Tips for Thriving When Your Children are Home
With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus requiring many students who are usually in school to be home, and homeschool families who are used to being out and about to activities, field trips, co-ops, and classes, also now stuck at home– many parents are struggling with knowing how to make the most of their time together at home.
Here are some suggestions:
- Have fun together. This is a great time for investing in lost habits such as reading books, doing puzzles, making crafts, playing board games, calling or Skyping with grandparents (who may be lonely due to social distancing), writing letters (practicing handwriting) to friends, or doing other projects that have been relegated to the “some day” pile. http://homeschoolfreedom.com/2020/03/16/stuck-at-home-check-out-these-great-resources/
- Spend time outdoors. As the weather is warming up, now is the time to let your children get their wiggles out! Plan time in your daily schedule to head out into nature. You and the kids can grab a hoodie and get some fresh air. The Michigan-based blog “1,000 Hours Outside” has lots of creative ideas for your kids to enjoy time getting some exercise (and learning along the way). https://1000hoursoutside.com
- Limit screen time. Researchers from medical doctors to university professors are issuing concerns about the excessive amount of time children today spend gaming and watching digital screens. Excessive screen time is detrimental for eyes, brain development, and physical fitness. Establish a routine and set some requirements of things that must be accomplished in order to earn screen time—chores, music practice, a certain amount of time reading, or outdoor time. Then set a maximum limit of screen time each day and consider choosing from the many educational alternatives (perhaps a documentary, a movie on true historical events, educational games or other learning options). https://www.intoxicatedonlife.com/breaking-screen-habit/
- Keep food simple. Food preparation becomes more complicated when children are home all the time because more snacks and meals are required during the day; it seems they’re always hungry! One key to help with this is preparing food ahead of time- just like when you pack a lunch for the next day. You can pre-package a certain number and amount of snacks (or breakfasts or lunches) in individual portion-sizes. Or you can make meal preparation a family adventure and do it together! Also, this can be a good opportunity for older students to begin learning to cook and prepare their own meals. Make the most of this time by making memories together in the kitchen. This may help children to develop a new love for cooking and baking– for themselves and to bless their family and friends. https://kidscookrealfood.com/fun-activities-kids-home/
- Keep learning. In addition to any resources being offered by the local schools, there are suddenly many helpful free educational resources popping up online that can help with homework, or subjects in which your student is struggling. Here is a great place to find many quick resources for teaching your children at home:
If you find that you enjoy having your children at home in a learning environment, and want to learn more about full-time homeschooling, we invite you to visit www.HomeschoolMichigan.org.
Israel Wayne is the Vice-President of MiCHN (the official state-wide homeschooling association for Michigan). He is also the author of the book, Answers for Homeschooling: Top 25 Questions Critics Ask.