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Peterborough charity offers home-schooling classes Posted On 08 January 2021

Teacher ready to help parents with online support during lockdown

 

The first session of Katie’s Kitchen School – a series of free online classes to help parents get the most from home-schooling – was launched this week.

Supported by the Peterborough-based charity, Paston Farm Community Foundation, the tutorials are mainly run by local mum, Katie Howard, who has been teaching for 18 years.

Soon after the third national lockdown was announced on Monday, she was contacted by charity trustee Caroline Earle who asked if Katie would be prepared to volunteer and provide online support for anxious parents who found the prospects of home-schooling daunting.

The charity – which operates from a former children’s centre in a converted farm and provides services and support for the community – had the infrastructure in place after moving their operation online in March when the pandemic struck.

They were able to help combat loneliness and social isolation with activities, such as craft sessions, and worked with other organisations to keep their Community Fridge open. And now they have branched out into education.

Available on the Paston Farm Community Foundation’s Facebook page, the first class was a drop-in for questions and general support around home-schooling, and future sessions will include chats with education professionals, as well as general advice and support.

Katie told Peterborough Today: “The main thing is not to panic – with home-schooling it’s a question of suck it and see.

“One of the challenges is that you can’t expect children to act as they would do at school, and it’s about trying to offer advice to parents about this as it’s important to give parents the support they need. For example, some will be asked to teach their children things they were never taught themselves.

“I have experience with all kinds of teaching, as well as in the behavioural side, so I have hints and tips to share.

“I want the group to be an open forum and a safe space – it might be weekly or daily, it’s still an evolving idea – but I think if your child is safe and loved, you’re already a winner.”

To access the sessions, follow the link Katie’s Kitchen School – a drop-in for parents & carers (facebook.com)

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