The Big Five- The five most universally helpful tips for staying home with kids during Coronavirus
Here's the deal. Homeschooling while also trying to work from home is no joke. I'm a mom who has read ALL THE THINGS (and also works from home while homeschooling), and over the next few posts, I will be sharing some of the best tips and resources across the internet to help save you time and brain cells. To start off the series, here are five big, important tips in order to lay the foundation for a somewhat structured yet peaceful homeschool life while staying at home with your kids.
1. What do you want your kids to remember?
More important than any one thing you do or teach, what is the deeper message you will communicate to your kids during this time you are together? Kids can remember this time as a stressful time where they felt like an inconvenience, or they can remember it as a time that their parents went out of their way to show them THEY are what’s important and that you cherish this extra time with them. We do need to get things done (especially if you need to work from home), but it’s all about HOW we include them in this journey, and the tone we set. Include them in the discussions, the planning, and the fun. You are in this together.
Pro Tip: Watch a family movie that helps all of you remember what really matters so the chaos and tension won’t take over and you can focus on the unique opportunity to love your family well and come out closer on the other side. Let each person share about how they are feeling and make a decision as a family to be patient and forgiving with each other and yourselves through this season.
Include your kids in making a schedule for your days. They have one at school so structure will help them know what to expect. Have a plan, but stay flexible.
Pro Tip: Let them help you make the schedule (ask them about their school schedule) so they feel ownership in the process and you get buy-in from everyone.
This has the potential to be one of the most helpful and FUN things you do with your family during this time. Be creative and PARTICIPATE sometimes! If you have enough space, go outside. If not, do active things inside (think dance parties, the floor is lava, family workouts etc.) Not only does this serve as a time to get all that energy out and curb the cabin fever, you can also end up with some of the stories that are told for years after “remember that time we played the floor is lava..and mom beat you?! That was awesome.”
Pro Tip: Have a few ideas up your sleeve so can start a game spontaneously and really surprise your kids.
As much as kids need time to get out extra energy, they (and you) also need time to decompress and slow down in order to regroup for the evening. If you have never done this as a family, you may need to help them know what to do during this time (reading, coloring, naps, crafts etc.)
Pro Tip: Provide something special like a favorite snack or drink during quiet time to make it seem more special and help them look forward to it.
5. Save screens for when you need them
This one may be hard to follow, but even screens get boring if you use them too much. Especially if you need to work from home, save the entertainment for when you really need help keeping your kids occupied (like a really important phone call or meeting) and it will be worth it’s weight in gold as a fill-in substitute teacher.
Pro Tip: Explore different kinds of shows or educational sites your kids don’t normally use to make screen time seem different and to keep it fresh.
Tune back in for part two: Working from Home with Kids...coming soon!