Home learning for children – dental info and more

7th January 2021 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

If you’re facilitating home learning for children, I hope some of these tips will be helpful to you. With thirty years experience as a teacher and educational leader, both in the UK and overseas, I understand well the challenges and rewards of working with young people.

So have fun with your children, help them to be curious, and then the learning will follow. If you have any questions, please ask!



tooth brushing for home learning children with parents

Home learning

I originally wrote this post in March last year, never thinking that it would still be relevant, even more relevant in 2021. Over the years I came to the conclusion that most learning happens in the home. Of course schools play an enormously important part in shaping a child’s future, but real learning springs from fundamental attitudes, nurtured by families.

At home, parents don’t need to worry if they can’t understand the physics curriculum or make sense of Shakespeare. The

Self-discipline is key

Working from home, we all know how easy it is to begin a bit later, let ourselves become distracted, allow the call with a colleague to be a bit longer than necessary. In the grand scheme of things it probably doesn’t matter. What does matter is goal setting. Just knowing what you need to achieve in a day, and what the children need to achieve, helps. This is where lists, timetables and calendars help. Be sure to schedule in periods outside and rewards!

It really is true that a good routine helps everyone in the household. Moreover, schoolchildren are used to both a timetable and clearly articulated boundaries. Adults can use this to advantage.

#1 tip – frame your day around toothbrushing

Brushing teeth should mark the start and the end of a child’s day. It’s best if they brush teeth before breakfast, as we should leave half an hour between eating and brushing our teeth to reduce enamel erosion. So brushing first thing in the morning is a good idea. And before we go to sleep, brush with a fluoride paste to disturb bacteria and protect teeth overnight. It’s the longest time fluoride has, uninterrupted by food or drink, to strengthen our teeth.

#2 tip – schedule eating times to avoid snacking

The trouble with being at home, whether you’re a kid, or an adult, is the temptation to snack between meals. Planned, healthy meals help prevent damage to teeth (and general health too). Work out a rota of daily menus (just like school!) and do prep in batches to save time each day. Try to get the whole family involved in planning and making food too, because there’s going to be a lot more work in the kitchen with the whole family home 24/7.

#3 tip – talk up the value of teeth

We want children to keep their teeth healthy for life. And we want children to keep on learning too. Most learning is about interaction, and that’s what stay home children will be missing. We learn from others. So it’s important to spend time talking. And the more you talk about how precious their teeth are with them, the more likely they are to look after them. Talking about preventive care and making healthy choices can be a good place to start.

Terrific free online learning resources for children (and adults) at home:

“Lessons worth sharing!” They even come with review questions and deeper thinking suggestions. Here are some great videos to inspire the kids to keep their teeth clean, as well as learn some interesting facts. Once you’ve done these, there are plenty more interesting lessons too.

Note: Because of their memorable visuals, it’s always important to check video material is appropriate. Children react differently, and sometimes unexpectedly. These cartoons include images of cavities and teeth being pulled out, for example, that might be worrying for some children.

There truly is something for everyone on this website. Whether it’s fun activities on an app for early learners, a course for children to learn coding, or electrical engineering, Khan Academy has it covered.

Note: While parental supervision is essential to ensure children are safe online, initially it’s fun to share the learning experience anyway. Once your child is engaged, s/he will become a more independent learner, leaving adults with time to get on with their own work.

Joe in a blue shirt teaches stay-home children

Joe Wickes is back! His programme this lockdown is a little slimmer – just Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It’s still at 9.00, if you want to follow the programme live. As it’s on Joe’s YouTube channel later anyway, you can set a time that suits you, if you prefer.

As there should be an adult supervising the children doing this, why not just join in anyway? If space is a bit constricted, be careful. You don’t want anyone to knock a tooth out.

Dental care in lockdown

During this lockdown, dentists are allowed to stay open. We reassure patients that dental practices have strict controls and protocols in place to keep you safe. We look forward to seeing you.

POSTED IN: Children


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