Hello, and welcome to Classroom Explained!

Are you swamped with a never ending to-do list? Busy with work, childcare, life admin and the rest? The juggle is real. And now on top of this, we are being relied upon to support our children with their school learning in more depth than ever. 

Of course, we want to help our children. But there is so much that goes on in the classroom that we simply don’t know about. Once the children step through the classroom door it’s as if they enter another world, and often things seems very different to when we were at school – the methods, the terminology, the sheer amount of homework. What even is a split digraph? What is expanded column method and how do I explain it? How exactly do I get my child to write 3 sentences on a given subject when they are tired, hungry and have zero interest in doing their homework?!

Classroom Explained is here to help

I’m Katie and I’m a UK qualified primary school teacher with over 10 years of classroom teaching experience. I’m also the mother of two boys: a 5 year old, and a 10 month old. I might be a experienced teacher but when I’m in parent mode my 5 year old couldn’t care less about my career and qualifications – to him I am just mummy / provider of snacks. And when he doesn’t want to do his homework, well, he doesn’t want to do his homework! So I get it. I know how to teach children in the classroom – but I’m also in the same boat as you – I’m a parent supporting my child’s learning at home. And even with my experience, the second of those two is often much more difficult. This is where Classroom Explained is here to help. 

I’m here to explain 

I’m here to give you inside access to what goes on in that mysterious world behind the classroom door, help you translate the jargon and give you practical examples to help you support your child. I want to help you feel equipped and confident in supporting your child with their learning. Or put another way, I want helping with homework to be as smooth and painless as possible, for everyone involved!

I don’t understand my child’s homework!

Many parents beat themselves up about not understanding the details of their children’s homework: for example, what a placeholder does…or how to write an expanded noun phrase…or what a non-chronological report is. But we shouldn’t! Most of us are not experts in education, or pedagogy – why would we be?! But, we all went to school and most of what we need to show your child, we already know. You might just need a quick concise explanation to cut through the school jargon or a few techniques to keep your child focused (and not wandering off in the middle of their homework!) That’s what Classroom Explained is all about.

Why listen to what I have to say? 

Well, I am a primary school teacher with over 10 years of classroom experience. I also led teams of staff across year groups and subject areas – most recently science and outdoor learning. I trained and mentored trainee teachers “on-the-job” as part of the UK government’s School Direct training programme. I’ve run professional development training for new teachers, and mentored class teachers in how best to support trainees in their own classrooms. I loved it all – teaching children and also supporting other teachers and staff. As a result, I know how to help adults break things down so that children can understand them. 

“I don’t understand my child’s maths!” 

Ever had a parents’ evening or sat through a parents’ information meeting where the teacher starts talking about maths – and it might as well be in another language? It can seem so different to when many of us were at school. In the UK, many children (and adults!) have a thing about “not liking maths”. I am passionate about making  maths accessible, worry-free and fun so I decided to study part-time while teaching to further my own professional development on how children actually learn maths best. I hold a postgraduate diploma in primary specialist maths teaching (MaST) from UCL, formerly the Institute of Education. I’ve done the research (literally) so let me demystify the jargon and show you the methods your children are using so that deciphering the maths homework is a breeze. 

“How do I help my child with their writing homework? ” 

I’ve always loved studying myself and have two degrees, in Law and in English Language and Literature. So when it comes to the finer points of grammar or how to present a balanced argument, I understand what a teacher is looking for in your child’s writing. Let me save you time and help your child to get that English homework ticking all the right boxes! 

So, welcome, have a browse and if you find anything useful please do leave me a comment. I hope it helps! 

Katie