Prioritize your child’s mental health. The most important thing is your child’s well being and health. Everything else is secondary. Remember that they are watching and listening. Your emotions will guide their reactions so stay positive.
Capitalize on the opportunity for personal interaction. Children will be missing their social interactions at school and in the community. They will need your attention more now than ever before.
Starting March 30th, teachers will be scheduling check-ins. This is also a good time to FaceTime with friends and relatives and stay connected.
Exercise, family walks, and bike rides have not been canceled.
Be realistic. This is new territory for everyone. Teachers are working hard to create a new system of learning, often balancing their own families at home. Parents are working hard to navigate their responsibilities and preparing to take on a teaching role. Don’t expect perfection.
Be flexible. Things are likely changing as we are creating this list. Remember to stay flexible.
Set appropriate routines. You don’t need to wake your children at 6 AM to start online learning. However, set some boundaries and routines because this is how they will be productive and feel settled in this new situation. For example, starting your day with a walk and a good breakfast sets you both up for success. Schoolwork will not last 7 hours each day and can be completed in pajamas. You’ll have plenty of time to play games, cook together, exercise and watch quality television. Just make sure the assignments are prioritized.
Be honest. Your children will have questions. It’s best to be factual without scaring them. This is where resilience comes to play.
Our counselors will be available to help should your child experience heightened anxiety at this time.
Wash your hands! We’ve been trying to get students to take this seriously for a long time. Make sure they are washing their hands often, with soap, for at least 20 seconds. Teach them NOT to touch their faces (good luck).
Include them in practical life. This is a great time to teach children how to cook, clean, do the laundry and help with the yard work. Jobs make students feel capable and important. These responsibilities will also help them to maintain the level of independence required at school.
What about screen time? This is probably not the best time to eliminate gaming and Netflix. However, I would imagine that social isolation can lead to excessive screen time. Make sure you are allowing for some downtime and then providing alternatives when enough is enough.
Look at code.org and codecombat.com for some educational coding experiences that can be done without adult assistance.
Watch documentaries together. Take a virtual field trip! (see resources on the Home Learning page)
Remember you are your child’s first and most important teacher. They will learn more from watching and listening to you than we can ever hope to teach them.
Don’t panic. You’ve been teaching them since you met them!