We've all been there, in a stressful situation, through this global pandemic. It's been racing around the empty shelves of the shopping mall desperately searching for the last roll of toilet paper and finally conceding to the 1-person limit on a box of tissues, trying to explain to the kids why they have to stay inside and why they can't hug their friends anymore, why everyone has to wash their hands, always... never cough and always stay away from everyone else if you have a cold.
There's been even more severe impacts such as homelessness, wage cuts, job changes and unemployment, disparity amongst the elderly and the young, and so on.
It's been a full on year.
But that doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom. There's some things you can't do anything about it and you can't change it - things like this. You can't stop a global pandemic. So, don't. Just stay safe and do what you can to make the most of the opportunity to slow down and spend more time with the kids. Isn't that what we always said we wanted, anyways?
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." – Fred Rogers
Here's several tips from homeschooling families, things that have worked for them and pieces of advice to help during the outbreak.
1) Enjoy the Time Together
“Have adventures, go exploring, visit museums, take day trips, play board games, read together, build with LEGO, watch great movies, exercise with sites like GoNoodle, or even just relax together. This is a uniquely special time to create memories that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. Use this opportunity.”
2) Create a Routine
“I think the best thing parents can do right now is to try and keep a sense of normalcy for their family. If possible follow a similar routine that your kids were already on. For example, get up, get ready, eat breakfast. We like to do our harder subjects in the morning, take a lunch break, and then finish with more fun activities like science experiments, art projects, and group activities.
If you’re enjoying an extended spring break, try to use this period as a way to spend quality time together as a family. Have game night, movie night, bake cookies, play cards, prepare meals, and just enjoy this time together!”
3) You Won’t Screw Up Your Child’s Education
“Thousands of families have gone before you worldwide to home educate their children, and many of the top universities seek out homeschool graduates because of the positive results they’ve become known for.”
4) Homeschooling Varies From Family to Family
“Homeschooling looks different for every family. Some homeschooling families have a “school-at-home” approach where their homeschool looks very similar to traditional education, while others may have a more natural approach to homeschooling and use exploration and discovery to ignite their curiosity for learning. However, if you are planning to homeschool temporarily then you might want to consider the most straightforward and easiest to implement homeschooling methods. For example, there are many online homeschooling curricula out there that enable you to subscribe monthly and get started within a few days. For emergency homeschooling, this is a great solution because it will allow you to pick up where your students left off and then discontinue whenever you feel it is safe to return to the classroom.”
5) Take Your Time
“It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure and advice about what you must do the moment you start homeschooling. Many parents feel like they need to run off and purchase curriculum right away and start immediately with a rigorous school schedule. Don’t do that. Give yourself some grace, give your kids some time. It’s okay to start homeschooling slowly. Bring the kids home, and take the time to read and research, play and explore the big beautiful world out there. Take time to get to know how your kids learn and how they tick. You really do have time. Take it.”
6) Be Compassionate
“It’s important that we in the homeschooling community do not panic and show kindness and compassion towards each other during these difficult times.”
7) Plan for Breaks
“Kids don’t actually sit and work for hours on end. The public school teachers build in time to stretch or move around the room and they alternate between different activities to hold the children’s attention. A child’s attention span is probably less than what you are assuming. Check out this list of average attention spans per age.”
We wanted to share a special gift with you. Here's our free ebook "100 Maths Activities " that you can download and use around the home - whenever you like. It will certainly help with keeping your kids engaged through COVID!
Let us know what worked for you,
The Team at Maths Australia