Twenty minute learning - a realistic approach to learning in lockdown

Twenty minute learning - a realistic approach to learning in lockdown

It’s safe to say that we are living in pretty unusual times. Perhaps none more so than for the parents who find themselves attempting to teach their children, newly and unexpectedly released from school. 

Among the many concerns that parents have at the minute is that our children are missing out on a full five hours of teaching every day which has to be replaced by us. 

Don't worry though, because the typical primary school day for a six year old isn't what it seems. Let's take a closer look...

For a start, there are lots of breaks. Not just the actual playtime breaks where kids get to run about outside for a while, but the little breaks between activities which take up lots of time when 25 or 30 children have to pack up, put everything away, break up the fight over who owns the pencil with the sparkly topper, before eventually getting out something else and settling down. Settling down? Ha. That's an event in itself. 

Also, consider the distractions. There's a lady walking her dog on the field across from the school, a flock of birds has come down to eat the sandwiches Peter dropped in the playground earlier, and Jenny is swinging on her chair which might topple over at any time. 

This constant chaos is the backdrop to every school lesson. Kids love it, and it makes up much of the school experience which is hugely important for growing and developing, learning aside. 

But it also means that the time your child actually spends learning in one go is much less than you might think. When you strip out all the breaks, distractions, and waiting for upwards of 25 children to get themselves to the same point, there's probably only 20 minutes at a time spent on any one topic. Closer to 10 minutes for younger or more boisterous classes. 

So here are some quick learning ideas which will help your child progress in their learning. 

Reinforce what they already know

Consolidating skills children have encountered previously in class is massively important. For example, if number bonds to ten and twenty  trip off your child's tongue when asked, this makes moving on to the next stages in maths easier. Or if they're older, knowing times tables inside and out is an essential skill that will never go amiss. 

And there are numerous ways to make it fun - we have ideas for Key Stage 1 games here, and some more advanced activities here.

Read with your child

Not just at bedtime when tiredness takes over, carve out 20 minutes earlier in the day and get your child to try reading to you. Pick the books they loved you to read to them, and ask them to return the favour. Get them to try out voices and expression to find the fun and function in the words printed on the page. 

Take learning to the garden

The outdoors is a great environment for learning - no matter what size of garden or outdoor space you have access too, fresh air and a change of scenery is really conducive to learning new things. Check out this article for some ideas that you can apply wherever you are. 

Find the learning in whatever you're doing

Have you ever paused to figure out how you'll divide up a pizza or pie for the right number of people? Or doubled or halved a recipe when you're cooking or baking? The kitchen has a wealth of maths and learning that just needs to be tapped in to. 

Learning in short, regular bursts is one of the most effective ways for kids to learn. We've designed Komodo specially to take advantage of this little and often learning to provide a solid foundation in maths with structured 15 or 20 minute maths sessions for your child, specially tailored for them - try it for free to see if it fits with your new lockdown schedule! 

Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use at home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in maths – without keeping them at the screen for long.

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