Coronavirus: How to educate your children at home during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster

Millions of British schoolchildren have been told to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Monday being the first day of what could be weeks, potentially months, of home education.

For many parents and carers, it presents the challenge of managing their children's education whilst trying to maintain their own workload.

It comes as school leaders have said the number of children arriving at schools is "manageable", with indications that parents are following advice to only send their children in if they have no option.

The role parents will play over the coming weeks and months will have a huge impact on children's education, with maintaining routines being a key challenge.

'Keep routine for children so they don't get unsettled'

Children of parents who are not key workers have been told to stay at home. Credit: PA

Gina Bennett, a Parenting Support Practioner at Action for Children, says keeping children in a flexible schedule is important.

"Keep things routined so children don't become unsettled. We are going through unprecedented times, kids will pick up on that. Get them up to have breakfast and get dressed - don't get them learning in pajamas," she told ITV News.

"Follow a timetable - one subject then a break followed by another subject - so the daily is much like school."

She added: "Some parents might want to make the most of the time off to spend more time with their children, so pacing out the day to involve quality time.

"It's really important to structure outdoor time, even if that's just going into a back garden to play ball games."

How should I be teaching my children?

Millions of children have been told they must stay home during the pandemic. Credit: PA

Whilst many schools are sending out resources and work for their students, parents may find they need an extra helping hand with their children's work.

"The BBC Website has the Bitesize resource, which covers ages three to 16 plus," advised Gina Bennett.

"Twinkle is another good resource for worksheets for parents to occupy children with."

Katy Southwell, a teacher from Southwell in Nottinghamshire, told ITV News: "I think the main advice really is not to panic."

"Try and take each week at a time, we know there are two weeks left of term time until Easter, some form of educational routine up until that point would be brilliant to keep them in some sort of a routine.

"They can get to the Easter holidays and maybe regroup, reassess."

She told parents to be guided by their children, adding not all will learn in the same way.

"I think a routine is paramount for them. I think children will want that; putting together a timetable with your children, working collaboratively with them so they can feel like they've had a say in this timetable will alleviate any conflict."

Keeping children active is as important as keeping them mentally stimulated.

Exercise guru Joe Wicks has launched a campaign to help children stay active over the coming weeks and months. PE with Joe, a live workout every Monday to Friday at 9am, has specifically been designed for children.

Wicks said he wanted to "keep kids moving, energised, optimistic" during the tailor-made sessions.

He told ITV News: "Use Youtube, use social media accounts that are going to inspire you. If anyone can get you up off the sofa, it's positive."

Adding advice for people in small or limited space accommodation, he encouraged people to keep moving using the space they have: "This isn't about fat loss, weight loss.

"This is about doing it for your mindset to feel good for your mental health."

"Don't just sit on the sofa, get moving" he added.

Children have been posting videos of themselves taking part in Joe Wicks' challenge, using the hashtag #PEwithJoe

To support Action for Children’s emergency coronavirus appeal which will help families cover the cost of the basics, please visit, call 0300 123 2112 or text ‘CHILDREN’ to 70175 to donate £5.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know