Okay so if they have not already done so in your state in the state of Ohio schools have been given an extended Spring Break. We are collectively praying that our children will be able to go back to school by the first or second week in April. I am asking that we all pray this together. So what do we do in the midst of this crisis when kids will be at home? Eating all their meals at home, being in each other’s space constantly, needing a way to still learn but you as their parent are not a teacher and all of this is OVERWHELMING!!! I can say I freaked out just writing that statement and then I got busy finding alternative ways to keep us all sane in this time. Below find a few tips on keeping your family engaged in learning all while spending family time together.
- If your school has offered resources and learning packets organize a calendar for learning time, creative time, lunch time, snack time, rest, and physical activity.
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- Tracing: for little ones learning to read and write, grab some paper and give them letters and words to trace. Let’s face it our kids are not learning cursive in school this would be a great time to have them learn.
- Counting around the house. Again for little ones come up with a fun counting game for them to entertain them around the house. For example “How many black shoes can you find?” Hide shoes around the house and send them on a scavenger hunt to see how many pairs they can find. You can do this with other things besides shoes, use your imagination.
- Story time: Here’s where we as parents can get creative. You can read a story book you already have but add your own flare to the characters (I know we are not all creative but give it a try, we are all learning). Make up your own story, start it off and then let the kids start to tell the story with you. You can record this using your phone or assign tasks like storyteller, illustrator, or writer to help with this.
- Shape Learning: Using shapes you can cut out and have the kids create random things, i.e. futuristic items, characters.
- Create a meal plan: Have your older children create a meal plan for the family for the week. Have them shop virtually to find the best deals using a budget you give to them. THey must cover all meals and not go over the allotted funds. You can also teach them how to pay bills and budget their “pay” to pay bills. Creating a real life scenario like this will not only keep them occupied, it will also help you with meal planning and ease their anxiety about our current circumstances by doing their part.
- Bring back Home Economics: this is another tip to help you. Have the older kids handle cooking some of the meals. Give them the recipe for a specific dinner to feed the family. This will help with their math, science, and reading skills as well.
- There are some amazing documentaries available on Netflix and YouTube. Watch the documentary together and come up with comprehensive questions you can discuss.
- Read a book that was made into a movie. After reading the book, watch the movie and compare the two.
- Have each child and yourself journal their experience during these times. If you all are comfortable, trade journals for reading and discuss your feelings.
- Explore each family members creativity. We all YouTube things all the time, create a video of something your family would like to teach others and record it. If you like, create a YouTube channel and post it.
These suggestions may seem simple for some and overwhelming for others. Do what will work best for you and your family. Here’s to learning together!
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