More Tips to Help You During Distance Learning
Updated: May 18, 2020
So, now that we've released you of the pressure to do things "just so" (you'll choose what's best for your family, right?!) how exactly will you keep these kids occupied all day?!
Here are some final tips and resources to help you and your kids THRIVE!
Have a schedule and follow it loosely.
I like to say "rhythm" rather than routine. A schedule is good for everyone's mental health. Children thrive on structure, honestly they do. But you also need to allow yourself grace, especially during an uncertain time such as this.
A good suggestion is to have "anchor points" during your day. These are times that give your day structure and are largely stuck to, even when other things go astray. Meals, for instance, would be anchor points. And then you can ask yourself, "what do we want accomplish before lunch, or after?"
In our house, quiet time is a big anchor point. It's always after lunch, after the kitchen is cleaned. We read a picture book and then it's nap time for the youngest children. The older two sit quietly in their designated areas for 30 minutes of quiet self-directed study. They can read, do activity books, practice origami, etc. Then they get an additional 30 minutes to play math games on their tablets. After that, they can play together quietly (usually Legos or a board game together) until their siblings wake up from their naps.
This is the most blissful time of my day! We all need a little break woven into our schedules. A certain time of day for physical activity is a good anchor point. Try some outdoor exploration or GoNoodle for indoor fun.
Set time boundaries.
You might try a designated start and/or finish to your "school" day. Maybe you open with devotions or a read-aloud time and you end with a nature walk? In our family, we do devotions during breakfast and then the older kids get right into their kitchen chores. When that is done, they have a checklist of morning work to get through on their own. If your child has a packet from his/her teacher and some of it can be done individually, now might be a good time to do it. Then I lead a lesson in whatever our topic is for the day, and we're usually done by lunch, sometimes before. After that, we focus on keeping a clean house, going for walks, reading aloud, art, music, or cooking in the afternoon.
Boundaries help everyone in the family relax. When you live and work in the same space, it can feel like you have to work all the time. Setting boundaries with your time ensures you and your kids have the breaks you need.
Help everyone pursue their interests.
Allow time for your child to research a topic of interest to them. This might be a "golden hour" everyday, or we have "Wonder Wednesday" when the kids get to "ask Google" about something they're interested in or wondering about.