In the face of threatened school closures, we need to plan how to use the time productively. Maybe we can even turn a crisis into an opportunity.

Think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. After taking care of our basic physiological needs, and our safety needs, we must attend to our needs for belonging, esteem and the self-actualisation. (If we don’t, cabin-fever will soon set in.)

One sure way to satisfy these higher-level needs – in both children and adults – is Learning. Learning is a direct route to belonging, esteem and self-actualisation

Here are 7 ways to increase learning whilst school is shut:

Join online classes

Join Udemy , Coursera and Skillsshare and learn something completely new. These platforms are very inexpensive to join and often have free trials. By the time normal services are resumed, you could have skilled yourself up for a whole new career.

Deep dive into Audible

Listening to audiobooks is so much richer and more educational than watching films. Download the children’s classics (Winnie-the-Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, The Narnia Chronicles) and improve your childrens’ vocabulary effortlessly. Or treat yourself to Outliers, Black Box Thinking or Linchpin to jumpstart your own learning.

Start journaling

I tell my students: ‘Writers write every day.’ If you write at least three full pages, on any subject that comes to mind, every single day, you will improve overall creativity and support your mental health. No need to self-censor, just let your mind ramble. If you want more guidance, invest in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (just £2.99 on World of Books).

Mail-order learning resources

Liz at The Reading Chest will send you levelled reading practice books for your young readers  Sophie at Tutor In a Box will send you fun, hands-on home learning resources in Maths and English for all school-age children.

Build your own library

You won’t believe how cheap the books are at The Book People, and they’re having a massive discount right now. (Since the books are brand new, you won’t have to think about disinfecting them, either. )

Create your own website

Squarespace is incredibly easy to use, and the free trial should last longer than a coronavirus quarantine. Just sign up and have a go. Who knows what you’ll create.

Employ a Tutor

Recently, our boys’ secondary school was closed for building works mid-term. We employed 3 different tutors to work with them on a rotational basis for those weeks (each boy had up to 3 hours tuition/day). Some of these sessions were online and some face-to-face. Sometimes one tutor juggled both boys, and sometimes they took turns. It was a game-changer in our boys’ studies. I found two out of three of those tutors on Superprof It cost less than the school fees would have, and our boys learned double as well in half the time. (Studies show that one-to-one tuition will cause a student on the 50th centile to reach the 98th centile).

Become a Tutor

Whatever subject you’re confident in, and at whatever level, you can tutor too. Tutoring is a rewarding and flexible job. You can increase or decrease your hours to suit your life situation. This could be a perfect moment to think about what you can tutor, and to learn what it takes to get started.

We at Qualified Tutor believe that tutoring is a profession, and given the right professional development, you can enjoy real success as a tutor. Why not sign up for our free content and upcoming courses here .

Many of us have been saying for years that the classroom is an unhealthy place for children to grow up. Now is our opportunity to explore the options.

So whilst you’re stuck indoors, why not let your mind expand?