A Parent’s Guide to Keep Kids Busy and Learning during COVID-19
All families are navigating the challenges of the novel Coronavirus era. This isolation has hit parents of kids harder than expected. They are playing three roles at a time – that of a parent, teacher and the professional they are (their job).
Understandably, things may not be going smoothly. Having school at home could be wearing thin. This has got parents wondering how to keep kids academically engaged. How to create a sense of normalcy for children when everyone’s stuck at home? Here are some lessons from experts to keep your children engaged, happy, and continue learning during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Keep Up a Routine
It’s always helpful to talk to your kids about why they will have to stay home and why to follow a routine. Sit with them and create a daily schedule. Make sure you take their opinion too. Hang that schedule on the refrigerator. Include small breaks from schoolwork and telework to relax and connect with each other.
Here are some ideas for creating a daily schedule:
- Wake up early, get dressed and have breakfast together
- Everyone must sit separately away from distractions
- Create time-slots for learning, exercise, and breaks
- Schedule a break for a nutritious lunch and snacks
- Don’t forget to include afternoon breaks
- Have dinner together and discuss how your day went
- Spend the evening watching TV, movie, playing, or reading
- Stick to a bedtime routine to get enough sleep
Make Learning Fun
It’s easier said than done because you have to consider the age of your kids. For older children, spice things up by making them move to different rooms for different class periods/subjects.
Along with kids, teachers are learning too as they are working their way to adapt to the virtual classrooms and 5G technology for education. Write down all the questions you have in your mind and contact teachers during office hours to get your answers.
Keep your Kids Focused
It’s not an easy job to keep the kids focused when they have Spectrum Free Internet and wireless Internet within reach. Video games, movies, and TV – all these forms of entertainment can be a distraction. Follow these tips to help your child remain focused while learning:
Create a Personal Goal
Have your child create a goal they would like to accomplish by the end of the year. They might have something they always wanted to do but didn’t have time for. Identify that goal and work on together daily or weekly.
Give your kids the liberty to choose activities that interest them. Let them explore their creative side.
Take it Outside
Learning and even working from home has become tedious for many. Why not take things outside; perhaps the front porch or backyard. For instance, when the kids are learning math problems, convert the sidewalk into a blackboard, and use colored chalk to make it engaging.
Start a Book Club
When you feel like there nothing to do, read. Start reading the Harry Potter book series together with your little ones. They will love it. Invite your child’s best friend and mother over on zoom to join you in this online book club.
Set Up a Virtual Study Hall
It’s hard to be on your own during these times (it’s not recommended either). Create possibilities for your child to be with their classmates and friend by creating a virtual study hall. Set aside a few minutes for everyone to catch up socially.
Plan a Celebration
This school is likely to end while the lockdown continues. So plan a celebration for the school year to end beforehand. Dedicate a few hours once a week to involve all kids and parents to sit together (online, of course) and plan the party.
Don’t Neglect Online Protection
Many households have switched to high speed Internet providers to stay connected, learn, and work amidst the crisis. While our kids are learning online and staying in touch with their friends, don’t forget the dangers of the digital worlds. Their privacy could be at risk.
To stay safe, make your child know about the potential dangers of the Internet, how it works, what they need to be aware of, appropriate online behavior such as the right use of video calls. Teach them the right way of sharing pictures, videos, and personal information online responsibly.
It’s best to establish rules about how, when, and where to use the Internet. Some wireless internet providers allow you to set parental controls of the devices of your kids to mitigate online risks. Always make your kids choose age-appropriate games, apps, and online entertainment. Keep an eye on incidents of cyberbullying at school and online. Report them the school or online authorities as and when needed.
Stay in Touch With the Education Facility
It’s everyone’s first time so don’t strive for perfection. Find a way to get in touch with your child’s school or teacher. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek guidance. Parents can support each other via community and parenting groups too.
Don’t Worry About Screen Time
Limits are important but under these stressful circumstances, your kid’s screen usage is likely to increase. Don’t worry about that. Just try to make the experience as positive as you can. Here are some ways that will help:
- Use Social Media for Spreading Goodness
Don’t let your child spend time on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook without purpose. Instead, encourage them to use it for food. Find ways to help students who need meals or home Internet access.
Of course, how can we neglect the use of social media for connecting with others? Let your child connect with their school friends and even family member through social media.
- Choose Quality Content
Ideally, watch movies and shows together with your kids. When it comes to apps, video games, and websites, make sure whatever content consuming is age-appropriate.
- Use Media Together
A great way of monitoring what your older kids are seeing online is to use media with them together. Even watching a family movie can make everyone relax.
- Give Them a Virtual Tour Of your Work.
If you are working from home, show your child a glimpse of your work.
- Limits Still Apply
The use of technology should not interrupt physical activity, family time, sleep, reading, and playtime. Healthy boundaries are necessary. It’s these little habits that become a part of the children’s routine in the long-run. So, try your best to keep them disciplined in whatever way possible.
Don’t impose these tips on yourself and your kids. It’s ok to take a break from the normal schedule if it helps everyone accomplish their tasks. Some days may be great some may be depressing (even for your little ones). Acknowledge those feelings and take things one day at a time.
Lastly, don’t forget to do good. If you know any family that may need Internet access and even food, step up to help them. Do recommend them Internet service providers that have pledged to offer free/affordable Internet services to households with school and college kids. Cox free Internet is one such example.
End your day praying together as a family thanking God for His provisions, good health, and for this virus to eliminate from the face of the Earth.