With schools closed to some pupils in the latest round of national lockdowns, many parents once again find themselves acting as teacher. How can you best support SEN learners?
BBC TV has recently announced they will be helping pupils stay up to date with their studies by broadcasting lessons on BBC Two and CBBC, alongside online lessons.
However, if you are a parent of a child with special educational needs (SEN) you might not know where to turn for the best teaching tips – or even what section of work your child should focus on if they do attend a mainstream school.
The Department of Education states that: “If your child has SEN and attends a special school, you’ll need to get the council’s permission to educate them at home.
“You do not need the council’s permission if your child attends a mainstream school, even if they have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.”
Similarly, if you are home-schooling your child’s school should provide guidance and support on what tasks should be completed.
There are also excellent resources available if you are finding home-schooling challenging.
Top tip: Social media can be a great tool to connect with other parents in a similar situation.
Sensory at Home is a Facebook group for all parents of disabled children at home unable to attend usual respite, classes or attend school.
Remember, this is a challenging time but you are not alone.
Twinkl are also providing free to download SEND home learning resource packs, featuring thousands of free teaching resources, you can even make a suggestion and the team will look at creating learning materials on your behalf.
Make sure to visit charity, Scope’s Mindful Monsters tool, who have teamed up with counsellor and psychotherapist, Victoria Sumner to bring 12 activity cards to create fun and laughter for both you and your child.
Focusing on 4 key areas, the activity cards aim to boost creativity, improve concentration, inspire positivity and aid relaxation.
Additional resources include:
- BBC Super Movers
- Head2Head Sensory Theatre
- YouTube Kids – with a range of educational videos and interactive lessons available
- CBeebies Games
- And everyone’s favourite body coach is back; Joe Wicks is once again running free PE sessions for kids (and parents) to get your gets moving in lockdown
Although not being streamed on television, BBC’s Bitesize does have a Parents’ Toolkit specialising in SEND (special educational needs and disabilities).
Looking at wellbeing, schooling tips for autistic children, physical activity to supporting your child’s mental health and wellbeing the online toolkit can be a useful aid when helping to educate your young person.
The Department for Education recommends three hours of learning each day for primary school pupils. However, if your child is reluctant to learn it could be time to improvise.
Your home can become a classroom in more ways than one.
In the kitchen, you can bake with your child and turn it into a lesson. From healthy eating (health), food preparation (home economics), to measuring out and weighing ingredients (maths) to reading recipes (literacy): you and your child will learn, have fun, not to mention it is excellent for mental wellbeing in these challenging times.
Similarly, leading authors and school book resources are being widely made free and available for all learners and parents.
Most importantly, remember, we are all doing our best. For parents who may have full-time jobs, others struggling with the educational content provided by teachers, to children who simply refuse to learn: we’re all in the same or similar situations.
There is a range of tips from teachers, with some even providing additional support via social media, but it is vital that you, as a parent, are not hard on yourself.
You can do this!