For many parents, the idea of home-schooling their kids is daunting, especially with many working from home as well. As COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread globally, many parents are scrambling to find ways to keep their kids entertained and educated.
To help you prepare, the team of after-hours doctors at House Call Doctor have some top tips on how to maintain a healthy home-schooling routine.
Create your own routine
It is important to recognise that school is different from home schooling, and although there are certain elements of your child’s normal school routine that can remain, you will need to be flexible and adapt. Try to start the day at the same time that your children are used to and follow your usual morning routine of getting dressed and having breakfast.
Throughout the day, think about ways to get your kids involved. Some ideas include:
- Getting your kids to help make their lunch
- Cook dinner together
- Fun and interactive learning games
- Fine motor work, such as Lego or tidying up small toys
- Teaching maths and science through cooking or cleaning
Also, let your kids have a say in how to structure the day to keep them engaged and willing to put in the work. If you get the work done in the morning, negotiate with your child on what they want to do next to have a break from learning.
As all schools have set breaks for food and outdoor time, try to schedule these into your routine. An easy way to help maintain a routine is to continue to pack a lunchbox as you usually would for your kids. This will also help to avoid snacking and encourage you kids to eat as healthy as possible.
While spending a lot more time at home, temptations to eat unhealthy snacks can be overwhelming. So, when grocery shopping, stock up on plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks. Try to avoid buying heaps of junk food, and only keep a few items as ‘special treats’ for you and your kids.
Put aside time each day to get out of the house for some fresh air and exercise. Find ways to stay active alongside your children such as walking, riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline or kicking a ball around. This will help your kids stay engaged when learning indoors, and also gives you a break and some time to yourself.
It is important to keep up with basic hygiene measures even when you’re at home. Allow 10 to 15 minutes after each activity or meal break to wash your hands with your kids and sanitise the workspace. This includes sanitising any toys or devices that have been used.
At home it can be easy to forget to drink water. Keep a bottle of water with each of your children at all times and encourage them to sip on it throughout the day. As parents you should also keep a water bottle close by to help remind you to stay hydrated.
The idea of keeping your kid’s up to date with their learning can be daunting and stressful. Luckily, many schools have distance learning programs in place and others are in the process of launching them. There are also plenty of online resources to assist you.
It’s important to note that you are not alone so ask other parents what they are doing and search social media and online for resources and creative activities to keep them learning and entertained.