After having a lot of conversations about COVID-19 and why it’s important for us to stay home and limit play to our own yard away from others (sobsob), the reality of what’s going on has started to settle in here. We know we can’t go to the park, and that we need to keep a lot of space between us and others when we’re out on a walk in our neighborhood. We know that we’re not going to school and that playdates and family events have been replaced with FaceTime calls and scheduled Zoom meetings.
(For tips on how to talk to your kids about the pandemic, go here.)
It’s a hard time. A confusing time. A sad time.
And, it looks like it’s a time that we’ll all be in for quite a while.
So, as our new normal becomes normal (whatever that means) and schools continued to be closed, many of us have added the role of teacher to our days. Which, is no easy feat for anyone — parents … kids … or teachers.
(Let’s hear it for the teachers, yeah?)
Which is why we wanted to share these tips from UNICEF USA. They not only address how you can help your kids to cope during this crazy time, but also how they can get the most out of online education and stay healthy.
7 Tips for Helping Your Kids Adjust to Online Learning
1. Create a schedule. Stick to routines or create new ones. Wake up in the morning at the usual time, shower, get dressed, have breakfast.
2. Have a space set aside for school. Set up a place in your home where your student can focus on schoolwork: a desk, a quiet corner.
3. Treat online school like real school. Homework do attendance matter.
4. Show respect for teachers. They’ve been tasked with shifting to distance learning virtually overnight.
5. Get some exercise. When online school is over for the day, encourage children to play outside if they can. Enjoy the sun.
6. Stay connected. Playdates are out for now, but kids can keep in touch with friends and family by phone, Skype or FaceTime.
7. Share your feelings. Encourage children to open up about how they’re feeling and ask others how they’re doing.
Of course, while this is all fantastic advice, let’s all remember that doing what we can is enough — and some days, that might mean opting out of a planned lesson to go for a nature walk or allowing some extra screen time because, wow, these are not normal times for any of us. When in doubt, cut your kids — and yourself, and definitely the teachers — plenty of slack.
Thanks to UNICEF for these tips and for all that they do. Learn more here, and please, consider donating to them. –Jenn