How To Survive Sudden Homeschooling in 2020
Part 1 of 2
The key to remember here is We, as a nation, are ‘Social Distancing’ ourselves. This is NOT a vacation to run amok. It’s not even a snow day. We are to continue our activities while restricted to our homes. It’s a simple restructuring of sorts. The sooner this is conveyed to our unit with a well-communicated routine/plan the better off the atmosphere of our homes will be. What’s that saying? “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!”
For example, if we take a trip, we don’t just rely on the airline to book our flight any more than we rely on the drive-thru to place our order. We are involved. So, let’s get involved & make a plan. Let’s not look at our current situation negatively but embrace the situation & make the most of it.
First, I’d like to address the misnomer about socialization. After 20 years of homeschooling, I was asked this question a lot. And I mean a lot! My question back is simply this. “What is your definition of socialization?” We, as a society, are more connected than ever before with the internet, TV, & social media. Being restricted to our homes especially for a short period of time, does not grossly impact our ability to interact with one another. We can connect to family, work, & the world through our phones alone. Physical restriction is not total isolation.
All of life is broken down into seasons. For those sports fans, there is a football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, etc. SEASONS. We have a designated time of infancy, learning, work, and retirement among other things. Our current plight is merely another season in this thing called life. Let’s look at the positive side & make a productive plan.
Remember. Schooling at home is like anything else in life. There are good days & bad days. Capitalize on the productive days. Minimize on the less productive days. This is familiar territory for most of us. Getting impatient with a new surrounding (everyone together for long periods of time) isn’t bad. Adjustments are a part of life. Give yourself permission to do just that … ‘adjust.’ During this season, don’t be afraid to impart this essential life skill to your children. They are constantly watching. All of life is a continuous cycle of learning. Flex those intellectual muscles & capitalize on a passion to learn while adjusting to your new normal.
One discipline we implemented each day was taking a ‘quiet time’ in our respective rooms. It was an opportunity for each of us to choose our own activity (nap, read a book, color, etc) in your room/space. Then, we’d come back together refueled. Let’s face it! We all need a little ‘distance’ from each other in our own spaces for a while.
Sleep is a key factor. This social distancing is not a party time to sleep or even stay up late whenever you want. There are tons of resources outlining the overall value of sleep. So, this may be a time to emphasize keeping to a typical bedtime routine during the week & implement flexible bedtimes on the weekend.
Scheduling is key. It’s not meant to be rigid. Meaning we don’t ring a bell at home when it’s time to eat, study, change tasks, etc. However, we do want to focus on tasks & task completion. Set aside the time required for the structure of online learning. Your online instruction is likely directed by your local school system. Then, judge whether your child absorbs more information in the AM or PM. Encourage him/her to ‘study’ during those times. Yes, a school building’s structure is to ‘teach’ in the early part of the day while supplemental work is reserved for the latter part of the day. Get creative! Adhere to the mandated online instruction but make the supplemental learning the time of day that best suits your child.
Speaking of supplements, we were infamous for board games. Most homes likely don’t have many of these. I get that most learning has gone the way of electronics. We used to play Monopoly a lot. It teaches strategy (acquiring properties), math (counting money), & negotiating; flexing those brain muscles. It also taught my bunch how to get along with each other. Sorry is another great game. It’s the luck of the draw while negotiating a strategic win that sometimes involves not being so nice to an opponent.
Make mealtime an adventurous team building time. Even the youngest child can identify ingredients & remove things from the fridge or cabinet/pantry. No, I wouldn’t expect a five-year-old to stir spaghetti sauce, but they can sure find the box in the pantry, pull it out, & hand it to you. One might get creative & use cookie cutters to make shapes with sandwiches.
To be continued in Part 2 after reading about some activities…
Family Movie Time: Remove the coffee table. Blow up the camping air mattress in the living room. Bring every bed pillow & random blanket to the air mattress. Pile on it & watch the movie. [possibly pop popcorn]
Special Mealtime: Bring out the good dishes & cloth napkins w/candlelight. Then, do the opposite. Use only paper plates & cups like you’re camping out. Change it up! Eat breakfast for supper. Cereal from a coffee cup instead of a bowl.
Clothing: Get creative. PJ’s only until 9 am. Or make it a full day of PJ’s only. Who can make it the longest? No shoes? Slippers only? Reward – sweets or money?
Bathing: Boys love this one! Who can go the longest w/out bathing or shaving? Or everyone has to bathe every day at least once. Make it a contest.
Continue reading now on PART 2