March 23, 2020
Staying Sane with School at Home
by Louise Frazer
If you are a parent who has simultaneously been thrown into working from home with your children’s school suddenly closed, you may well be wondering how you are going to get everything done and stay sane. One of the best ways of maintaining harmony is by keeping everyone busy, and for your kids, an ideal way is to keep their education going, even if it looks a little different than usual.
For children old enough to read independently this is more feasible than you might think, and for younger children who still need help, the basics can easily be completed in a much shorter amount of time than they would be spending in school.
Since this is a temporary solution, whether for weeks or months, it is best to stay as close to school curriculum as possible.
If your children’s school books are available, you can use those as a guide for the topics covered. While some of these books are designed to be used in conjunction with teacher guides to which you may not have access, you can at least ensure coverage of the same broad topics using online or other materials.
Concentrate primarily on reading, writing, and math because they are the basis of all other subjects. If you as a parent only have time to help them with those, rest assured that is a key part of the school day. For other subjects, such as science and history, make use of websites, documentaries, and books you have at home or from an online library. Encourage them to create Powerpoint presentations, videos, or science-fair type projects in topics that interest them. You might not have a lot of time to supervise, but don’t underestimate the power of your child’s imagination and their ability to learn when they are engaged. When you have a few moments, use the narrative method of “telling back” to solidify their learning. All you have to do is listen.
You will discover that your children will have completed their academic tasks sooner than if they were in school, so don’t expect younger children to work on academics all day. Learning takes place in other activities as well, such as board games, construction toys, hobbies, and learning domestic tasks such as cooking and repairing a bicycle. Encourage exercise breaks, keep a sense of humor, and have a chore list ready.