What’s a typical working pattern for homeschooling nannies?

Our nannies are being asked to work different patterns, depending on the family. We asked our nannies who are currently working and there is a big variety. Some are doing full days, some just in the morning and others are sticking with afternoons. Some families need help every day, or 3-4 days a week!

Often families do want to replicate the patterns of the school day – so 9-3.30pm. This doesn’t mean they are at their desk doing lessons all day though. Remember at primary school, children will have morning and afternoon playtime and lunchtime – they need downtime too. 

How are schools delivering learning?

Most schools are now using a digital platform to deliver the school day. The most common ones are;

  • Google Classroom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Class Dojo
  • Purple Mash
  • Seesaw

They will also be using some common tools such as;

  • Zoom (for live sessions)
  • Oak Academy
  • BBC Bitesize
  • Youtube
  • Whiterose Maths

How can you set yourself up for success as a homeschooling nanny?

As you can see, often homeschooling is very online and computer focused. And so with that in mind, there is a checklist that is really important to go through with the parents before you dive in with the homeschooling.

  • Base
    • Where are you going to sit in the house? 
    • How is that going to work if there are multiple children? Are they going to be on video calls at the same time if they're doing live lessons? Are they going to be wearing headphones? Or are they going to be sat on different tables? 
    • Once you figure out the space you're going to be using, try to keep it kind as clear and undistracted for the children as possible e.g. removing toys from the space.
  • Device
    • Do they have a laptop or they on an iPad? 
    • Are you comfortable with that device? And it might be that, for example, they want you to use a Mac and you're and you're used to PCs or vice versa. And if you're really struggling, you might even suggest you bring your own laptop, and if it's going to make it easier for you.
    • If you are having trouble with the tech, it is really important that you speak up and get some support from the parents.
  • Printing
    • A lot of the schools will send worksheets that need printing out now, and it's really important that you know where the printer is.
    • If it is tucked away in dad's office, you might want to politely suggest that they let you have it in the area that you're working if you're going to be regularly using it so you're not interrupting.
    • Extra brownie points for keeping an eye on the kind of ink and paper supply levels!
  • Links & log-ins
    • Make sure you've a list of all the passwords and logins.
    • It's a good idea to open up all the platforms you’ll need to use and save them as bookmarks, so you can refer back to it.
  • Tour
    • Make sure mum and dad take the time to give you a tour of things. 
    • We can't teach you the ins and outs of the specific platform that you're going to be using because each school is tackling this differently. The expert is going to be the parents, so they're your biggest source of information.
  • Routine & Timings
    • Make sure you make a note of timings. If there's going to be live sessions during the day, which often schools do, make sure you know exactly what times they are set reminders on your phone.
    • Ask whether the parents already have a routine that they've been working to and what's worked about that. Check how strictly they want you to adhere to that or whether you’ll have a bit of freedom to move things around depending on how the children are feeling.
  • Submitting work
    • Ask the parents how the work needs to be submitted. For example, often schools might need you to take photos of worksheets and upload them. 
  • Stationary
    • Where are the pencils? Where's the paper? Most importantly, where's the rubber and where's the pencil sharpener?
  • Self sufficiency
    • Have a conversation if you're not sure about exactly how computer literate the child is. As a broad rule of thumb, when they're sort of four and five, they're going to need a lot of help with typing etc. When they're nine and ten they're probably going to be driving the computer better than you! But there's that sort of grey area in the middle where it's not 100% clear whether children are expected to be handwriting on paper or typing it into the computer.

What about normal nannying around your homeschooling?

  • Find out from the parents what meals they expect you to prepare and serve. 
    • If it is a hot meal, find out what recipes they suggest and discuss with them the practicalities of preparing a hot meal and homeschooling at the same time. If the children are older and more self sufficient it may be totally reasonable for the parents to expect you to cook and supervise schoolwork at the same time – assuming it’s in the same room. But if you are hands on with learning it might be tough – if you have any difficulties it is better to be open and discuss it with the parents than struggle on. 
    • It might be better to suggest they make (or you make in the child’s breaktime) a packed lunch to make things simpler
  • Find out from the parents the guidelines they wish you to abide by with regards to screen time. Are the children allowed TV/Games/their phone? If so, when, what times and for how long.