Surviving COVID-19 with school-age children
Aahhhh, the glories of technology. We can do so many things with technology we couldn’t have done years ago. We can stay connected with everyone and what’s going on in the world. We can even be connected to our children’s school and lessons. How convenient and very essential during this COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s not so easy. It can be one big pain in the rear, and technology doesn’t always work quickly and/or correctly.
First and foremost, make a schedule. Children need schedules. Even though some may fight it, they do like them. Sit down with your kiddos and plan a schedule that helps everyone. You may have to schedule yourself in to help the primary-age kiddos maneuver through their lessons. Make sure that you include breaks every 20 to 30 minutes. You can make these breaks a surprise with fun and/or with small rewards. In other words, make each break something new and different. You can have snacks, have a race, have a dance party using a different song each time, give small prizes you may have around the house and take rest room break time, too. Short breathing exercises also help to relax and regroup.
Just like their desks at school, children need their own space/desk. You may be limited to space, but do the best you can; you must find a work space. It could be a small table moved somewhere, card table, any table but the kitchen table. Have the work spaces distanced from each other as best you can, too. I do not suggest you put their space in their bedroom unless you are short on space. This space will also help with alone time for each child.
If the eLearning is confusing, contact your child’s teacher. They should be available by email. If you have to write or draw on a piece of paper what is confusing, take a picture and email it to your child’s teacher. Please try to understand that teachers are just as stressed right now. It is also very worrisome for teachers who are wondering if they will be able to get their students prepared to move one to the next grade. So, be patient with your teachers and the school, too. In some school systems, this is the first time they’ve tried eLearning, and for others it is still new. The state, schools and teachers are also finding other ways to substitute lessons if there are problems. With technology, there can always be some kind of problem. Most of all, do not panic; it’s not worth your energy.
Keeping the best positive attitude with a sense of humor will get you through this time of eLearning.
One frustrated parent looked at it this way: “It has been very hard for me. My child has dyslexia, and I have to read everything to her. But, the good to come from all of this is that I am now learning how my child learns and how better to help her in school in the future.”
From a teacher’s perspective, this is golden. Parental help at home is imperative to each child, no matter their ability. It can’t be stressed enough. It models to your child the importance of school and that you truly care.
So, be a good model to your children. This COVID-19 is out of everyone’s control. Stop and breathe and remain as calm as you can. Breathing exercises and short meditations are great to get everyone -— most importantly, you, the parent — on track.