10 Ideas & Tips for Parents & Kids at Home While Social Distancing
With the outbreak of coronavirus and the stay at home order in the US, many schools have closed to help contain and prevent the spread of COVID- Ac19. This means millions of parents that have been accustomed to sending their children to traditional school are now faced with the daunting task of teaching at home. Whether we liked it or not, the coronavirus has turned parents around the world into homeschoolers. Most parents have also transitioned to working from home as well. So coupled with having kids at home 24/7 and trying to get things done while homeschooling seems almost impossible. However, creating a schedule will not only help the kids but also the entire family feeling a sense of normalcy. Routines give kids a sense of security and help parents maintain consistency in expectations. Having a set homeschooling schedule also helps parents working from home organize their workload and plan their meetings better.
Here are some ideas and tips to help create a workable homeschool schedule to guide you through this challenging time, while keeping the kids entertained. Just remember that every family and every kid is different so the schedule is flexible and can be changed to fit your rhythm of life at this unusual time.
POST THE SCHEDULE
Print out the schedule and post it in common areas where the entire family can view it. The posted schedule lets every family member know what to expect and when to expect it throughout the day. The schedule might not be followed to a T, but since most schools and classrooms are run on a schedule, this makes the transition from traditional school to homeschool much easier for the kids.
The schedule should include academics such as math, ELA (English Language Arts), writing, science, social studies as well as music. Meal times such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack times are to be added to the schedule as well. Most teachers are still providing remote teaching via apps like Class Dojo and posting daily assignments, projects, and tests asking students to complete by a certain time. The tasks and assignments from the teacher should be priority. When these are completed, feel free to supplement with additional printable worksheets or online homeschool resources for more learning. Here are some online resources to supplement the schoolwork provided by their teachers. These websites include printables, videos, and interactive games.
FREE PRESCHOOL PRINTABLES
Many websites are offering free preschool printables online. We have some free printables you can download on our website. We also offer stampers that match the printables to make the activity more engaging and fun. One example is our alphabet stampers which help preschoolers and kindergartners learn their alphabets by stamping and writing.
Add in chores around the house to break up the monotony of sitting at a desk or in front of a screen. Not only does this help with chores around the house, it is teaching kids life skills and also a pitch-in mindset. Family chores teach kids to work together and give them a sense of importance and independence. Here are some age appropriate chores for elementary school aged children:
- Make your bed
- Put books back on bookshelf
- Pick up toys
- Clear your own dishes after meal times
- Wipe down door knobs, countertops, tables, desks
- Feed the pets
- Sweep the floor after meal times
- Make easy snacks
- Organize own room
- Wipe down digital devices
- Fold, hang, put away laundry
- Unload dishwasher
- Gather trash from all rooms on trash day
LEARN SOMETHING NEW – KID’S CHOICE
Ask your kids to write down a list of things they would like to learn outside of the basics. Let your kids be part of the decision-making. Then review the list as a family and narrow down some projects that can be done independently or as a family. Some ideas for kids are:
- learning a new language (https://www.duolingo.com)
- baking (https://www.americastestkitchen.com/kids/home)
- making a board game
- building a structure from items found in the recycling bin
There are plenty of resources online to help you start a cool STEAM project.
Physical activity for at least 30-45 minutes a day should also be on the schedule. If the weather permits, let the kids ride their bikes outside or play some basketball so they can get some vitamin D and let some energy out while practicing social distancing. If it is too cold or it’s a rainy day outside, there are some indoor activities that help occupy the kids. Go Noodle is a fun site to get you and the kids up and going. Fun indoor activities for kids!
With the libraries and school closure, Epic!, the reading app announced that it will be free for the rest of the school year until June 30th. Please get the invitation link from your teacher and school librarian to unlock the free membership.
While learning is important, downtime is essential. Let kids work independently by themselves. Kids need time to disconnect from parents and siblings. They can use this time to work on a project in their room, read or craft.
Kids should be going to bed at an appropriate time and not stay up too late on weekdays as if it’s a traditional school day.
More than ever, now is really the time to start eating healthy to boost that immune system. One easy thing to do is to eat the colors of the rainbow! Tomatoes, red bell peppers, strawberries for red, citrus fruits for orange, blueberries for blue, kale, spinach for green and so forth! We carry eco-friendly all natural dinnerware sets made of plant fibers to make mealtimes fun for younger kids! You can also teach them to put away their own plates and utensils after they are finished with their meals.
Additional links and resources for homeschooling:
Here is a compiled list of all education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closures:
There are also many online places for reading aloud at home. Some are links to social media accounts so please supervise as needed.
- Check this link for All Authors
- Mo Willems (Author of Pigeon, and Elephant and Piggie Books)
- Peter H. Reynolds (Author of The Dot)
- Ben Clanton (Author of Narwhal Books)
- James Dean (Author of Pete the Cat Books)
- Jarrett Krosoczka (Author of the Lunch Lady series)
- Susan Verde (Author of I Am books) -
- Mac Barnett
- Tara Lazar
Having to homeschool and work from home poses many obstacles to parents, so be flexible and use the schedule as a guide. We are all doing our best during this challenging time. Let’s keep the kids learning while staying safe and healthy at home!