We have been Homeschooling our kids, or, as we like to say “FUNschooling” so thankfully these closures don’t affect us. But I know that a lot of parents are now at a panic what they should do, how they should teach, and how they should spend the time together while everyone is somewhat housebound.
I hope that my words here can be of some encouragement and provide some calm during these uncertain times.
Remember, you are your child’s first teacher! You were their teacher when they were born. You taught them about your family values, rules at home, how to view the world, and how to behave. You were and are their first teacher. So you can do this and you will get through this!
Since today is the first no-school day, embrace it as what it is. It’s a NO school day!
Relax and let them relax. Let them sleep in every day of the week! Let them embrace boredom.
Turn off their electronics! Turn off the news! Seriously! Nothing is going to change for the next two weeks. So turn off the news because it’s only creating stress in you and in your kids. They need to decompress! They are children, not adults. Their brain is overloaded with worry and hormones and growing and all they need right now is to feel safe with their family. Regardless of age, turn it off even if they want it. Even we adults need to turn it off because it stresses us. Gets our heart rate up, our mind is racing and we make bad decisions like buying toilet paper in bulk. Imagine what it does to the undeveloped brain. So turn it off for the sake of all of you!
If they and you are curious about the virus, start some science experiments at home. Watch some educational science videos. Teach them and learn with them. Don’t teach them panic but teach them to be resourceful and curious and to be helpful not helpless.
Here are just a few free educational websites that teach science, if you need help:
This is also a great time to create art! Art will help you grow together as a family and it will create a safe space for your kids at any age!
Paint or draw together. My kids love a drawing contest, though it’s really not a contest. They just yell out what we all should draw and we all draw and then look at each others drawings when we are done and talk about it. Never judge!
Compliment the colors, the complexity, the details, the shapes. But never judge! And don’t assume you know what is what. Kids could have a meltdown if you misinterpret their art. Ask them questions about what is what, and why, and how does the art make them feel. And tell them how well they did. How thoughtful they were. How focused their art is, etc.
Make up stories to tell. At first it might be difficult to come up with things but be silly. Make up silly stories! Enact them. Tell them with different voices and don’t judge them. If they are silly and if they don’t make sense to you or the others, laugh about it but never judge! Creativity has no boundaries and we all see the world different.
Bake and cook together. Let them choose what to make and improvise ingredients if you don’t have it all. You can always google to find a substitute for something you don’t have.
Take out some puzzles and do them together. Or some building blocks.
Embrace this week together to grow and destress and to deschool. Kids need this because school is extremely demanding. They need to decompress, to destress, to deschool. And in the evening, sit down together and watch a family movie. Together, so the kids can ask questions, so they can share their emotions that the movie is bringing out in them.
Embrace this time together and look for my next column about more FUNschooling ideas and resources.