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 Advice for the next 2 weeks

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Advice for the next 2 weeks Empty
PostSubject: Advice for the next 2 weeks   Advice for the next 2 weeks EmptySun Mar 15, 2020 10:54 am

I am sharing this with all parents out there, along with the kids. It might make the next 2 weeks at home a little more bearable.

First of all, do not panic! They are your kids after all, and they’re out of school during the Summer, so this isn’t totally new. You know each other. You like each other. It’s going to be ok, I promise. You can do this.

Schedule and routine are key. You need to be flexible if your original schedule or routine needs adjustment (I mean if you have no experience yet, it may take a little trial and error to figure out exactly what works for you) but you definitely want to set some schedule guidelines. Here is a simple morning routine that may help you start planning.

Get dressed in real clothes. Not just the kids, you also. Have it be part of the routine we just talked about.

Have a dedicated learning space. You can choose a place in your home where the kids will do their school work. You don’t need student desks, for years my family homeschooled at the dining room table which worked well for us. You might have a folding table you could temporarily pop up somewhere for now.

Collect some basic supplies such as pencils, a pencil sharpener, scissors, paper, and possibly something to color with and have them in a holder that can be placed in the area during school time.

Plan for breaks. Kids don’t actually sit and work for hours on end. The public school teachers build in time to stretch or move around the room and they alternate between different activities to hold the children’s attention. A child’s attention span is probably less than what you are assuming. Check out this list of average attention spans per age.

Limit screen time in way that doesn’t drive you crazy. To keep kids from constantly nagging you about screens, have guidelines that save you from the headache. I find time guidelines to work well (example: no screen time until after lunch). But my favorite way of limiting screen time is to say that for certain days of the week or certain hours of the day, I allow educational screen time only. I provide my kids a physical list that I tape near the television of what shows and/or apps qualify as “educational”. I always include the religious stuff on the lists. Also, when the weather is good I just straight up tell them no screens for the day.

The homeschool day goes a lot faster than the regular school day. It’s just how it works. Homeschooling is very efficient. Your elementary kids will likely be finished with their work by lunch time each day. For you it will just depend on what the teacher is providing for remote schooling.

Alternate the hard and easy work. Like we talked about with the attention span, you can’t just expect the kids to sit down first thing in the morning and pound out all of the really hard book work first thing all in a row. The best results will come from mixing it up.

Give the kids some control over their schedule. I suggest providing your kids with a list of everything expected of them in the morning, and letting them have some control over the order they do it in. In general, choice is motivating and it can help them deal with transitioning to this unexpected sudden change in their life.

Put their chores right on the checklist with their school. Also, include the chores into the daily routine. It is all a part of their responsibilities for the day.

If you are dealing with little siblings, provide them with special toys and/or activities during school time that they do not have access to during the rest of the day. This will help keep them extra occupied while you work with the older kids.

Routines quicken as people get used to them, so go ahead and expect that. Getting through the day will take a bit longer at first while you are adapting, but it will quicken each day as your family gets the hang of it.

Enjoy your time with your kids! I know that this wasn’t anyone’s first plan, but it is a blessing to have some extra time with the kids, regardless of what else it is costing you.

(Copied from Catholic Icing - author Lacy)

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