Kate Middleton’s top homeschooling tricks for Prince George and Princess Charlotte are unveiled

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When the UK was plunged into the third lockdown ofthe pandemic, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among millions of parents facing the challenge of homeschooling their children again.

Prince George, seven, and Princess Charlotte, five, attend the prestigious Thomas’s Battersea in London, where school fees are up to £7,000 per term. And royal expert Katie Nicholl, author of Kate: The Future Queen, says the school is keen for the children to learn through practical projects as well as Zoom calls.

“Kate and William are very involved with the children’s schooling,” she says. “Thomas’s Battersea expects a hands-on approach from parents, that’s part of the reason they picked it. 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."

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“Kate revealed last year that Charlotte was making spider sandwiches for her homework [a fun activity based on the book Spider Sandwiches, by Claire Freedman]. It can be full-on for parents.”

Royal expert Katie says Kate’s charity work around the early years has influenced how she approaches home learning with her own children, as she realises the significance of outdoor play.

She 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.

“Kate is also a great painter and loves art. She’s the more creative of her and William and loves to paint with the kids. She’s not afraid for the children to get messy with it.”

The family have isolated in their Norfolk residence, Anmer Hall, with the Duke and Duchess carrying out many duties remotely. And while hands-on, they will have help with homeschooling from the children’s nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. She joined the family in 2014, after George was born, and has also been on hand for Charlotte and Louis, two.

Trained at the prestigious Norland College in Bath, Maria has been seen helping out at occasions including Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding and the Queen’s annual Christmas lunches.

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Katie says William and Kate will make the most of her expertise – but fellow Norland College nanny Louenna Hood says nannies face challenges too, having been forced to adapt to the new learning environment and parents’ expectations.

She explains, “Nannies have had to learn as much as parents, they’ve had to learn on the job as well. We teach kids through everyday learning but we’re not trained teachers. A lot of my friends and colleagues have had to learn the best way of homeschooling, the same as parents.”

Still, Louenna says Norland nannies are taught to give their all. She explains,“Their motto is, ‘Love Never Faileth’. As a nanny, every single thing I do is for the child’s best interests, it’s always about putting the child before what I would like to do. It’s very much taught at Norland.”

Here, OK! takes a look at the key areas William and Kate will be focusing on…

Learning through play

Kate has opened up about just how busy her days at home with her brood can be. “The children have got such stamina,” she said. “You pitch a tent, take the tent down again, cook, bake. You get to the end of the day – they’ve had a lovely time but it’s amazing how much you can cram into a day, that’s for sure.”

Nanny Louenna says learning through play is something they are taught at Norland College. “Children have no idea that they’re actually learning, it’s just a fun activity for them and so their brain soaks up everything.”

Getting outdoors

Kate has long believed in encouraging children across the country to get outside whenever possible. In 2019, she spoke about her love of the outdoors while backing a campaign by Backyard Nature – an organisation that helps families make use of outside spaces. “Spending time in nature can play a pivotal role in helping children grow up to become happy, healthy adults,” the Duchess explained. “The great outdoors provides an open playground for children to have fun and learn lifelong skills – from balance and coordination to empathy and creativity – with friends, parents, carers or family members.”

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Home cooking

The Duchess appeared on a Christmas special with Mary Berry in which she said she “really enjoys” cooking with the kids and thinks it prepares them to be “as independent as possible.” At the time, Kate praised Mary’s pizza recipe, adding, “We made pizzas with your pizza dough recipe… They loved it. Absolutely loved it.”

Planning ahead

The Cambridges have discussed the trials and tribulations of getting involved in their children’s lessons in detail throughout the pandemic. During his appearance on former footballer Peter Crouch’s podcast, William even admitted to finding some of George’s maths lessons tricky!

Asked about what he’d learned through homeschooling, the Prince said, “Probably that my patience is a lot shorter than I thought it was… and that my wife has a lot of patience. I was a bit embarrassed about my maths knowledge – I can’t do Year 2 maths!”

Kate said it can be tricky when the kids are set different work by teachers. She explained, “George gets very upset because he wants to do all of Charlotte’s projects… making spider sandwiches is far cooler than literacy work.”

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