Happy Saturday, friends!
Yesterday, Joe and I did a live Q&A about educating your kids at home during the coronavirus quarantine.
My husband has a PhD in Education, but we are first and foremost parents. After listening to several exasperated mamas plead for understanding about suddenly facing the call for the “proper credentials” and the emotional bandwidth to coach their children through their schoolwork at home, I asked Joe to come on and offer some support and advice.
Some of the thoughts we share are:
- You know your children best.
- You don’t have to be an educator; you are a parent.
- You are the person who is most qualified to direct your child’s learning, in all stages of life.
- You can still communicate to your child’s teachers and school staff during this time!
- You can also most likely expect understanding when doing so.
- This situation is new for all of us. Hold space for your kids, for their teachers, and for yourself.
- Allow yourself and your child to process these emotions.
- Involve your kids as you plan a new routine, and set goals as a family.
- You can break setting goals into categories such as: emotional, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual.
- Have a plan, but leave room for flexibility as needed. Routines can be grounding, steady, and constant, but you will also find more peace as you refuse to measure your self-worth based on what you accomplish or don’t accomplish.
- Foster a love of learning in your kids by building activities and learning experiences into your daily happenings. This allows your children to build on what they are interested in, and helps so that you don’t have to sacrifice your mental health as a parent, because you’re already doing that!
- Recognize that you can’t replicate school at home. They are different!
- Just let the learning happen.
- Ease younger kids into new habits 5 minutes at a time.
- Play is an important part of learning. It fosters curiosity.
- Screen time can absolutely be utilized intentionally.
- Don’t let the guilt get to you. Do what you feel is best.
- When schoolwork feels overwhelming… read, read, read!
- Get outside! Garden, animal interaction, walks, astronomy, etc…
- Take advantage of virtual resources and virtual connections and help your child do the same.
- Most parents are not in a situation where they can or are automatically switching to homeschool. That isn’t what we are advocating and we don’t want to add to your already full plate. We just want to help you realize that – while we hope you would give the utmost attention to respecting your students’ teachers and administration and the time they put in – you have the right to take what works for you and leave the rest. That includes our ideas as well 😉
- Moving your bodies as a family can help release some of the added emotional tension.
- Make some time for reflection. How did today go? What went well? What could be improved upon? What did you learn?
- Make a more of/less of list (this is an idea I got from Monica Packer of About Progress, and it always helps me).
- Learning is a permanent change in how a person thinks, feels, or acts, based on new information received. What changed you today?
Some of the resources mentioned can be found below:
- 6 Ideas for Parents While Schools are Closed by Kerry McDonald
- 100 Ways to Play
- Audible Stories
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Happy Numbers
- Outschool Online Classes with Other Kids
- Overdrive App
- Josh Gad (Olaf) Twitter Storytime
Hang in there.
In short, we hope you know you’ve got this, and that we’re always here if you need us. I would love to hear how you are doing, and what you need 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽.
Here’s to sustaining one another through this crisis.