The governor of California recently announced he is expecting all public schools across the state will be closed for on-campus learning for the remainder of the school year. This undoubtedly will send families with school-aged children into a massive routine disruption. Many parents are working from home and supervising their children at a time they would normally be under the direct care of teachers or childcare providers. Homes have, overnight, been transformed into learning environments with very little time to prepare. We have a few suggestions to help you for what is to become a few very long months.
Dedicate a school-only space. Consider a spot like the formal dining room or living room, places you don’t use every day, and set up your temporary schoolhouse there. If you choose the dining room, assign a chair for each child and his/her own personal workspace with his/her own technology device (if available) and school supplies. This will make them feel like they have their own desk like they do at school.
Find a corner to relax. Now is time for that reading nook you’ve always wanted. Try to find a place in the house where your kids can either separately or together have a quiet and comfortable space to read and study. It can be as elaborate as a dedicated quiet room to a cozy closet filled with pillows and portable lighting. If you have more than one home-schooled child, have them take turns using this space alone.
Quiet time. During dedicated school hours, eliminate all audible and visual distractions like video games, tv and even the radio, so your kids can fully concentrate on their online classrooms and schoolwork. If more than one of your kids is “attending” school at the same time meaning their online classrooms are scheduled simultaneously, you’ll want to set up a temporary area like their bedrooms to participate, so they aren’t distracted by their siblings.
Don’t forget recess. Physical activity is very important for your kids’ health and your sanity! If you have an outdoor space, let them go outside and run around throughout the day. If you can, schedule your break time with theirs and take a walk around the block, visit a nearby green space or take a quick hike if you live near a wilderness area.
Review their curriculum. Take a few minutes every day to review what the teachers are sending your kids, so you are on the same page as them. Help your children stick to their deadlines and give them any assistance they may need with their assignments. Your children don’t have the benefit right now of being able to ask their teachers for extra help.
Be flexible…and patient. Let’s face it. Your kids are not going to be getting the same education they were getting in their normal face-to-face environment. They miss their friends and their teachers and they’re probably suffering from some level of anxiety not knowing what the next few weeks will be like.
Teach them home economics. This is a great time for you to teach your kids some of the skills they’d learn in a home ec class! You can show them how to make a grocery list, cook a meal, clean a bathroom and even help with a budget. If you’ve got the time you can teach them some other helpful home skills like gardening and DIY projects.
We are in very trying and unprecedented times and wearing many hats we never thought we’d have to don. Accept you can’t be great at everything, but you can be good at many things. And what better way to watch your children learn and be educated than seeing them do so with your own eyes….even if it is at the kitchen table!
If you are continuing your search for a new home, please know Cornerstone Communities is still building homes throughout the county of San Diego and Temecula. To see our homes, we are offering virtual tours on our website, you can chat with us online or we can schedule a private in-person appointment with you.