Homeschooling During a Pandemic – Week 2

How is everyone doing? I hope and pray you all are staying healthy and sane.

I know the sanity part is incredibly hard.

I vacillate between thinking, -“ I love homeschooling. My children are behaving so well” to “Oh my goodness, I can’t do this anymore!”

Although, I’m cherishing the peaceful, calm moments when my children listen and everything is honky dory, admittedly, it’s pretty challenging to occupy and educate two children who are different ages and have different abilities and personalities. Some planning and having routines, and flexible schedules definitely seems to help.

A week into homeschooling during a pandemic, these are my findings:

  • Our mornings tend to be the most productive. This also happens to be when I am a stickler for keeping to our schedule.
  • After breakfast, we change out of our pajamas and get dressed for the day. I feel like this gives us a sense of normalcy. Although, many times, my daughter likes to switch into her pajamas when I put Shane down for a nap.
  • After saying a prayer and using my singing bowl (this is VERY engaging for both of my children) we do a Go Noodle. My daughter and I particularly like one called, Strengthen Your Focus. Shane tries to do this but mostly just watches.

Go Noodle, Strengthen Your Focus Keeping our learning activities and play limited to 20 to 30 min intervals appears to keep my kids most engaged. Research supports that breaks are good for the brain. Of course, my toddler’s learning consists of playing and keeping up with his active sister. However, I find that switching things up is best for us all.

· I try to hold off from any screen time for as long as I can and use it as a reward for good listening and behavior. Although, I think I will have to get more structured with this and more clearly set expectations.

· After I put Shane, my 2.5 year-old, down for his nap, my 7 year-old has Facetime calls with family and friends. This provides her some social interaction and gives her something to anticipate. My daughter’s school hasn’t really set up any structured online learning so we’ve been selecting activities from choice boards that were provided. These have been good, but I’ve been supplementing with additional tactile learning activities (luckily I have an arsenal of materials to use since I’m a speech therapist!).

· We try to go outside as often as possible. Research supports that experiencing a green space can improve attention and focus.

· When we can’t get outside, we’ll try to do something active at home (e.g. jumping on our mini trampoline while catching and tossing stuffed animals into bins, doing a more active Go Noodle (e.g. Strike a Pose), and then if they really need to settle and I’m tired and cranky I make them take baths! Baths seem to be break up the day and are relaxing.

So, these are just some of the things that have worked for us.

Other things I would like to do:

· Create visual schedules

· Try Cosmic Yoga for Kids

What is working for you and your families? Please let me know!

I hope you all are healthy and safe.

 

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