How do you deliver a ‘lesson’?

If there isn't a teacher online delivering a lesson, and so you have to direct the learning from slides or worksheets, here are some tips:

  • The best thing to remember is you can do this, but make sure you don't judge yourself either. You're not a teacher and we don't expect you to be a teacher. You just need to try your best. 
  • The most important thing is to keep that love of learning alive, so try and deliver things in an upbeat fashion as possible. 
  • Preparation is key – have a look through the slides to get a sense of what the overall overall arc of the lesson is meant to be and what they're kind of meant to be achieving at the end of it. 
  • Google anything you don't understand! One of the things that's happened to education in recent years is that the schools have started using the proper names for things. There's a lot of words and terminology that you might not have ever learned in your life, and it feels really confusing. 
  • Ask the child to tell you what something means, and if they don't know, go on a mission to figure out together and go find some BBC Bitesize videos for example.

What ways work well to make the learning upbeat and engaging for the kids?

Our resident primary school teacher Loren shared these tips:

"The main thing is just to keep up the positive energy. When I was a teacher, if I was in a bad mood that day, the children could sense it. You've got to lead by example, and, and maintain a positive outlook, even if you know that they're not in the mood. This is even more important because they don't have their friends around to pick that energy up from, then they're going to have to get it from you. There are some fun things you can do before a lesson. We used to start each lesson with a song. On YouTube there are loads of videos with educational songs about maths, literacy etc."

Are there any tips for specific subjects?

English

  • If they're doing a creative writing task, the most important thing is to encourage their fluency and creativity. Let them write away happily, even if there are spelling mistakes. They can always review it afterwards.
  • If the task is specifically to practice spelling or get punctuation in the right order, then they need to be a bit more focused on that. 

Maths

  • Especially with younger children, you can get really resourceful using objects around the house (coins, stones from the garden, Lego bricks out) to make it more physical and not just on a worksheet.

Geography, History, Science

  • It is worthwhile to have him look at the children's bookshelves. They might have books lurking in there that could be useful for them to look at or refer to when they're doing sort of science or geography.