Due to recent developments with COVID-19, families around the world are being ordered to stay at home to flatten the curve and halt the spread of the Coronavirus. This is causing parents to work from their houses full-time while playing teacher to their children who are home from school.
While this may seem overwhelming right now for all involved, we're hoping everyone can take comfort in the fact that we are all in this together! Just remember, like with any new challenge, preparation is key.
Set up a schedule
Consistency helps kids focus, so start with a daily schedule! Teachers would not be able to run a classroom without structure, so neither can we!
Your kids will feel more at ease with their new situation and more open to learning when they know what to expect. A schedule also allows you to stay productive and set up a work schedule for the day that is compatible with your children's learning schedule.
Start the day by eating breakfast as a family and talking about the schedule for the day ahead.
Although it can be tempting to stay in your PJs, have everyone shower and get dressed for a regular day of work and school as usual.
"If you pay attention to staying disciplined, showering as soon as you get up, eating a good breakfast, putting on clothes that make you feel good, you're going to have a good day," said Joey Schweitzer, the founder of the successful motivational YouTube channel Better Ideas and who works from his home near Vancouver, Canada. "You're going to pay more attention to the work that you're doing, and you're going to feel like a functioning member of society."
9:00 Get Moving
Start the day with high energy by getting the kids to move! If either parent has time to lead a workout for the kids, whether indoors or outdoors, we encourage you to do so in order to get your own work out in for the day!
If not, there are so many resources out there to help your kids get moving right in your living room while you get your work done!
GoNoodle, for example, is an incredible resource created by development experts that engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness.
10:00 Numbers, Shapes, Colors
This doesn't have to be as straightforward as being 'Math Time.'
Have kids sort shapes, match colors, count objects or even play a board game with each other that has dice and requires keeping score!
11:00 Build Motor Skills
There are so many fun activities to help children develop and build their fine motor skills. Have them poke straws into holes, build pasta necklaces, cut with scissors, and play with sticker books!
Everyone breaks to have lunch together.
Talk about the day so far, the day ahead and focus on being present with each other!
12:30 Quiet Time
Parents can get back to focusing on work while kids do puzzles, listen to an audiobook and go down for a nap.
Storyline is a fun website where professional actors read popular books aloud and meditation programs like those on Body Scan for Kids offer audio recordings to allow kids to relax and unwind while practicing breathing techniques.
2:00: Outside Time
Have one parent, if not both, set aside time to take an outdoor break with the kids. Play catch, take a walk and mix in Science class by observing animals, planting seeds and spending time on a fun outdoor experiment!
If you can't take a break, consider working in the yard temporarily while the kids run around and play!
3:00 Reading & Writing
Have your kids read their favorite books in silence or aloud to each other, write letters of gratitude to their teachers and play with story prompts.
Storybird is a fantastic short story creation website with a beautiful interface and engaging prompts!
4:00 Art & Music
Encourage creativity by letting your little ones pick from a list of fun art and music projects.
Some suggestions we have are sculpting with clay, building a fort, having the kids make instruments from household objects and having a singalong/dance party!
Have your little ones decide what they want to eat out of two options you give them so they feel like they are part of it. We encourage cooking together and having fun theme nights to look forward to like Taco Tuesday!
Remember, no one knows your child better than you. Be sure to modify this schedule template to fit your child's age, unique personality and preferred method of learning!
Set up a designated learning spot
This goes for both you and your children!
As we make the switch from the classroom and office to our homes, it's important to determine a designated schoolwork spot for our children and a designated work spot for ourselves.
Research shows that having a familiar, quiet space to read and work helps us get in the zone and concentrate, which is necessary for learning and retaining information.
Be mindful of lighting
Even the most perfect designated home learning space would be incomplete without proper lighting. It is well documented that having the right lighting in the classroom and in the office space is crucial when it comes to concentration, efficiency and quality of decision making.
It is vital to our productivity, learning and our health to have lighting that is blue light safe while being flicker and glare-free.
Our flicker-free Dr. Lite Lamps make the lighting where you and your kids study safe and comfortable by eliminating glare and protecting you from harmful blue light rays. Our cutting-edge technology will protect you and your family by decreasing the risk of eye strain, dry eyes, cataracts and macular degeneration so that you can focus on what matters most right now: each other.
Stay safe beyond learning!
Remember why we are doing this! You can protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others by staying home, keeping up to date with CDC updates, washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water, covering your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze, and avoiding close contact with others (about 6 feet) if you do have to leave your residence.
We hope this information will help you feel more confident in your current situation.
Let's all follow the above guide and flatten the curve together!