“Frustrated” “Challenged” “Difficult” “Lots of avoidance” “Hard to motivate”
This week I was invited to host a live webinar for the members of The Adopter Hub on Homeschooling for children with additional Behavioural Needs – during lockdown Covid19.
The result was an hour-long interactive Masterclass Webinar of sharing, approaches, guidelines -and most importantly, working out how we can all support our young people with behavioural needs at this time.
“Thanks for a great webinar today! I teach in further education and am now also homeschooling my nine year old adopted daughter with special needs. I got so many useful tips and links today so thank you.” – Amanda, parent
In the Masterclass I lead activities, thinking points and discussions to help parents and carers create individualised actions for their particular children and situations – starting with the champions-everything-BIG BEHAVIOUR RULE.
This blog outlines the main points we covered.
1. You – how are we putting on our own oxygen masks first?
Happy Teachers/Carers = Happy Children
“Put your own oxygen mask on (before helping others).”
Forget everyone else (!) – What are your own expectations of yourself around homeschooling?
2. Safety First (Learning Second) – how to get them from the ceiling to the desk (or kitchen table)
Consider how you can emulate a safe learning environment within the household.
Create or re-establish a calm space – calm, familiar, consistent. A ‘school’ area or prop? One parent shared that they take a register before starting schoolwork!
3. School expectations – working with school and how to balance school’s requirements with reality
Education is currently full of:
Stressed, bored, ill, lost, confused (and some parents and carers as well) teachers.
“Teachers and schools are working hard, but they are guessing too.”
4. Differentiation – making the work, work for your child and their needs
“What do REAL teachers do?!”
Differentiation is adapting materials and resources that already exist – you do NOT have to reinvent the wheel on this. There are MANY free resources for lessons, and your school may also have provided some, if not ask.
When is your child most happy and calm? That’s the clue of where to start when introducing ‘formal’ learning.
5. Exams?! What exams?!
SATs, GCSEs and A levels have been cancelled for this academic year (2019-2020). Your schools and exam boards should give you the latest in how this will affect your child.
This will have a knock on effect on our children’s focus – they may be feeling lost, frustrated, untrusting – or elated!
6. Connection – building a (virtual) team of support
“Who is your immediate day-to-day support? Do you have a network of others in similar positions?”
Put in regular contact time with your network – we’re not alone in this.
7. Back to you
Because that is how the positive changes start!
“Happy Teachers/Carers = Happy Children”