With streets and public places going quiet during the time when all the effort being made to minimise the transmission of the virus, life is definitely getting busier at home.
Whilst as a homeschooling family we have a busy social life (organising regular playdates, inviting people over, our children attend sporting and other extracurricular activities), I dare to say, we also live the reality of coronavirus pandemic almost on a daily basis – being frugal, counting small blessings, enjoying the gift of all this time we get to spend with our children while they are still little, having to deal with tantrums and demands every single day. And trust me, it’s not that bad.
This time could not be more perfect to grow closer to each other as a family. Many families have a bucket list of things that would like to do with their children that never get fulfilled because of the busy daily schedule. Well, now is the time. Something as simple as playing board games with your children and reading them aloud your favourite adventure book will stay in their memory forever.
My most fond memories from when I was 9 years old was when I fell ill with flu, my father spent days reading aloud Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is one of the memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. As children, we simply accept those selfless acts of kindness and compassion from your parents as given.
Now, as an adult, what I have is this moment forever embedded in my mind and heart to the point when I remember the room layout as I was laying in bed listening to my dad read to me, feeling so peaceful and content, being able to experience a different historic reality so vividly through this book because I could share it with one of the most amazing and important people in my life, my father. And you know what the best part is, this one memory helped me to remember the way my father looked when I was 9 years old without having to look at any photographs from the past.
The reason I am sharing with you my personal experience in such detail is that I want to demonstrate just how powerful those childhood memories are and now is the perfect time to create them.
The best lesson you can possibly teach your child in such a time as this is how to >>> adapt <<<. The world is getting more and more unpredictable and with the rise of helicopter parenting, children have fewer and fewer chances to learn to adapt in a difficult circumstance, be resilient and make spontaneous risk assessments. We are all guilty of it to some extent as it is only natural for parents to worry. However, without being able to adapt effectively children can face huge mental health issues and problems in the future. But we can use difficult circumstances to model to them
- how to utilize your available resources
- how to be flexible
- how to cook from scratch and be creative with what you have
- how to save and live frugally
- how to be considerate of others and check on those most vulnerable, teach them who are the most vulnerable and why
- how not to panic and use critical thinking
- how to practice the best hygiene
- how to exercise self-control when tensions are high
The bottom line, if I were in the situation given my four years of homeschooling experience and ten years teaching, I would say,
Motivate your children to complete the work your school has provided for them first thing in the morning once they nailed their morning routine.
Give them one task a day each to do to help around the house.
Let the rest of the learning happen naturally and through board games.
Prioritise your relationships with your family and especially with your children above anything else.
From my personal experience, it takes time for homeschoolers to establish their routine, sometimes it can take a couple of months to find your groove and start running the learning process smoothly. You don’t have this advantage. What you do probably have, is a situation with a child whose routine has been changed drastically and who needs to feel safe and reassured that this situation is only temporary. Practice some breathing exercises with your children and mindful activities daily. Here is my list of low prep activities you may like to check out.
Please, keep those screens monitored like a hawk. We have a rule in our house, no screens are allowed in private unless children are watching minno kids and have no access to other apps, youtube or internet browser. Unfortunately, this is our reality today. Noone and nothing is safe on the internet.
In the section below I am going to outline some great free resources available at the moment online that you can access. I hope it will help this time run smoother for you and your family.
- This architecture studio is releasing drawing templates and templates for children to create amazing paper cities.
- Montessori Tube Academy is offering all the curriculum manuals for free. Use Coupon Code: TOGETHER on checkout to download the 1000+ pages to support your children with step by step lessons presentations. The coupon is valid until further notice.
- For as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages from audible.com. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
- Montessori Parent Coronavirus Survival Guide: Thriving in an era of extended school closures ebook by Trillium Montessori free through March 30. Please note that regional Amazon customers need to download this ebook from their regional amazon website. Those living in Australia can access the ebook here.
- Free access to online Musik at Home class series Family Music for Mixed Ages during the COVID-19 emergency through 4/3/20
- Check out this document with over 30 virtual field trips with links.
- Explore famous historic and cultural heritage sites with Google Arts & Culture.
- Access our free learning printables. Learn how to get hold of them here.
- A growing selection of free printables for kids 3-6 plus a couple for babies by Little Spark Company
- Montessorikiwi has resources for 6-12 year olds. These are easy to use and designed by a Montessori trained teacher.
- The Prepared Environment is offering their Toddler Art 101 online course for free until April 15th. You need to use coupon code CALM. You can also get 75% their other courses with that code.
- Yuliya shares free printables and low-prep learning activities regularly on her blog. This is a great resource for parents or teachers working with children between the ages of 3 to 6.
- Nido Marketing is offering support to schools to get them started, here’s the link!
- To help spark our senses of wonder in all this weirdness, Kelly of Wings, Worms and Wonder made more online classes free for the next month – on top of all the ones that are already free! The online art classes are geared towards 6+ – adults.
- Free printables by Tanglewood Hollow
- Free printables by Every Star Is Different
- Dream School Holiday Challenges. Given the current school closures due to the coronavirus, Dream School is going to help you connect with their strong, caring community and to guide you into a home-schooling experience or, if you like, some fun and challenging things to do in your holidays at no charge! Dream School is all about real-life, hands-on experiences. They will lead you through some exciting learning adventures over the next 3 weeks and beyond. For more information, visit their page.