As our nation shuts down, families are being given a chance to spend more time together and slow down. Some of us joke about the stress of having to teach our children at home because we feel the pressure of having to be a professional teacher as well as a parent or employee. The reality though is that all parents became professional teachers the moment their child was born. We taught our children as babies. We taught our children during their endless toddler years. And we continue to teach our children during their active school years. Don’t let the pressure in your head affect your heart. You have been and will always be your child’s best teacher. So try to enjoy the next two weeks that God has granted you to spend with your children. As parents we can teach them life skills through play which they don’t necessary get from a public or private school. (You homeschooling parents get to do this all the time! Hats off to you.) Revive your pastimes and choose activities that you and your kids enjoyed together during their early years. And don’t forget to include yourself in the activity. Here are a few that my children and I love:
Life Skills Education
Art – Create art work for your walls using watercolor, acrylics, crayons, markers, and other mediums.
Cooking/Baking – Teach your children to cook a favorite meal or bake. Expect a mess but have them help clean up too.
Exercise – Have a dance party for you and your kids to rev up your heart rate. Or practice yoga together to calm the mind and body.
Gardening/Science – Let them pot and care for a baby plant. If you don’t have seeds, plant some vegetable scraps or seeds from your produce and turn it into a science experiment.
Imagination/Quiet play – Let your child’s inner child come out and allow them to play however they like: blocks, pretend, legos, dolls, etc. And give yourself a break by grabbing a magazine, book or other quiet activity to do alongside them.
Organization – Declare a Cinderella day to clean the house and then celebrate with a party.
Service – Change your home into a restaurant and allow the kids to prepare and serve a meal or snack.
STEM – Fuel creative minds by using recyclables to invent something.
Relaxation – Pop some popcorn and enjoy a movie or show together. We all deserve a break!
For many of us, our schools and teachers are working hard to create an online curriculum to keep our children engaged at home. Don’t forget to utilize your schools for ideas and educational tools. Here are a few online sites to help compliment your child’s school education. Some have been made free in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Others are free all the time.
Free Online Educational Resources
*available for a limited time
Discovery (Channel) Education – for schools and administrators to access free content through the end of the school year*
Duolingo – offers 36 different languages to learn
Highlights Kids – games, videos, and activities just like the magazine
Khan Academy – offers various subjects and allows progress to be tracked, often used in schools
Museum Tours – virtual tours from around the world
National Geographic Kids – facts, games, and quizzes about science, nature, and animals
National School Choice Week – a list of 37 more free educational resources
The New York Times – news, prompts, and online discussions to engage older kids
PBS – tried and true and always available with or without Covid-19
PBS Kids – a kid favorite and always free
Prodigy Math – great math games and challenges, often used in schools
No Red Ink – a writing and grammar tool
Scholastic – grade specific challenges through reading and videos*
Smithsonian Institute – tons of fun science related activities
Starfall – fun activities covering reading and math for grades preK-3rd
Storyline Online – actors read books out loud
Zoom – for teachers and schools in need of virtual conferencing, meetings, and classrooms, available for a limited time*
(Not personally associated with or supported by any of the companies or organizations listed above.)
This is a unique time and place for everyone. We each face different challenges as a result of this outbreak. For the next two weeks, some of us will find peace of mind through a rigid routine of school subjects covered in time blocks and breaks for lunch and free time. Others of us will find peace of mind through flexibility and fluid learning moments. Either way, we’ve all cared for and taught our children well in the past and we can
survive thrive the next two weeks as well.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”