Like parents up and down the country, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been forced to homeschool their two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, during the Covid lockdown.
The royal youngsters normally attend Thomas’s Battersea in London, not far from their Kensington Palace home, which costs around £7,000 a term.
The couple have admitted finding it challenging, with William saying it had made him realise his patience was shorter than he thought.
However the couple have come up with some good techniques to get them through, and Kate has been relying heavily on the things she learnt during her Early Years royal work.
Speaking to OK! magazine, royal expert and author Katie Nicholl explains that Thomas’s expects parents to be very hands on with schooling – and Kate and William are more than happy to do this.
She says: “George and Charlotte are studious and love to learn, so they are pretty self-sufficient when it comes to Zoom learning. But the school likes the children to do practical projects too.”
During an interview last year, in which they admitted they didn’t tell the kids it was the Easter holidays and made them work straight through, they explained that Charlotte’s class had been making spider sandwiches.
However George, who is a bit older, has to do more traditional lessons.
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One of Kate’s biggest passions, the outdoors, has played a key part on their homeschooling approach and she makes sure they go outside whenever they have a break from their text books.
Katie explains: “Kate has been interested in how outdoor learning can benefit children. She got to meet children who had lessons outside and ask how they enjoyed it. She saw the benefit first-hand. Kate is aware of screen time and tries to limit the children being exposed to too much. When the children have a break, she takes them outside, come rain or shine.
“She wants them to get fresh air and be in nature. She loves to pick vegetables with them in the gardens. If they are learning about rivers or the sea, she and William try to incorporate that into their walks. Charlotte is a massive fan of spiders and loves looking at them and learning about them, so they go on spider hunts so that she can see them up close and then let them go.”
Katie explains that Kate and William are both keen artists, so they’ve been doing lots of painting with the kids during lockdown – and they “not afraid for the children to get messy”.
The couple spoke about homeschooling during a video call with the BBC early on in the lockdown, saying it was a “lot of fun” but also challenging.
Kate said: “Children have got such stamina. I don’t know how, honestly. You get to the end of the day and you write a list of all the things you’ve done in that day.
“You’ve pitched a tent, take the tent down again, cook, bake, you get to the end of the day and they’ve had a lovely time. It’s amazing how much you can cram into one day, that’s for sure.”
She also admitted they carried on their school routine during the Easter holidays.
She said: “Don’t tell the children, we’ve actually kept it going through the holidays. I feel very mean.”
The Cambridges started homeschooling a few weeks earlier than most families as George and Charlotte’s closed before Boris Johnson ordered all to shut their doors.