As parents enter another week of lockdown, they may now be dab hands at home schooling.

But for those who haven’t quite nailed it yet, we’ve got some tips from an expert.

Natasha Welfare is a Montessori teacher and mental health counsellor from Leigh

Her home-school game plan includes keeping a routine that closely resembles a condensed school day.

Starting with outdoor play to “let off some steam before learning” is a good starting point.

She adds: “Create work stations - that’s your workspace and this is mine. Use sand-timers - I recommend you buy some.

“Kids will be much calmer if they can see the end to a task and this is most easily done using a sand-timer when in primary.”

Natasha says it’s important to change things up to keep learning varied and focussed, adding: “Don’t expect two hours of concentration on one task -just 30-minute bursts like at school.”

She stresses parents do not need to be teaching throughout the day.

Natasha adds: “Children need to be independent sometimes with worksheets and quiet reading etc.

“They do this at school and they can do this at home (again sand-timer!”

Natasha also recommends printing off age-level appropriate worksheets to help.

She adds: “Do not think you need to teach them all subjects - keep the core maths and literacy ticking over.

“If you love science - do it! If you want to teach beyond the basics teach what you like/know.

“It’s fine for them to watch educational TV some of the time.”

Parents should not expect home-school to be like school.

Natasha adds: “ Your little ones won’t suddenly follow school rules at home, try and set two or three simple rules and reward them for following.

“Kids like choice. Even when you know that the choice leads to the same outcome. Give them choices. “Know what the reward options are.”

If siblings are being home-schooled, be fair and try not to compare them.

“It’s hard but important for their self-esteem,” Natasha says.

Natasha runs the Wellness Project in Leigh.

She adds: “‘A big part of what I do at the Wellness Project is to support parents.

“On a practical level it’s just a case of accessing the free educational resources and putting them into some sort of timetable.

“On an emotional level I want to say to parents that whatever you are doing is brilliant. Keep the basics ticking along and prioritise psychological well-being. Being a parent at this time is like being on a plane, you can’t help anyone until you have fitted your own air mask.”

For more tips, visit (don’t worry about US curriculum - Grade 4 is roughly Year 5), BBC Iplayer - Horrible Histories, Newsround are other examples.

BBC Bitesize - being updated with more content in light of homeschooling