In this new and uncharted territory, we are now taking on more roles than we ever imagined (or frankly even wanted.) If you had a child attending a school outside of your home at the beginning of March, you are now a “homeschool” parent.
Well, let’s rephrase that! You are helping school your child from home with the help, advice and curriculum supplied by your child’s awesome teacher. Let’s make the most of our new togetherness, and in that vein, here are some tips and ideas to keep in mind:
- All the staff at your child’s school, as well as your child, are most likely grieving because they didn’t even get to say goodbye. Have your child take or create a picture or make a video telling the teacher/s they miss them and send it via email.
- Play equals learning! For every age! Even YOU!
- Life skills are learning moments in which we can find lessons for math, science, social studies, English and more, like:
- Cooking … a 2-year-old can help plan the meal and wash veggies while a 10-year-old can plan and prepare the meal
- Laundry … a 2-year-old can put their clothes in the drawers while a 10-year-old can fold and sort all
of the clothes. (Mom tip: If you don’t use Color Catchers by Shout, you are missing out! Our house does one load per day, all together with a Color Catcher!)
- Cleaning … a 2-year-old can dust with a cloth while a 10-year-old can clean the bathroom
- If you don’t yet have curriculum from your teacher and/or you have children who just want to learn, there are lots of options available online. Some of my favorites are:
- Pinterest. Document in a journal all your successes and failures!
- Teacherspayteachers. Find free and paid resources, created by educators.
- Bluprint. Fuel family creativity with classes and projects.
- Udemy. My boys are 12 and 14. They each went to Udemy and found some classes that were interesting to them. I gave them no parameters. They wanted to do something, and I wanted them to not “play games all day.” My 12-year-old, Beckam, found several cake baking and decorating classes. Dade, my 14-year-old, found a class on personal finance. I didn’t even know that would interest him!
- Set realistic expectations for how long your child can remain focused. Here is the reality based on your child’s age:
- 2-year-old: about 5 minutes
- 4-year-old: about 10 minutes
- 6-year-old: about 15 minutes
- 8-year-old: about 20 minutes
- 10-year-old: about 25 minutes
- 12-year-old: about 30 minutes
- 14-year-old: about 35 minutes
- 16-year-old: about 40 minutes
(If you’re like me, you are figuring up the math to see how long you should stay focused based on your age!!)
- The most important thing you can do during isolation is enjoy your time together! Find the joy in the journey.
Wendi Humes is assistant director of Warm World School in Oklahoma City, an educator and mom of two.