Distance Learning will end one day. What do you want to be able to say when it's all over?
Last week we ended by talking about setting goals. This helps you create order for your days and decide what works for your unique family. A great way to help you decide your day-to-day goals is to think about what you would like to be able to say about this time when it's all over.
Your list may look different from mine, but here are some ideas to get you started.
When my kids go back to school and things return to "normal", I want to say that...
1) We grew closer to each other.
It may sound simple, but this is a golden opportunity for us to really connect with our people. As much as they drive us crazy, we can come out of this closer to the people we love.
2) We grew closer to the Lord.
Every family has core things that are important to them. For us, faith is one of those foundational things. This time at home is giving us a chance to build on our faith and the things that are central to our family.
3) I helped my child master a concept he/she was previously struggling with.
You have a rare opportunity to zoom in on an area of struggle for your child and help them get over the hump so they'll be more successful when they return to school. It's okay to push other things aside to give more attention where needed.
Need help mastering math facts? Check out Mathantics or Math-U-See for helpful resources and activities. There are also several math game apps that can be used on tablets and smart phones. Math games such as Rummikub, Farkle, and even Battleship are great to play with your kids. (Public school teachers employ these in the classroom, too, TRUST ME.) If YOU are struggling to figure out how the teacher wants your child to solve their math problems, now is a great time to discuss with your child how you would do it and give them an alternate way to solve the problem. This might help them figure out how to explain to you how they learned it. (Now THAT is number-bonding with your child!)
4) I helped my child learn a new skill or I learned a new skill with my child!
YouTube has so many tutorials for things like crochet, whittling, and art! My kids and I learned Chinese brush painting through YouTube and it was so much fun! Check out these great video tutorials on handicrafts. These are great for your kids to do during movies or read-alouds, especially if they are naturally on the fidgety side.
5) We improved our morning routine or got better at household chores.
Parents of littles know that it is a daunting task to teach our children how to do a chore WELL. You have to put in a lot of effort up front to see a good return in the future. So, if you've ever felt like you couldn't help them get better at a chore or improve your morning routine because of busyness, now's your chance! Get that morning routine down pat so it will be automatic when school restarts. Help them learn how to wash dishes, make their beds, or even cook a meal start to finish.
6) We did a unit study on a topic my child shows intense interest in!
7) My child "got over the hump" in reading and now enjoys it!
This may seem like a stretch to those with reluctant readers, but it IS possible. So, let's talk books...
First, I encourage everyone to subscribe to the Read-Aloud Revival podcast! It's not just for homeschoolers, but for everyone who desires to "make meaning connections with their children through books." You won't regret it.
You can have a "family book club" or a "parent/child book club" or even a "virtual friend book club!" Pick a book, read it together (or separately during your own quiet times) and discuss them. That's a literature class. And if you read a book that takes place during early American history, ancient times, the middle ages, or a biography; you're also covering social studies!
Find amazing booklists in every category including struggling readers, first novels to read-aloud, and favorite picture books!
Listen to audiobooks! These are a great form of entertainment that doesn't include staring at a screen. You can listen to an audiobook while doing a puzzle, a handicraft, coloring, or even cleaning the house or cooking a meal! If you have a struggling reader, it is perfectly acceptable to allow him or her to listen to an audiobook while following along in their own hard copy. It is a GREAT way to learn pronunciation, nuance, vocabulary, and fluency in reading.
What do you want to be able to say for your family when this is all over?
Come back next week for more resources and tips to help you THRIVE during distance learning!
Bethany Dattolo | Bethany is wife to Randy, Mommy (and teacher) to Abigail, Noah, Emmalyn, Elijah, and Logan. She's a homeschool mom, home cook and baker, recipe writer, homemaker, blogger, runner, and wannabe photographer. She is constantly trying to impress God's truths onto her children. On the occasion she gets an inspiration worth sharing, she writes about it on her blog. Otherwise you can find her on Instagram.
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