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Teaching Special Needs Kids at Home; Science, Maths, English and Lunch time!!

calendarApril 15 2020

Lunchtime and teaching? Here’s how!

Teaching Special Needs kids at home can feel overwhelming sometimes, especially now, when our routines have changed overnight thanks to Covid-19.

This post gives you some simple ideas on how to turn lunchtime into an easy Science, English and Maths lesson. Our previous posts have separated out the topics but here we show how learning the different topics can be blended together.

Remember, you are already doing this!

As we keep pointing out, you are already teaching your child every day! All we are doing here is to give you some ideas and language that you can use on an every day basis. With a few ideas and a bit of practice, it won’t be long before you are doing it on your own!

Science, Maths, English and Lunchtime!

Preparing activities can be time consuming and often your kids are left hanging around while you set up! The ideas we have given you here allow you to teach while doing your every day activities like making lunch. Getting the kids involved in food preparation will not only give them something to do but it also teaches them life skills.

image showing a packet of frozen peas, fish fingers, pasta and tomato ketchup.
Lots of learning opportunities at lunchtime!

English, Maths, Science AND Life Skills, all at lunchtime!! Is it possible? I hear you cry…well yes!

Just do a little at a time

Try just one idea at a time to keep things interesting. Trying to do everything in one go will just stress you out and your child will protest! Soon you will start to see opportunities for teaching in everything you do and adding a little bit of learning into your day will become second nature.

Image of a packet of pasta showing the weight and cooking time.
Just looking at the cooking time and setting a timer is Maths!

Below we have chosen 3 simple, typical meals that kids might enjoy and be able to help with in the kitchen. Obviously, you can adapt these depending on what your kids eat – if you prepare more fresh food, you can look at recipes instead of packets.

We will look at the learning involved in using recipes in a later post.

Teaching Special Needs kids at home – lunch is a lesson!

A learning lunch

Daily ActivityScience, maths and English Learning ideas

Cooking fish fingers and chips in the oven Temperature (Maths)
Time (Maths)
Adjectives (English)

Changes of state (science)
Read the cooking temperature on the food packet and ask your child (with adult supervision) to set the matching temperature on the oven.

Read the cooking time on the packets and ask your child to set a timer for the correct cooking time.

Use adjectives (describing words) how the food tastes and feels. E.g. Cold and hard chips become hot and crispy.

Discuss why the chips are now hot and crispy. Where has the ice gone?

Cooking pastaWeights and times (Maths)
Recording and discussing results (Scientific method)
Weigh the pasta before cooking – write this down. Weigh the pasta after it is cooked. Discuss why it weighs more after cooking.

Read how long it takes to cook the pasta and ask your child to set a timer. Is the pasta cooked how you like it in that time?
Things on the lunch table Size & shape (Maths)

Weight (Maths)

Adjectives (English)

Materials (Science)
Order things in the kitchen according to size

Describe the different colour and texture of the food and objects

Describe the different 2D and 3D shapes you see (you could use a picture chart as a reference and they could point to the shapes)

Hold different objects and say which is heavier or lighter and then look at the different materials the objects are made from. Discuss why those materials were used.

If you need any help you can get in touch with us here: https://wecanaccess.com/contact/

Please leave a comment below! Tell us how you got on or what ideas you have for teaching Special Needs kids at home!

About Us

Emma Bara has taught about environmental topics and science for years, running whole school education projects, teacher training, science clubs for primary school kids and GCSE Science tutoring. David Bara has years of experience as a SEN teacher and Senior Lecturer of Special Educational Needs. They are the Co-Founders of WeCanAccess.com.

David and Emma Bara

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