This is not a usual or routine event that we are all witnessing. Corona Virus- an epidemic, or rather a #pandemic is probably (and hopefully) a once in a lifetime kind-of experience that most of us are experiencing.
Amidst the fears and anxiousness of safety and well being of humanity, there’s another daunting (yet essential) task- and that is to keep children , esp the younger lot, engaged and productively occupied for atleast some part of the day.
With schools being closed for another 3 weeks period which might extend further, overnight a parent is expected to become a homeschooler.
So how to get started with homeschooling? Well, here are some easy tips to give you a direction in order to get started.
- First of all, Take a deep breath and know your kids will be okay. It is of course an Unprecedented situation but following the basic protocol and guidelines will help everyone get through
- To begin home schooling, ensure you involve kids in planning. Their interests, improvement areas, current school curriculum- all these are important areas to be taken care of
- Make use of Online resources – research options on internet for relevant videos, interactive games, worksheets etc
- Set a clear routine, particularly for younger children – such as a couple of hours of school work in the morning or a specified time for craft work in the afternoon
- keeping classmates and members of their activity classes like soccer, music etc in touch via Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangout or other video-conferencing services works great. This would allow them to share details of their day and play games. The connect remains strong and a feeling of association remains intact.
- Even at school kids don’t work all day. So Work in blocks. A simple schedule would comprise some time for worksheets, some time for sensory play, some unstructured playtime etc.
- Listen to teachers who make lesson plans. Try and establish a contact and take ideas. Use online groups to speak to people from the industry.
- Keep your timetable realistic. You will not conclude a slime-making session in less than an hour; you will probably not spend more than 10 minutes at a go, reading. Make as much use of your garden as you can (for communication, all motor skills, understanding the world).
Remember Kids are also feeling detached at this point. While they wouldn’t completely understand the impact of current situation, but they can surely sense something is not normal. .
Now, What to say to them about anxiety ?
In the pre- or only just-verbal age group, it’s hard to explain what’s going on in a reassuring way. Try and answer their concerns & questions to the extent possible. “Why can’t we go to the park?”, “let’s go to Hamleys”- these are some statements I come across a zillion times in a day but I try to word it out every time in the most simple manner.
Allow them to be sad and tell them that it’s okay. Explain we will get through it soon. Don’t forget to top this up with lots of hugs .
Let me know how are you sailing through these times.