To say that we are currently going through a unique time is a huge understatement. All this uncertainty is creating anxiety in all of us, including our children. The question I have for you is this “Why not view this forced time at home as an opportunity?!” I know it sounds a bit overly positive, but think about it, we ALL complain about how fast the pace of life is. We are constantly running from school to practice to whatever, and it seems like weeks just fly by, but now we are being forced to slow down. Maybe we should think about this time at home differently. Maybe this could be a blessing.
Breathe and have faith that in just a few days of altering your speedometer, you will find so much joy during these next few weeks as a family. I hope that you and your children grow together by getting back to basics. And by the way, these thoughts are coming from a self-proclaimed type A, very busy working Mom who is going to desperately try to make the best of what life has given us. Here are a couple of ideas I plan on trying that I thought might be worth sharing:
“Build” a School with Your Child
Set up a schoolroom made up of stuffed animals as students and a chalkboard as the focal point. Let your child pick a name for the school and involve him/her in setting a daily routine. Additionally, you can even ask your child what goals they have for this home school period. You might even have the opportunity to identify the desires of your child that only his/her teacher has the privilege of knowing.
Some Fun Lesson Plan Ideas:
Nature-Based Learning! - The impact of outdoor learning on a child’s development has been proven over and over again. So why not try it at home?! Grab a magnifying glass and get outside in your yard and explore! There are lots of amazing subscription tools that can help you put a full-on outdoor adventure together. Check out: https://boxes.hellosubscription.com
Compassion Through Pet Ownership! Get baby chicks!!! - This is the spring-time, and learning about chickens and the evolution of life would be a magical experience for any child! Prepare the coop together as a family with a DIY Coop, name the chickens together, and care for them as they quickly grow! Sounds like a pretty great reason to stay home and a fun thing to share with classmates once schools commence!
Around the World Exploration! - Here’s an idea that will also give you a break. Have your child identify places he/she wishes you could travel to during this break. Make a passport together and then give stamps upon each journey’s completion. Select a far-away place and find a National Geographic show that speaks to that place! This will open their eyes without having to leave home and give you a little time to catch up with your other tasks without feeling guilty about the tv being on. Check out: http://natgeotv.com
Make a Garden with your Child
Depending on what climate you live in, this could be the perfect chance to start a garden and watch it grow! The amount of satisfaction your child would get from watching things that they planted grow would be epic! Plus, with all the uncertainty around us, it might be nice to invest in a larger garden patch anyhow.
Some Ancillary Ideas that are Fun & Educational:
Make Garden Sticks! - Have your children write the names of the vegetables, herbs, or whatever you choose to plant on wooden sticks and make it into a fun art project! Get creative!
Starter Seedlings Inside! - If you live in a colder climate, you may want to consider keeping your seeds indoors for a while! Can you imagine the amazement of a child if just after a few days of attending the seed turns into the beginning of food!! https://www.youtube.com
Conduct a Soil Test! - Seriously, this would be such a cool thing to do, and all you need is white vinegar to test the soil! Check out https://preparednessmama.com for details of how to do this fun experiment with your young gardeners!
Find an Inspiring Farm to Table Story! - Just like adults, children love to see how something they learned is applied in real life! Find an inspiring story of a local farmer or restauranteur that speaks to the use of the vegetation you just planted together!
For the record, I am not some super mom, and I don’t claim to be all-knowing….I am just a Mom who reacted the way most did to the school closings “OH NO!!! How am I going to handle this? I will need more wine!!” and then I got to thinking….when life throws you a curveball you Hit It!! Stay healthy and happy, my friends, and please remember that every day is a gift!