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Family Learning Courses

Free, Friendly and Fun!

Mystified by your child’s schoolwork?

Stuck for ideas?

Feeling a bit rusty in maths and English?

Lockdown means home-schooling is back, but help is at hand for parents and families in Cumbria.

The Family Learning Team, who form part of Community Learning and Skills (Cumbria County Council’s Adult Education service), are keen to support families with home-learning, with their exciting and varied offer of free, short, online “Family Learning Quick-Skill” courses, all packed with ideas and activities.

Designed to meet the needs of parents and carers who may find themselves wondering how to get up to speed with elements of the primary school curriculum (many of which have changed since they themselves were at school), or are simply looking for inspiration and support, a Family Learning online Quick-Skill Course offers an opportunity for the grown-ups to brush up on key skills and gain confidence with supporting home-learning, both in and out of lockdown. Parents and carers of children in the Early Years (nursery and reception) will also find plenty to interest them, with ideas for activities using simple, everyday items, helping to keep fidgety fingers and curious minds occupied and learning at home.

A typical course, delivered via Zoom, starts with a friendly half-hour introductory session. One parent recently reported,

“It was good to meet the tutor first and find out about what to expect. You get sent a link, so I logged on and was surprised, as I recognised a couple of other parents and I soon got to know the others. The tutor was really friendly and understanding. We were all a bit nervous about using Zoom - it’s free too, so you don’t need to buy anything. It is quite easy and they give you lots of help.”

The next two or three sessions are held weekly, usually lasting for one and a half hours, with time for a break. All sessions are “live”, delivered by a tutor in small online groups - so much more personal than a video off the internet - and the tutor will tweak the course to meet the needs of individuals.

There is a wide range of courses to choose from, with new courses being added. Parents and carers can choose courses to cover key skills, such as helping with reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar, phonics and maths - all split into bite-size chunks, in a “pick and mix” offer; as well as courses to find out how to boost children’s motivation to learn… how about building a reading den, making a maths mobile or a puppet, exploring science, setting lego challenges or getting arty and crafty? Helping children to stay happy and active during lockdown can be a challenge, so there are courses to help build resilience (including staying safe online, help for getting a good night’s sleep and calming), as well as getting the children involved in making healthy and low-cost snacks and more.

Family Learning courses are delivered by fully qualified, friendly and experienced tutors, all of whom are former primary or early years teachers.

Details of all courses and how to enrol can be found online or you can phone your local centre to have a chat with one of our friendly staff and find out more. Parents, grandparents, carers and close family members, please don’t hesitate to get in touch - we are here to help you support your children.

“I felt less isolated and came away with ideas that I would never have thought of myself. I also learned how activities that you do at home link to what the kids do in school. My little boy loves his reading den and I feel more confident to read to him.” Feedback from parent on “Make a Reading Den” course.

Centre contact information:

Allerdale Community Learning and Skills

01900 706023

Copeland community Learning and Skills

01946 506416

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