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Home-schooling can be a pain in many ways. You will have got aches and pains sitting at a computer or laptop for too long without moving, in the same way kids aren’t meant to sit still at a desk for long periods (in fact none of us are designed to do so). They are designed to move and to learn through exploring their environment. However, our modern education system requires them to sit and concentrate during lessons, which may be up to an hour-long. I truly admire our Primary school teachers, they are skilled at engaging children and encouraging them to concentrate, however, they will still have children in their classes who will struggle to sit still. So how are we as parents supposed to keep the pain out of home-schooling?
Create the right home-school environment.
- Your child will need an area to work which will help them to focus more.
- Ideally an area free from major distraction. Most people won’t have spare rooms which they can dedicate to home-schooling, so try
- sectioning off an area of a room,
- perhaps you can hang up a sheet over an airer
- move a shelving unit to create a secret study area.
- remove any toys or technology that are not required for home schooling.
- try to remove any disruptions – such as other people who are working or playing from the area.
Select a suitable work surface and chair.
- Try to find a work surface that is the right height for your child.
- Dining room tables are often too high for younger children.
- Try a coffee table with a foot stool.
- Or 2 boxes of the same height with a shelf or tray across them.
- Or an ironing board set at the lowest height.
- Ensure they have a chair that is the right height to work at the work surface you have found for them.
- Ideally they should be able to put their feet on the ground (or if necessary a box).
- Their knees should be bent to 90 degrees and hips slightly sloping down (at an angle greater than 90 degrees)
- Your son or daughter should be able to sit with their elbows bent to around 90 degrees and their forearms resting on their work surface
- Some children struggle to sit comfortable on a hard backed chair.
- Try a stool, or if you have one a large exercise ball for them to sit on.
- You can buy an air cushion which is aimed at helping to reduce the fidgets.
- If the work doesn’t require the child to sit and write, then let them decide where to work.
- Encourage them to move around if they are learning tables or spellings.
- Lie on the floor to read.
- Stand to draw.
- Let them choose their comfortable position.
Of course they can always try standing up to work - just as we recommend anyone who works at a laptop or computer to do. Regularly getting up to stand helps to reduce aches and pains from tired muscles that are overworking. Just adjust the height of the worksurface (this is where an ironing board works well), and let them decide if they want to sit or stand or even kneel to work.
Keep the learning sessions to short periods suitable for your child’s ability to stay focused.
- No teacher keeps a child in one position for long periods – even senior school kids only have 50 -60 min lessons in most cases.
- Most Primary teachers will encourage the children to move and change activity as they break up a lesson into different tasks and activities.
- You child will find it easier to remain engaged in the task at hand.
Home-schooling needs physical activity
To ensure that your child doesn't get aches and pains when home-schooling follow each lesson with a movement session.
- If you have an outside space and the weather is not too bad, then get your child to play outside, run, jump, kick a ball. Even try and complete one of their maths activities outside.
- Yesterday my sons teacher had him looking for groups of 12 – we ended up counting the holes in his football net, and laying down football cones in groups of 12.
- If outside space is not an option try
- an indoor obstacle course.
- popping some music on for an impromptu dancethon.
- get them to run up and down stairs.
- play twister.
- or of course PE with Joe Wicks.
The key objective is to reverse the effect of sitting still and remove those fidgets.
Osteopathy is here to help.
If your son or daughter is struggling to get comfortable or has the fidgets, it may be due to the pains of home-schooling, sitting in uncomfortable positions or for too long. Just like you when you have spent long hours hunched over your computer keyboard, some times they may need a tune-up and loosen off to help their body function more efficiently. If you think this may be the case then give your osteopath a call 07474521329 or drop us an email