As parents are racing to learn new skills in home schooling, why not incorporate time with family pets into your timetable? Home schooling doesn’t just have to be about reading and writing – you could use this time to teach your kids some real life skills such as cooking, cleaning & taking care of your pets.
Here’s our recommended home school timetable to help kids become responsible pet owners (and help stop them from getting under your feet!):
Lesson one – Maths
Get your kids to create a timetable showing when your pet should be fed and exercised during the day. As each person can only go out for one walk, perhaps different people could take the dog at different times?
Older children could also work out the quantity your pet needs to be fed and the length of walk. Add a practical element by getting them to actually do the tasks on their timetable.
Lesson two – Science
Kids can construct their own experiment from home by adding soap and water to pet food bowls and utensils and seeing how clean they can make them! You could even get them to compare cleaning with just water vs. soap and water.
For a little extra, try our extension task: how many places can they make clean around the house? Litter trays, fish tanks, hutches, their bedroom…the list is endless.
All kids need a break from learning but you can still use that time wisely. Get your kids to have some free play with their furry friend(s). This could include playing fetch in the garden, hide and seek around the house or making an obstacle course for smaller pets such as gerbils, but make sure the pets aren’t stressed by this and keep these sessions short and calm.
Lesson three – Citizenship
It’s important for kids to learn how to look after themselves and maintain good hygiene but what about your pets? Kids can learn how to give the dog a bath or gently groom your pet’s coat – after all, they need their hair brushing, too. Remember to make sure your kids have learned the signs to know when your pet has had enough and always supervise this lesson.
Lesson four – Quiet reading
Your kids will be feeling exhausted from their day of learning and your pet is probably fast asleep after a busy day, so it’s an ideal time to do some quiet reading. Tell your kids to get comfy and read aloud to your pet – it's great practice for them and gives parents a bit of time to yourself!
If you want your kids to learn more about how to meet the needs of pets, recognise their body language and about the heroic things pets do, check out our PetWise School Award. It’s completely free and your child gets a certificate once they’ve completed the course. Simply sign up as a home school. Any questions, feel free to contact our education team.