Home learning through lockdown

As 2021 begins we find ourselves back in lockdown, and looking for inspiring activities and home learning aids.

Hawthorn Press has practical books that can help with home education such as educational text books, crafts, seasonal projects, storytelling and literacy.

Pandemic Homeschooling

The Case for Homeschooling: free range home education handbook by Anna Dusseau is full of useful tips and advice on how to help your children learn at home. From a chapter on pandemic homeschooling, discussing how to juggle home learning with work and with tips to get you started, to 101 Activity Ideas, a Q&A section and suggested further reading and resources.

Early learning and movement?

Sally Goddard Blythe offers stories, songs with 2 CD’s, rhymes and exercises for early years brain development, attention, co-ordination and balance in Movement, your child’s first language.

Learning to write and read?

Parents of children aged 6-8 years will find Writing to Reading the Steiner Waldorf Way a creative, fun way of introducing literacy, from drawing the letters, to movement, telling stories to then writing and reading. Creative Form Drawing For the Four Temperaments with Children aged 6-10 years offers colourful pre-writing exercises.

Every family is a storytelling family and every child a storyteller?

Interested in telling nature stories? Then The Natural Storyteller has stories for telling orally. Using the story maps, you can easily tell the stories without reading and become a family storyteller. You can build up a repertoire of stories to tell your family, and impress your teachers on returning to school. You can find world stories in 147 Traditional Storiesfor children aged 7-12 to retell, and storytelling tips.

Seasonal Nature and Craft

Booksuch as The Children’s Forest offer stories and songs, wild food, recipes, crafts and celebrations for all the year round. Families can enjoy these, with seasonal things to look out for on your daily walks.

Crafting is a great way to spend time with your family, or to lose yourself in to counter feelings of anxiety or loneliness. Making with your hands is a great way of giving children the creative life skills for navigating this age of disruption. We have a wide variety of books including Making Soft DollsMaking the Children’s Year, Making Simple Needle Felts and Making Peg Dolls.

Our own Katy Bevan co-hosts a visible mending workshop, Meet Make Mend that you can now join online. The group will next meet on 13th January from 7 p.m. – sign up here.

There are also countless online tutorials springing up where you can join like-minded folk and make things together. For example, Hikaru Noguchi, author of Darning: Repair, Make, Mend is currently offering visible mending tutorials on IGTV and Steffi Stern, author of several crafting books published by Hawthorn Press, has a selection of online workshops available to watch via Youtube.

You can keep up-to-date on Hawthorn Press books, events and activity suggestions by following us on social media and by signing up to our monthly newsletter.

Covid’s lesson on home education – a letter to The Sunday Times

On the 30th August The Sunday Times published a letter urging the UK Government to review the country’s education system, acknowledging the valuable role that home education has played during lockdown and supporting parents who choose to continue homeschooling their children.

The letter was organised and co-signed by two Hawthorn Press authors, Anna Dusseau, author of The Case for Homeschooling and Dr Richard House, author of Too Much, Too Soon? Other distinguished signatories include Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, University of Cambridge and Steve Biddulph AM, author of Raising Boys in the 21st Century and The Secret of Happy Children.

The full list of signatories

Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, University of Cambridge

Steve Biddulph AM, author Raising Boys in the 21st Century, and The Secret of Happy Children

Alison C. Sauer, F. Inst Pa. Trustee, Centre for Personalised Education; co-author of Flexischooling: A Guidebook for England and Wales

Peter Gray, research professor of psychology, author of Free to Learn

Dr Fe Mukwamba-Sendall, Social worker, Chair of Education Otherwise

Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor, University of Kent, author of Wasted: Why Education Isn’t Educating and Why Borders Matter

Professor Marilyn Leask, former dean of education, co-author of Marginalised Learners and Education System Design

Dr Richard House, chartered psychologist, author of Pushing Back to Ofsted

Anna Dusseau, former teacher, author of The Case for Home Schooling

Dr Ian Cunningham, Self Managed Learning College

Guy Claxton, Honorary Professor of Education, Bristol University

Fiona Carnie, author of Alternative Approaches to Education

Prem Sikka, Professor of Accounting and Finance, University of Sheffield

Brian Thorne, Emeritus Professor of Counselling, University of East Anglia

Tricia David, Emeritus Professor, Canterbury Christ Church University

Andrew Samuels, former Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex

Dr Jon Berry, University of Hertfordshire

Dr Marilyn Fryer, chartered psychologist and Chief Executive of the Creativity Centre Educational Trust

Dr Alison Green, Executive Director of Scientists Warning and former Pro Vice-Chancellor

Dr David Whitebread, Retired Senior Member, Homerton College, University of Cambridge, author of Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education

Alison Taysum, Approved EU Expert, Approved Europ. Sci. Foundation Expert, External Examiner Ulster University

David Curtis, former local schools inspector/ adviser

Carol Dyer, Trustee Education Otherwise

Wendy Charles-Warner, Independent researcher and Trustee of Education Otherwise

Kate Woodley-Smith, Artist and trustee of Education otherwise

Martin Large, author of Set Free Childhood and Common Wealth: For a Free, Equal, Mutual, and Sustainable Society

Dr F.H. Mikdadi, Independent researcher, novelist and poet

Dr Sharie Coombes, mental health author, psychotherapist and former primary headteacher

Nigel Gann, Education consultant, author of Improving School Governance, Teaching Award 2007

Joanna Merrett, EYP, Centre for Social Mobility, University of Exeter

To read the letter online visit www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/letters.

The Case for Homeschooling: Free range home education handbook by Anna Dusseau is available now at a special pre-publication price of £15.00 (Official publication date is 30th October although hard copies are available now through the Hawthorn Press website. Ebook available from 10th September).