Be a parent first
Today I am directing my article to those of you that have kids in school, or rather those of you who would have kids in school if it wasn’t for the pandemic. Maybe your kids have part-time in school, and part-time virtually. Maybe they have no in school time at all?
I know from many of my friends how frustrating the situation can be so I decided to share my top 10 tips on how to make the best of the situation. But first I want to say that your primary role is to be a parent. No matter how your school has decided to try and solve the situation the best way possible, it is still the schools that are responsible for education, and you have become their partner, as they try to do this the best way possible. But you are a parent first unless you have chosen to homeschool.
Not all of my tips will work for everybody, and if you have any questions, or need any support, contact your local school first, they are your best resource. This is a new way of teaching and learning for most of us, and we are all trying our best.
My top 10 list
Make sure you stay in contact with the local school, your kids’ teachers, other parents, maybe even find support groups locally or on-line. This is not an easy situation and the best we can do is support each other in any way possible. And if you are unsure, or feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Anything can be a learning experience
Maybe you and your kid have a passion project, something you both enjoy but never seems to have time for. This can be an excellent opportunity to dig into that project. Almost anything can be a learning experience, gardening can be a biology lesson, baking can become a math lesson, just think about what your kid can learn from everyday situations.
Stay one step ahead
If you have access to your child’s online agenda, check-in the night before so you know what to expect the next day. Make a schedule, a plan, and look at upcoming tasks, maybe even include your child in the planning. And why not do an end of the day wrap-up together, what worked well today? What do we need to change?
Adjust along the way
Soo something goes wrong, maybe you or the child is unsure about how something should be done, maybe your child gets irritated because you do things differently than he or she is used to, don’t force it. Adjust, be flexible, and if you can’t get the information or answer you need right away, put it to the side until you do. Don’t try to force things to the point where you will get into an argument.
Take a break, and do so before the breakdown. We are all in a new situation, and sometimes things don’t work for one reason or another. If you feel that you are running out of patience, or your child starts to lose their focus, take a break, the work will still be there.
Be forgiving to yourself, to your children, to your spouse, to the teachers, and the school. Remember that we are all in this together, and putting blame on someone will not make this any easier. We will figure out as we move along how to make this work as good as possible.
Know your kid
We all learn differently, some of us like to read while others prefer hands-on learning. Some of us need a quiet environment as we are learning, others need some background noise to focus better. This is an excellent time to try different ways of learning unless your school has been very specific in how they want things done. And ask your child how they prefer to do something.
Try to stay positive
This is not always easy, but try to stay positive. Learn together, learn from each other. Maybe you work from home, and maybe you can show your child what that means for you. Maybe you can work together, at the same time, you doing your work and your child doing his or hers. Try to find ways to look at this as a positive experience where you share your experiences with each other.
Designate a time and a place
Try to designate a time and a place for everything, time to work, time to have a break, time to eat, time for fun, etc. But remember, this is not set in stone, if something doesn’t work, or something unexpected happens, be flexible.
Show yourself some love
Show both yourself and your children some love. If you succeed with a task celebrate if a day has been really smooth and successful, celebrate. Maybe watch a movie, or play a game. Or just cuddle a bit, I don’t know what would suit you best, but I know how important it is to celebrate even the small successes.
My final thoughts
This is a hard time for many of us and in so many ways. I hope that some of my tips can make your life somewhat easier, and I am sure we will all get through this eventually. Let’s not be defeated, because I know we can do this together.
If you would like me to address something more specific like how to set up a study space, or how you can make everyday tasks into learning opportunities please use the suggest a topic form and I will do my best to cover that topic.
And as always if you want to watch my video it is linked down below.