Tools and Tips for Learning at Home
Parenting at home can sound and feel scary, intimidating, and overwhelming to say the least.
One thousand questions are probably burning through your mind: Will our children learn anything this year? Will we go nuts? How badly will this delay our child’s learning?
All valid concerns, especially the one about going nuts! Our family has the same worries and fears. We hope keeping these things in mind may help reduce some of the burdensome load for all of us.
#1. Stay Calm – You have done this before.
Try to remember that you were the one who taught your child to walk, talk and for parents of boys – the incredibly difficult task of aiming well. You are capable of this as well!
Breathe it! Believe it!!
And much like infants, kids can sense fear! Do not let them see you sweat!
I bet you are saying, “But that was all different, this is MATH!!!”
#2. Use your resources!
Not up to speed on how to solve the 5th-grade math the same way the kids are learning these days, that’s OK – play dumb. “I do not know, sweetie, where do you think we can find that information?” The internet is your friend! Your best friend from college who majored math is your friend! Don’t remember much about Homer and the Odyssey? Resource librarians still exist and love their jobs! Call your library and ask for recommended resources. Most importantly, there is an innate lesson you are teaching by not teaching – helping your child learn to use his or her resources to figure something out! There is no more valuable life lesson!
“OK, but what about our daily schedule?! I can’t do lessons ALL DAY?!?!”
#3. Involve your child in the planning of your day.
Would your daughter rather do all her lessons at once and have the rest of the day free or break it into sections with breaks in between? (Maybe she wants to try both and see which works best for her?) If you want your kids up and at it by 9, do they think they should get up at 7:30 or 8:00? If they complete all their work early, would they rather climb the treehouse or visit with friends? Your child will learn a great deal about scheduling and managing his or her time when it is seen as an experiment and when they have some control.
“But how am I going to get them to do the work?!”
#4. Repeat this phrase: “As soon as…”
You are welcome to go outside as soon as you finish your math lesson. You can read that book as soon as you finish your geography paper. If it really gets rough – here is the golden one: You are welcome to have some screen time as soon as I see your work completed. (One of the only true benefits of a television in my book.) Hint to all our married friends – this works on spouses, too!
Remember what positive parenting skills you DO have. Hone in on those skills. Now's the time to choose one thing that you've been wanting to correct in your home and really work on that. Wise parents start slowly. This week tackle one thing and work
Lastly, and most importantly:
#5. Use this time to fill in your child’s curiosity.
Let your child plan some fun things that are educational. Has your child always loved puzzles or legos? Research a great plan to build something fantastic and complicated! Is your child into horses? Bring home some extra books or research videos on equestrian events. Is your child a wannabe chef? Let him or her plan your meals for the week and make dinner. Our 11-year-old is a great omelet maker!
This is a great chance to help instill that love of learning your child may have once had and lost along the way. Parents, you have got this! Learning at home will be a challenge; you may feel as if you can’t measure up. But, you can. See this as an adventure and your children will, too.
Expect to feel frustrated at times, that’s normal. In the end, when your children return to school, you will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and realize you got through it and if nothing else, you were given some extra time together.
Go for a road trip!
Have a dance party!
Rearrange the furniture in your home! One room at a time.
Walk around your home/ apt and have a scavenger hunt- at least we are not in the dead of winter!
Yoga! This is great for all involved.
#6. Give yourself grace and lots of it! You've got this!
This is a good article about parental anxiety from the National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI)
Taking care of you is of utmost importance in these times.
Set a time of quiet for everyone.
Take a walk outside on your own.
Go for a drive all by yourself in a quiet car.
Take a time-out in your room (as a plus this will activate good modeling for self-care and regulation)
PIN IT FOR LATER
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Hello, I’m Emily. I’m so glad you’re here! Join me and my family as we find beauty in our everyday life on the farm, hearty recipes and a handmade home. Find more about me and our story here.