for teenagers.

## Play Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons is a world of stories, board games and digital games. If your child enjoys fantasy adventure then this immersive world could be for them!

## Solve a Rubik’s Cube

Rubik’s Cubes are back. These fantastic puzzles develop problem solving skills and encourage perseverance. Have a look at the official Rubik’s website for tips and tricks.

## Take piano our ukulele lessons

Get your earplugs ready – your teenager could learn to play the piano or the ukulele online! In fact, a quick Google search will reveal that your child can learn to play just about any musical instrument they like.

## Love learning with TutorMyKids one-to-one tuition

If your child’s enthusiasm for learning has waned since lockdown, they may benefit from tailored one-to-one tuition to get them back on track.

Our tutors are highly qualified and experienced. They know how to motivate teenagers and re-ignite their spark.

To find out more, email or phone us today: hello@tutormykids.co.uk/01223 858 421

## Lockdown Christmas with children? Read our activities for a magical time!

The build-up

Call Santa

If you want to avoid Santa’s grotto this year you could arrange a Zoom call with Santa instead. Your child can talk to Santa or Mrs Claus, or they can see what the elves are doing in the toy workshop and what the reindeers are up to. Santa, Mrs Claus or an elf can also read your child a festive story. Experiences start from around £25.

Santa’s Lapland is another company offering a video call experience. Children meet Santa in a snowy setting and have a grand tour of his grotto. However, it’s expensive  – prices start from £85.

Christmas crafts

Poundland stock a range of easy (and inexpensive) Christmas craft kits for young children, like this Christmas card kit.

We love Red Ted Art’s Christmas star idea as it’s easy, relaxing and keeps children of all ages busy. All you need is card (a cereal box will do), oddments of wool and cellotape.

For very young children we like Happy Hooligan’s icicle ornament and Pinterest’s pinecone owl. Older children might enjoy the craft ideas on Crayola’s website.

Christmas cooking

For children who love cooking The Best Ever Baking Book by Jane Bull is full of simple but imaginative festive ideas. BBC Good Food also has easy Christmas baking ideas for children and we can definitely recommend the Snowman Biscuits!

Giving a present to a child in need

The Salvation Army work to make sure that children who are in need receive a present at Christmas. They work closely with schools, health visitors and social services departments to choose families. There are collection centres all around the country, so it’s easy to donate a present. Your child could choose a present and you could talk to them about why it is important to give and how rewarding it is to help others.

Refuge are also asking for donations this Christmas for children fleeing domestic abuse. You and your child can choose a gift box from Refuge’s website to give to a child.

Christmas Eve box

Make the build up to Christmas Day even more exciting by giving your child a Christmas Eve box to open (which could be a shoe box decorated with wrapping paper). You don’t have to spend much money.

You could fill it with bought or home-made sweet treats, a sachet of hot chocolate, a pair of Christmas socks, a book or a stocking filler game. The box can be filled with the things your child loves, and if you’re looking for inspiration there are plenty of great ideas online.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Family games

Take a look at these Good Housekeeping games to keep the whole family busy and entertained once their Christmas dinner has gone down. There’s Christmas Guess Who? which features members of your own family, a race to see who can open a present fastest when wearing oven gloves, a snowman bowling game and plenty more!

Christmas walk incentives

Days Out With The Kids suggest some fabulous ways to persuade reluctant children to get some much needed fresh air with the family.

We like the forest postcard idea. Cover a plain postcard with strips of double-sided tape and ask your child to collect things as they walk, decorating the postcard as they go with leaves, sticks, seeds etc.

You could also incentivise your child to walk by taking them on a Geocaching treasure hunt. Geocaching is finding hidden goodies using a handheld GPS.

Zoom call games

If you’re planning to call family and friends over the Christmas period you could turn your meeting into a party with online games such as 20 Questions. To play 20 Questions, everyone takes turns to ask each person in the group twenty questions. It doesn’t matter how well you know the other people, you will always discover something new about them. For ideas, see 200 Questions to get to know someone.

For more Zoom call games, visit the Good Housekeeping website.

Your child’s positive start to 2021

Coronavirus has disrupted children’s education over the last year causing a great deal of confusion, uncertainty and worry.

TutorMyKids home tutors are here to help children regain any confidence they may have lost, to re-ignite their love of learning and to help them achieve their goals.

If you think we can help to give your child the very best start to the New Year, get in touch by phone or email today: 01223 858 421/hello@tutormykids.co.uk

## How COVID has changed homeschooling.

Over the last 2 or 3 months, I’ve had a number of conversations with parents who have or who are considering homeschooling their children. It feels like there’s been a sea change in people’s thinking and acting upon those thoughts, since we’ve been living with COVID-19.

The parents that I’ve spoken to recently cite the following as influences to their thinking:

• Shielding a member of the family
• The improved mental health of their child during lock-down.
• Change of lifestyle – combining education with travelling.
• A desire for education that suits the needs of their child better.
• To study a curriculum that is better focused on their child’s needs and career aspirations.

There are many issues to be considered, not least of which whether it would suit you! Many parents have decided that it’s certainly not within their skill-set and are delighted that schools are re-opened! Take a look at the Pros and Cons of homeschooling – it makes an interesting read, discussing capabilities as well as aptitude.

## How Tutor My Kids can help.

The majority of our teachers are qualified teachers who understand the UK curriculum and requirement of the various exam boards. We can tailor a package of help that suits your child and your skills. You may be absolutely comfortable tutoring GCSE English and the humanities, but want to supplement that with a tutor for GCSE maths, for example. It may be an understanding of the exam marking schemes that leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable – are you advising your child well so they can get all the marks that are available to them? For example, the use of specific appropriate scientific vocabulary in the GCSE science exams can make a significant difference in the marks and consequently the grade awarded.

## Online teaching has been a complete game changer.

Before lock-down, I’d been very reticent about online teaching feeling that it was of a lesser quality to the gold-standard of face-to-face tuition. However, I’ve found myself completely sold on this new way or working. Take a look at our other blog – Online tuition has been a complete game-changer.

Online tuition is enabling us to help out those families who are shielding, whilst still providing fully qualified teachers to deliver a bespoke curriculum for their family.

For families that are able to work remotely or want a change of lifestyle, our tutors are able to offer a first-class education to families whilst they travel and/or work in multiple locations.

Please feel free to take a look at our For Parents page and our testimonials for more information.

## Online tuition has been a complete game-changer.

Before lock-down, I’d been very reticent about online teaching – feeling that it was of a lesser quality to the ‘gold-standard’ of face-to-face tuition. However, I’ve now found myself completely sold on this new way of working.

Firstly, it must be said that our already amazing tutors have been nothing short of stunning, delivering superb lessons for our students, using the latest software and screen-sharing options. I think this is working well for the following reasons:

• Many students are very happy online and we find they are more focused on the tutor, so more intensive work is completed.
• Our tutors report that students are fully ready for them at the appointed time, meaning that they get more tuition in the allotted time.
• We’re able to put the tutor best suited to work with the student, rather than the very best tutor who can travel to them.
• Our tutors can help more students overall because they’re travelling less, so can deliver more lessons.

However, face-to-face tuition is still a great option for many students and with the appropriate social distancing is continuing to work well. In fact, for some students, for example, students who are out of school for health or behaviour reasons (alternative provision) it’s often the only option that will work effectively.

Whilst we don’t know if we’ll be faced with a national or multiple local lock-downs, moving forward, it’s reassuring for us at Tutor My Kids to know that we can accommodate most options.

If you’re considering getting a tutor for your child, please take a look at our For Parents page and check out our client testimonials.

If you’re a teacher who is interested in becoming a tutor for Tutor My Kids, please take a look at our For Tutors page and our tutor testimonials.

## How parents can support children with dyslexia returning to school post-lockdown

For many children with dyslexia being away from school for a long period of time was a dream come true. For those children school represents struggle and at home they felt more relaxed being able to learn at their own pace. They may have felt a weight off their shoulders away from the daily pressure to produce quick results whilst sitting at a desk in a noisy classroom.

Other children may have found learning alone very difficult without the support of their teacher. Lockdown may have exacerbated the challenges they face with reading, writing, memorising and organising information.

If your child is anxious about returning to school you may be wondering how to help them. Here we share some suggestions and signpost you towards any further help you may need.

1. Contact friends

Arrange for your child to regularly see one or two friends from their class after school. Friendships help children to feel a sense of belonging. Knowing that others care for them raises their self-esteem and helps to reduce feelings of anxiety.

To avoid seeing too many different people at this time your child could contact friends over video call. Video calling doesn’t work quite as well with small children but you could set up a game to encourage social interaction.

It’s not always easy to talk to a child or young person about their worries. Pick a time when they are calm such as when you are out for a walk together rather than when they are in an emotional state. Be clear that their worries are not silly and that you won’t take any steps to tackle their worry that they are not happy with.

You might start by asking your child how they are feeling about returning to school and normalize their feelings: “You’re right, the first day back is always nerve-wracking – I feel like that too when…”

3. Give children time to express their feelings

Activities can help children to express their feelings as they are more relaxed. Small children might enjoy sensory activities such as playing with homemade playdough scented with herbs and spices, making chocolate cake, or engaging in messy play with flour and water or paint.

Older children might like hands-on activities such as cooking, painting, crafting, and planting (see our blog post Summer science fun: Growing monster plants!)

4. Support your child how to manage anxiety

See our 10 stress-busting tips for students for some tips to help older children. Childline also has some advice on managing anxiety and on the coronavirus.

If your child has an ongoing struggle with anxiety you can also talk to your family GP who can put you in touch with a specialist service. Remember anxiety is treatable and it is possible to help your child to manage it so that it doesn’t impact the quality of their life.

NHS England lists some signs of anxiety for parents to be aware of. These include changes in mood, difficulty eating and sleeping and noticeably struggling to manage their emotions.

5. Talk to your child’s teacher

If your child has enjoyed learning at home and is feeling anxious about returning to a classroom environment, talk to your child’s teacher together with the school SENCO. They may need to put additional strategies in place to support your child. For example, they might give your child lesson materials such as Powerpoint slides to view in advance of a lesson, take a more multisensory approach to their learning or consider assistive technologies.

6. Plan fun things to do

Having interesting things to look forward to on the weekends and in the evenings reminds children that school is only part of their lives. It might be as simple as a film and takeaway night or a weekend visit to see a family friend.

Support for children with dyslexia

TutorMyKids can match your child with a specialist dyslexia tutor who can work in partnership with you to support their individual needs and raise their self-esteem.

## Homeschool activities: Children’s Art Week and maths

Children’s Art Week which is organised by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, runs from 29th June to 29th July.

The aim of Children’s Art Week is to inspire children to explore different kinds of art and to experiment with a range of media. Families can participate in online workshops led by artists and try their hand at everything from architecture to snow globe making.

Here we share art activities that also develop children’s maths skills. You can try these at home as part of Children’s Art Week or at any time as a way to engage your child with maths. Art and maths are closely related with both subjects requiring the ability to recognise patterns, to understand shapes, symmetry, proportion and measurement and spatial reasoning.

All the activities need very few resources. We hope you and your child have fun!

Tessellation art

Tessellation is a pattern made with polygons (shapes with three or more sides) that completely fills a space with no gaps at all. Tessellations can be seen everywhere from the brickwork of your house to the tiles on your bathroom floor!

You will need A4 card, a glue stick, and a selection of pre-cut squares, rectangles and triangles of different colours. Challenge your child to choose shapes and arrange them on their piece of paper without leaving any spaces in between. Once they are happy they glue their shapes in place. See Art Inspired by Klee for photographs and further instructions.

Older children can try more challenging patterns – their imagination is the limit!

Pi cityscape

Children don’t need to understand the concept of pi to enjoy this activity, so it’s suitable for all ages. For young children it is a good way to help them to remember that pi = 3.14 when they need to know later. Children in Key Stage 2 might benefit from watching Pi for Kids and carrying out measuring activities to develop their mathematical understanding as a supplement to this activity.

Start by printing out the single page pi poster from 10 MinuteMath. Children will also need a piece of graph paper and felt tipped pens. They create a line of skyscrapers by colouring in blocks of squares to match each number in pi – the finished result looks a bit like a bar chart. So they colour 3 blocks, then 1 block, then 4 blocks and so on (3.14…). For instructions accompanied by pictures, visit What do we do all day?

Aboriginal repeating patterns

We love this activity on Nic Hahn’s blogspot. It’s very easy to follow and the effects are beautiful. Young children will learn about repeating patterns, and older children can adapt the activity by making up more complex repeating patterns.

All you need is paper, paint and cotton wool buds. If you don’t have cotton wool buds then finger prints are fine.

Weaving patterns

This therapeutic activity utilizes children’s measuring and pattern making skills.

You will need a paper plate, either paint or felt tipped pens, scissors, and balls of different coloured wool. Children start by decorating the paper plate however they wish. They then turn the plate into a loom by cutting slits around the rim and weaving wool in and out, before weaving their design between these strands.

Cassie Stephen’s blog spot has some beautiful photographs of finished designs which will fire children’s enthusiasm. However, her instructions are difficult to follow so we recommend watching Paper Plate Weaving before you begin.

Geometric paint by number

Here children think about shapes, use a ruler and show that they know the difference between odd and even numbers.

You will need A4 paper, a pencil, a ruler and paint.  Prepare by setting out 10 different paint pots each containing a different colour – or different shades of the same colour. Number the pots 1-10.

Children draw a grid on their paper with each square roughly 4cm x 5cm (4cm across the width of the paper, and 5cm down the length). They then need to draw a large shape right in the middle of the grid – taking up most of the squares. It doesn’t matter if they turn the grid portrait or landscape. On the inside of the shape, in each grid square, they write a different even number to 10.  On the outside of the shape, in every grid square, they write a different odd number to 10. Children then paint their designs by matching the numbers on their grid to the numbers on the paint pots.

Clear instructions for this activity and examples can be found on Nic Hahn’s blogspot.

Mandala maths

This is a lovely activity for children of all ages. Not only does it takes maths and art outdoors, but children can create designs that are as simple or complex as they like. It is an opportunity for children to practise counting, comparing, matching and sorting, and to learn about symmetry and geometry.

If you’ve just been to the beach and have a collection of seashells then have a look at Nurturestore’s website for instructions and inspiration.  Don’t worry if you haven’t been to the beach lately – you can create mandalas from all sorts of natural or household materials or even toys and craft materials. Type ‘mandalas from nature’ into Google Images and you will get the idea!

Does your child need extra help with maths?

If your child is finding particular mathematical concepts challenging or is generally unenthusiastic about the subject, a one-to-one maths tutor can make a real difference to them.

Our highly-qualified tutors are passionate about maths and they want to help children to learn and to enjoy maths just as they do. They take the time to assess children’s mathematical knowledge and to identify where there are gaps so that they can tailor their teaching accordingly.

During the coronavirus pandemic all tutoring sessions take place one-to-one online. Talk to us today at hello@tutormykids.co.uk

## Homeschooling Project: World Oceans Day

Monday 8th June is World Oceans Day. The aim of World Oceans Day is to inspire everybody – young and old –  to understand why oceans are important and to take action to protect them.

Oceans:

• Are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.
• Are home to a diverse range of marine life which is vital for a healthy ecosystem supporting all life on Earth.
• Regulate our climate and weather patterns by transporting heat from the Equator to the poles.
• Are a major food source giving us not just fish but ingredients for other products too – even peanut butter!
• Provide ingredients for medicines including those that fight cancer, heart disease and Alzheimers.

Here are some practical activities you can do at home to educate your child about our oceans, encourage them to care and to understand that the choices they make really can make a difference.

Why do we need oceans?

Watch National Geographic’s short film, How to Care for the Ocean.

• What do oceans provide us?
• What are the problems?
• What could happen if we don’t make changes?
• Can you think of one thing we can do as a family to help care for our oceans?

Know where your food comes from Together search the internet to find out what surprising foods come from the ocean. The National Ocean Service film, What does peanut butter have to do with the ocean? is a great place to start.

Discover what kinds of seafood come from the ocean and ask your child which they have already tried and which they liked best.

Ask your child to make a ‘Delicious Ocean’ poster by drawing and labelling all the things they have eaten that come from the ocean.

Eat sustainable fish

After the film check your child’s understanding by asking them what sustainable fishing is and why it’s important. Together visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website to find out what fish is currently sustainable in the UK.

You could buy a sustainable fish and experiment with a new recipe. To find a recipe type ‘recipe with…’ followed by your fish of choice into a search engine. For example, ‘recipe with coley’.

At the current time it is tricky to buy specific food so this might be an activity to research now and carry out later! Having said that, some local fishmongers will deliver.

Reduce plastic waste

Plastic waste has recently increased due to Covid-19. We are all having to prioritise immediate safety which can mean having shopping delivered in carrier bags and buying long-life food which is often packaged in single-use plastic.

However, even during the pandemic there are steps we can all take to reduce the amount of waste that will end up in landfill. The World Economic Forum’s article Single use plastic in a pandemic: how to stay safe and sustainable is a positive article to share with your child.

To prepare for the end of lockdown your child could make a reusable shopping bag from an old t-shirt – no sewing required. Bags can be decorated with fabric pens or other random craft supplies such as pom-poms, feathers and sequins. Your child’s imagination is the limit!

Together look on the Marine Conservation Society’s website to find out which UK marine species are endangered or under threat.

For example, if your child chose to find out more about the bottlenose dolphin they could:

• Watch National Geographic Kids’ Bottlenose Dolphin.
• Find out more about bottlenose dolphins from National Geographic Kids and write a fact file or make a book to teach others to love them too.
• Make a dolphin craft – there are plenty on Pinterest and inspiration can also be found on Google Images by typing in ‘Bottlenose dolphin craft’.

Do you need a homeschooling tutor?

At TutorMyKids we believe that enjoyment is the key to successful learning. All of our tutors are qualified, creative teachers who tailor their teaching to suit your child’s needs.

Our tutors can teach your child one-to-one online or set work for them to complete with you. Whatever support your child needs, we are here to help. Contact us today at hello@tutormykids.co.uk.

## Coronavirus implications for school and college students.

Many students will be affected by the Coronavirus school shutdowns. Looking at the latest information from the government, there will be a small number of year groups (Reception, year 1 and year 6) potentially returning to school after half term in early June. And only the following on secondary students and A level students: “Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays.”

## Biggest Impacts – Year 10 and year 12

At Tutor My Kids, we’re looking at where we see the biggest impacts on students.

First and foremost, we foresee that the current year 10 and year 12s will be the hardest affected.

For year 10s and year 12s, at the moment they’ve missed almost a third of this academic year (getting close to 1 whole term). When you look at the entire GCSE or A level course of 5 terms, this makes 1/5th or 20% of their entire GCSE or A level courses missed.

Given the amount that has to be covered, it’s hard to ensure that all the topics are covered in a normal school year. We think this will be doubly hard with such a lot of time lost and leave massive gaps in the learning of many year 10s and year 12s.

Many schools are providing some good input for these students, but it’s not quite the same as being in school and not all students are taking advantage of the lessons and resources that are being provided. I think that there is a lack of understanding of this problem with many parents and students.

## Year 5s impacted

In the same way the year 5s will be the next largest year group to be affected.

The primary school curriculum is so full that it is also tough to get children to the right level in time for year 6 SATs, especially those who have learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

I was surprised that the government had proposed returning year 6s to school (unless to help ‘babysit’ the reception and year 1 students). The gaps that they have, will (in most cases) be made up in year 7 as they transition into their secondary schools.

It is the year 5s have a greater need, I believe to be back in school, to prepare them for the SATs and prevent gaps in their learning becoming problematic – see Why-maths gaps occur-and-the-problems-they-cause/

I appreciate that students in year 5 have many years to catch up, but in reality, many primary school gaps in spelling, punctuation and basic maths remain uncorrected at secondary school as the curriculum moves rapidly onto secondary topics, with the assumption that these basic topics are secure.

## What can you do to help?

First and foremost, regardless of their year group, take advantage of the resources that their schools are offering – be it remote lessons, links to learning, work set. One of our tutors has been putting together some amazing resources. See Mission-to-the-moon/ This is a great multi-subject topic block for primary aged children.

I know this is incredibly difficult for parents who are juggling work, caring for younger children, so do what you can. No one is expecting you to replace 5 hours of teaching each day! However, IF you’re schedule enables it, an hour a day is a massive help. See How-much-difference-can-an-hour-of-one-to-one-tuition-make/

Can you either remotely now, or face to face later, team up with other parents who can help with the maths, whilst you help out their kids with the English?

Get a tutor – either now or after lockdown. We’re quite busy at the moment, helping out students remotely, and anticipate that we’ll be called upon to help out during the summer (hopefully face to face by then) to help fill gaps ahead of the next academic year in September. Take a look at our ‘For Parents’ page for more details – For Parents.

For an informal chat about possible options for tuition – email hello@tutormykids.co.uk to arrange a time to talk.