Disclaimer: This is written as general advice and is not for those who are under either state-imposed or health-imposed self-quarantine. Also, I realize work responsibilities differ for each of us and these recommendations may not be feasible for everyone. I will not be one of those who refers to this time as “the new normal”, because it is not “normal”. We absolutely can and must adapt, but calling it normal infers that life will always be this way (ie: schools will always be online, there will be no dine-in restaurants, hundreds of stores will be closed, and even beaches & some local parks in areas will be forever closed)…again, this is not the forever case, so this is NOT the new normal. It is instead a currently evolving situation that requires us to be resilient and adapt.
There is so much discussion, some in jest and some honest, surrounding children not in school while parents are trying to work and children are supposed to suddenly learn completely on their own (or by someone who is not fully-trained in educational instruction methodologies). During this time it can be easy to ‘push the children to the side with a tablet’ while we try to accomplish our work responsibilities. However, these little humans are used to constant interaction and engaging activities.
My few suggestions directly for these littles, without trying to overwhelm you, and in hopes of maintaining as much consistency in their little lives as possible are: 1. Stick to the same morning schedule: Have them get up, eat breakfast, and do their normal routine. On that same note, stick to a similar evening routine & bedtime. Little ones thrive on routine. 2. Create a plan/ schedule: Having a detailed plan provides expectations. Ideally be sure to incorporate physical activity breaks at least every 2 hours. Giving children (and even adults) physical activity breaks will help increase productivity & focus. These 10 minute breaks not only allow time to connect with the kiddo so they do not feel completely isolated, but also benefit overall health. 3. Get creative with the day: When developing the daily routine and even during learning activities, find creative ways to accomplish the tasks. Maybe it’s parents working outside during active play or even taking the kiddo’s lessons outside, double-duty activities like learning math through cooking, or even letting them select the order of activities for each day.
A few tips for parents will come in a later post, but most importantly, give yourself GRACE! Again, this is not normal, so accept that and do the best you can! Sometimes part of the day will look like this pic.
North Carolina just announced that schools will remain closed for at least 8 mores weeks (May 15th). With that being said, this quote is quite applicable: “It’s not about the card you are dealt, just how you play the hand.” – Randy Pausch