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Setting up a learning environment at home.


Making a space for learning should encourage learning:

Does not need to be big - end of a kitchen table, study desk.

Away from distraction - TV, rooms used for talking, bedrooms

Have school books, paper, pencils, internet device, support sheets, daily timetable, internet and device there ready to use all the time.


Create a daily timetable.

Children should know exactly what is happening next in their day.

Routine helps children to stay focused.

“How much longer?” IS an important question. Use a timer/clock’s minute hand/phone timer to set expected times.

Share the daily timetable with them each day.

Make the rules together

What do you expect during learning time?

Keep them positive.

No more than 5 rules.

Display them in your learning space.

Remind children every day of them.

“You just keep on surprising me! I really liked how you…”

Lots of positive encouragement = less distraction (every teacher’s secret weapon - now shared with you!) Children want to please you. Tell them what they are doing to make you happy and they will keep on doing it!

Be specific! “Good boy or girl,” is not enough here...tell them why!

Reward your child at the end of the day/week. We all like to be celebrated for our achievements - even us!

Don’t forget to celebrate yourself and your achievements! Being a parent, doctor, cleaner, psychologist, carer, nurse, teacher is going to be a tough job! Give yourself some time out too.


Oopps… we all make mistakes

Expect (and allow) children to ‘misbehave’. This is a new situation for us all - and it is scary for many of us. Children will test the boundaries – you must set them.

No one is perfect all the time. What to do:

1st time - remind children what they are meant to do and the reward at the end of it.

2nd time - ask the child which rule they are breaking and remind them that next time it is time out.

3rd time - ask your child to sit silently and think about their behaviour (no more than 1 minute per year of their age eg. 7 years old = 7 minutes)

Discuss the behaviour with the child, ask them to apologise for the behaviour and ensure that you are both happy with each other at the end.

Oh dear! I can feel I am getting frustrated!

These feelings are perfectly normal and will pass. Please remember to NEVER:

Use negative words such as bad, naughty, horrible. As you know, your child is fabulous - they have just made a choice which is not so great. You are there to help them learn to make better choices. 

Threaten to ‘tell the teacher’ on Virtual North or anywhere else.

Post negative comments on Virtual North. This is a place where EVERYONE can read your comments.

Take a few deep breaths and think of different approaches.

If you can not, no problem - explain to your child that you need to leave the room for a while but you will be back. If this happens:

Find a private space to breathe in.

Phone a friend and look for solutions together.

Try meditation, prayer, listening to calming music.

Tears have never caused hurt or pain!

Always, return and carry on once you are able to.

Please note, that any comments made about children’s behaviour, which are negative, will be removed immediately.


Finally, you are doing a fantastic job!

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