By: Lauren Lofgren
First things first: Take a deep breath. INHALE …. EXHALE …. Tell yourself “We can do this!”, then sanitize and mask up, oh wait just kidding, you’re stuck at home.
Everyone is in the same boat here (worldwide may I remind you) and we will get through this. Our kids will develop new learned skills that they would not have had the opportunity to establish at school. Time management being number one. How many adults do you know (possibly yourself included) who struggle with time management? These kids are going to be pros!
Here are 6 easy ways to feel like you have some control over the situation and are setting your child up for success:
It is crucial to set up a specific space for learning. Period. This creates a mentality right off the bat of “this is where I learn and study”. Your home has been categorized as a comfort place for family and fun in your child’s brain and school as the place for learning. Set them up their own little spot, ideally outside of their bedroom to help avoid distractions, where they feel established. Find a quiet corner with a table and chair, and maybe even a nameplate so it feels like theirs. You can even have them help arrange and decorate to really drive it home!
Set up a Schedule
School has a very standard schedule: Arrive, bell, class, bell, class, bell, lunch, bell, class, bell, class… or something along those lines. Distance Learning can be set up similarly! Incorporate scheduled start and end times, breaks, and even a lunch menu for the week. Don’t forget to include some physical activity! Did your student attend music or art class? Have them choose a fun project to create or encourage musical instrument play time! Snag our downloadable template and fill in your own schedule here:
Depending on your child’s age this could vary in how often, walk by every once in a while, see how they are doing. Check-in and ask if they need help with something. This not only promotes focus and encouragement but allows space for your child to feel like help is nearby. This is a daily change for your routine but this is a COLOSSAL change for your kiddo. Rember: their friends are not nearby, they feel cooped up, maybe anxious about their new learning environment, distractions are everywhere, etc. Lots of new feelings and emotions are running through their heads, so remind them every once and a while that you are nearby and ready to help!
Reach out to your child’s teacher, see what s/he expects from you during this time. See what you can do to offer support (again, this is different for everyone). Keep communication open at home as well. Is everyone working/studying from home? Let’s talk about it around the dinner table. It might be helpful for Paula to know that Dad is also struggling with keeping focused now that he works next to the dryer all day! Maybe they can discuss ways to refocus or even take a walk together during a break time.
This is so important! While your child may not be up and walking around all day at school usually, there are a lot more opportunities to move. Walking to a new class, the bathroom that is three halls down, their locker on the other side of the school, or to the cafeteria. Have a basketball hoop in the driveway? Allow for 10-15 minutes of hoop time. Trampoline in the backyard? 10 minutes of bouncing should do the trick. Live in an apartment? Just a walk around the building (heck, take the dog!) will be perfect! Just enough activity to reset, get that heart rate up, and throw in some fresh air. Feeling really motivated? Sign up for an online activity class (Find some free ones AmazingKids360.com) that allows for an extracurricular in your living room!
Keep the positives top of mind. How can we (as a family) overcome the obstacles and barriers holding us back from learning, growing, and being? Tackle them together and help show your child how to grow from the setbacks.
Have any tips that have worked with your family? Please share below! We’d love to know how each family is working together to make this new adjustment feel like a breeze!