A new digital resource has been launched to help parents and carers build exercise into the daily routines of children being home schooled during lockdown. Here, one such parent, Kelly Hutchinson from Suffolk, explains why it’s proving to be ‘a godsend’
Like thousands of other parents across the UK, Kelly and Rob Hutchinson are trying their best to rise to the challenge of homes schooling during the pandemic. The couple from Ipswich are currently home-schooling Marley aged six and Remy aged four – in-between trying to run two successful businesses.
But thanks to a new digital resource, produced as part of the Keep Moving Suffolk campaign, carers and parents such as the Hutchinson’s are encouraged to build exercise into the daily routines of children being home schooled during lockdown.
Providing information about, and access to, a host of curriculum-based and other popular resources, the resource brings together, in one place, everything parents could need to bring exercise into the home in a fun and engaging way.
It’s a response to data showing that activity levels of children and young people have fallen significantly during lockdown, prompting fears of a long-term impact on their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Kelly explains why she’s making exercise a key part of her children’s day. ‘I really notice the difference by keeping them active. I’m finding that their concentration is a lot better after we’ve done a walk or some exercise. They seem much more focused and, overall, are healthier and happier kids.’
She continues: ‘It’s a big challenge home schooling and juggling work and home life so the Keep Moving Suffolk website is a godsend. I’ll be using it on a regular basis.’
No one expects parents to act as teachers, or to provide the activities and feedback that a school or nursery would
Cllr James ReederCabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention at Suffolk County Council
Cllr James Reeder, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention at Suffolk County Council urged parents not to under-estimate the power of exercise on children’s education, saying: ‘Besides the obvious health benefits from being active, exercise has a wonderful ability to help and support a child’s educational attainment. Not only does it improve their concentration and make them more focused it is proven to improve their readiness to learn. So, by building in regular exercise breaks throughout the day children will be happier, healthier and better equipped to study.’
He adds: ‘No one expects parents to act as teachers, or to provide the activities and feedback that a school or nursery would. However, by integrating exercise across the day they will be supporting their children’s learning as well as their physical and emotional health.’
Developing children and young people’s physical literacy is essential in creating a positive and lifelong relationship with activity
Tim HollingsworthChief executive of Sport England
Tim Hollingsworth, the chief executive of Sport England, said great credit is due to the hard work of parents and carers but the challenges caused by the pandemic are fierce. ‘Developing children and young people’s physical literacy is essential in creating a positive and lifelong relationship with activity and without it many will not enjoy the health and social benefits associated with living active lives.’
The new resource can be found at www.keepmovingsuffolk.com/home-schooling.