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Learning at home - help for parents

Posted by Paul Nisbet on the 1st May, 2020

There are so many web sites and online sources offering information and advice for parents that I hesitate to add to them, but in speaking to many folk I find that not everyone is aware of what is out there. Here are a few if you're struggling to find help.

Information and advice is good but too much isn't, and feedback to the recent Connect Scotland survey tells us that it can get on one's nerves:

It's an advice overload. Lots of pictures of creative parents with clearly more time to do amazing things, makes me feel I'm not good enough.

I need less! Too much information from too many places makes me feel like I am failing.

Yes I have many sources of advice. The issue is having time and space to use it.

But equally, there were many calls for more information and advice, for example about:

Supporting a young person with additional support needs.

Advice on how to motivate my S5 son.

Help with how this generation can get support for attainment in exams.

Really clear expectations about how much work the children should be doing at home just now.

So while I really don't want to add another list to the lists that already exist (trying saying that without your teeth in) because it can all get a bit circular, with web sites linking to other web sites that link back to the same site so we all go round in circles, here are some that I am finding helpful.

The National Parent Forum of Scotland

NPFS has just published a really comprehensive list of activities and well-being resources for children, young people, parents and families. It's a great place to start.

Parent Club

The Scottish Government Parent Club website has helpful information and ideas for activities.


Education Scotland's Parentzone has advice, ideas, games and links.


Reach is Enquire's web site for young people and has practical advice on coping with learning and living during lockdown.

Learners with Autism

Scottish Autism have Resources and information from Scottish Autism and Resources and links recommended by the Autism Toolbox.

Learns with dyslexia

Resources and links recommended by the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit.

Learners with visual impairment

Royal Blind offer learning resources for children and young people with VI; RNIB have FAQs for children, young people and families.

Learners with Complex Needs

Claire's blog on Complex Needs Home Learning Resources is a good place to start. What was I saying about going round in circles?

Learners with communication support needs

Gillian's blog on COVID-19 Symbol Communication Resources focusses on using symbols to communicate at home.

Learners with physical support needs

All children with ASN need help - the hint is in the 'additional support' bit, but I often feel that children and young people with physical support needs are overlooked, so I wasn't too surprised that I couldn't find much on home learning that's specific for learners who have physical disabilities.

Which is surprising because learning at home with a child with a physical disability is very challenging, especially without the personal carers or support workers that are normally available in school. Managing in a home environment that may be quite cramped, mangiaing personal care, physio exercises, eating and drinking, finding suitable learning activities that can be tackled both together and independently, and accessing learning at home can all be difficult and take a lot of time.

We'll try and address this gap in our blogs, at least for assistive technology anyway.

Cerebral Palsy Scotland has good advice for people with CP and Contact has general advice on education.


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