Anyone with younger children is facing a unique hardship at the moment. Schools and daycare centers have all closed down in the wake of our nation’s health situation and we’ve all been placed into a very unexpected predicament.
For those of us without anyone to help we are tasked with not only completing our work but also ensuring our children are not only entertained but educated, as well.
Balancing work and home-school isn’t an easy task, however we are fortunate to have the opportunity to complete our work remotely; an option so many individuals weren’t granted.
For this work-from-home addition, much of these suggestions will center on solitary work for children (for obvious reasons). But that doesn’t mean you can’t be together! Stay in your pajamas, snuggle on the couch, gather at the kitchen table or even take over the Master Bed together.
You all may be working, but at least you’re all together.
Many school districts have rallied together in order to create comprehensive work-packets for students to complete during this time. Teachers, aids, and support workers have spent countless hours organizing, printing, stapling and distributing these resources so put them to good use!
Every morning before you have to log on, select a few pages from every topic for your child to complete. As they say, practice makes perfect!
If your school didn’t provide work packets, there are dozens of resources and apps available online with the option to print physical copies or do the work online. Many schools will also provide additional work upon request.
Many local teachers have been diligently recording lessons in order to keep their students on track. Not only are these videos being made available to students but many of them are posting them for everyone to utilize on YouTube. A simple Google search will pick up dozens of results, simply input your child’s grade.
Encourage your child to pause the videos and take notes while they’re writing. This helps with listening and understand skills while also providing them with writing and spelling practice.
- Reading Time
Whether you own a miniature library or have a bunch of books downloaded on a tablet, reading is one of the best activities you can encourage your children to do every day; and an easy one to prepare for.
Grab out those random boxes of art supplies and let their imaginations run wild!
Will it create a mess? Sure. But try to forget about the clutter for a moment and allow your children the opportunity to be creative however they choose (as long as they’re being safe!).
It’s always surprising how much longer they’ll spend doing an activity when they can do it THEIR way.
I’m not necessarily suggesting you allow your children access to the stove and knives to prepare a five course meal, but if you have older children then allowing them to prepare lunch and breakfast for themselves (and even a younger sibling) is a great way to keep them occupied while making them feel accomplished at the same time.
Think of this like home economics. If you’re child isn’t used to cooking, start with something small like toasting an English Muffin or putting together a sandwich. For kids that are a bit older and more experienced, why not pretend to order from a café? A cup of coffee and an egg and cheese bagel delivered right to your work area sounds pretty good, after all!
Of course if we’re continuing with the Home Ec. theme then we have to clean up our mess!
This is also a great opportunity to teach your kids how to be more responsible and independent. Give them small tasks to do around the house: empty/load the dishwasher, feed the animals, vacuum the floors, make their beds, etc.
- Get Some Fresh Air
It may be suggested that we keep a six foot distance from those around us, but our backyards are our own personal safe havens. Grab an extension cord, put on your coat and enjoy some fresh air as you work while the kids blow off some steam from being cooped up.
- Watch TV
Yup, I said it. Turn on the television.
If you’re kids are anything like mine, they need an actual school environment to stay focused and maintain their attention. Just being at home will be a constant distraction and sometimes unplugging for thirty minutes can be incredibly beneficial (and you).
If you can, try and stick with educational shows, although we all know Spongebob is going to be unavoidable at some point.
Regardless what they watch, ask questions about the episode or have them draw pictures of their favorite character.