Everyone is home. Roles are changing. The new normal is strange and possibly, well probably, chaotic. Here are some thoughts and tips that may ease the pains of rapid change.
This week’s focus is STRUCTURE and COMMUNICATION.
“Boundaries are basically about providing structure, and structure is essential in building anything that thrives.” Henry Lloyd
How much greater would it be to THRIVE during this time and not just survive? Structure is essential. Children need it to feel secure. Teens need it to stay focused. Adults need it to stay sane! School is now at home. Teachers are following their guidelines and attempting to provide learning for your children. But it can seem very overwhelming to get everything done for everyone in the family! Maybe these ideas will help:
- Take a step back, take a breath and look at the big picture. What do you want for your children when this block of time has come to an end? I always wanted the end result to be a love of learning. Some days will be hard, some will be great, but in the end – what do you want them to say about learning overall and about this unique time in history?
- If you cannot fulfill all the requests from individual teachers, for whatever reason, send them an email and kindly let them know that you are doing your best and that you thank them for their service, but you will also be implementing your own plans into this last quarter of the school year. You want this time to be a success for the WHOLE FAMILY. Take the lessons and the zoom times and set a schedule that will work for everyone. Keep what fulfills the overarching goals, and let go of what does not!
- For the STRUCTURE part: Consider setting up STATIONS in the home. A Listening Station for the Zoom calls. A Homework Station for completing the paperwork that you want them to do. A Play Station for activities that are fun and interactive. A Quiet Station for reading. You get the idea. You can use timers or blocks of time to move the children through the stations taking appropriate breaks for movement and food.
- I recommend having a set time to wake, to do the lessons, to eat, and to end the school day. Consider starting the day in regular school clothes as if they were going to school. It builds in a greater importance in what is being done. This is serious, but also should be enjoyable.
This new situation is a challenge for everyone in the family. It will help tensions if parents can talk about the different responsibilities that are now upon them and decide on the front side how to share the load. Here are some talking points:
- Who will take on the emails that are now coming everyday?
- Who will be the principal of this new “school”. It can be very challenging to have the “teacher” parent also be the disciplinarian.
- How can the day be structured so that each parent has a block of time to themselves to recharge?
- How can we share some of the lessons using each of our talents? For example: Can the cook in the family help with math using fractions, doubling or halving recipes? Can the reader in the family help with writing a creative story or help with comprehension? Can the scientist in the family set up a different experiment each week just for the joy of science? You get it. 🙂
I hope these ideas can help bring a bit of ease into this very interesting time and keep creativity and curiosity at their peak!
Our very own Georgeanne at nuHealth is a master Home Schooler due to her home-schooling 4 daughters, yes, that’s 4! She’s homeschooled for 10+ years, creating curriculum, leading co-ops, as well as spending some time teaching at a private Christian school. She loves designing content and finding ways to creatively include important facts into what she’s teaching, while using methods that interest the children she works with.