Virtual learning & routines are set up, but kids and parents are fed up. We're about to begin week 6 of the pandemic.
Let’s check in to see what’s working, and what isn’t, with homeschooling and household chores.
At this time (as we begin the sixth week of school closures), many families are finding:
kids aren't motivated to do chores;
they need reminders to get exercise;
many students are overwhelmed, because they need more support with schoolwork than what's available;
some students want more work from teachers;
some families feel they don't have enough physical / personal space and tech devices to go around;
kids are spending a ton of time gaming and on social media, instead of on productive activities;
teens' sleep routines are slowly resembling those of nocturnal animals;
overall, everyone's getting fed up.
Okay, so what can you do about all of this? Theres' no end in sight for the stay-at-home orders.
Start by checking in with your kids.
Maybe even have a family meeting! Here are some suggestions for agenda topics :
Involve children in negotiating chores & routines.
For example, give kids autonomy, and provide feedback about their contributions. Let them decide WHEN to complete tasks, for example. Give them a window of 48 hours or so. Assign meal prep tasks, but let the kids pick the ones they’ll do.
Parents SHOULD leave kids alone to play and do school work. Let them figure it out.
There are many benefits to kids working it out, and playing on their own.
Don’t try to finish all school work! Do the best job you can.
If there’s too much work coming from teachers, pick one task and focus on doing it well. Then communicate with the teacher. Work out a more manageable workload for your child, whether he/she needs more or less. If there’s an assignment that’s too hard, choose another one to work on, and share the feedback with the teacher.
Rethink screen time:
Screens are all the kids have got right now for social life, and school. Cut them some slack.
Remember that there are benefits from screen use! With the right approach to online activities, your kids can learn and get ahead!
Positive screen time is when the kids are ACTIVE: when they create something, learn something, and connect with someone.
Passive activities such as streaming videos or gaming are fine, in moderation.
Do your best.
We are in a pandemic and parents are juggling many things.
Students are missing their friends and many exciting events and activities are cancelled.
I’ll say it again: do your best. The kids are going to be okay.
Leave them alone more, give them more autonomy and choices in their daily lives, and adjust your boundaries around screen time during this temporary period.
Check back regularly for more tips and resources for COVID19. Take care of yourselves.