As the COVID-19 crisis continues, so do the challenges facing families, especially those homeschooling their kids. In these unprecedented and ever-changing times, many parents are scrambling to find ways to keep their kids entertained and educated, often while they themselves are also trying to get work done. Here are some top tips for developing a healthy homeschooling routine for your kids.

Social distancing and isolation measures are likely to be our new reality for at least the next six months, so establishing and maintaining a healthy homeschooling routine for your kids is vital.

Create your own routine

It’s important to be flexible and adaptive when creating your homeschooling routine. As a starting point, build on elements of your normal school routine that can transfer across to home. Consider, for example, starting your day as you would a regular school day by getting dressed and sitting down for breakfast. We know some families are even using bells on their devices to create class start and finishing times.

Let your kids be involved in the planning process when creating your new routine. This will ensure they are engaged and willing to learn throughout the day and gives them a chance to include their own fun activities to look forward to.

Remember that learning doesn’t have to involve a pen, paper and whiteboard. There are thousands of fun and creative ideas that will get your kids involved in learning activities. Think about:

  • Using Lego and other small toys to improve fine motor skills
  • Cooking and cleaning to teach maths and science
  • Using interactive apps to turn ‘screen time’ into a learning experience.

Schedule breaks

With more and more time spent at home, it is important to schedule plenty of breaks throughout the day. A good way to maintain some normality from your previous routine is to schedule breaks as your kids usually would at school. That is, a break for morning tea, lunch, and outside or ‘play’ time.

As a parent, it’s important to take breaks too, so think about how you can get your daily dose of fresh air and exercise alongside your kids. Here are some ideas:

  • Go for a walk (as long as you are adhering to social distancing guidelines of course)
  • Kick a ball around in your backyard
  • Jump on the trampoline
  • Ride a bike around your street
  • Ask your kids and see what fun, creative activities they come up with!

Be mindful of unhealthy snacking

Bingeing on unhealthy snacks can be tempting when spending time at home. An easy way to manage this is to be conscious of the foods you throw into your shopping trolley. Stock up on plenty of vegetables, fruits and healthy snacks to last you throughout the week. Try to limit the amount of junk food you purchase but keep a few items as special treats for you and your kids.

An easy way to help avoid snacking is to pack school lunch boxes like you usually would. This is also a great activity your kids can help you with as part of your morning routine. Preparing your kids’ lunches at the start of the day also means you can spend less time in the kitchen throughout the day. It’s a win-win!

Remember to drink water

It’s vital you keep up hydration so make sure your kids keep a bottle of water with them so they can sip on it throughout the day. If you’re struggling to get your kids to drink water, consider other ways you can encourage them to stay hydrated such as flavoured or sparkling water or ice blocks.

Uphold good hygiene practices

Practising basic hygiene is the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19, so we need to make it a habit for our kids and encourage them to think about their hygiene at home. Evidence shows a 20-second hand wash remains the best way to remove germs, so try to schedule this into your routine after each activity or meal break. Why not teach your kids some songs that last 20 seconds so they can sing at the sink, or if you’re creative, even come up with one as a family?

On top of handwashing, it’s also important to sanitise workspaces, toys and electronic devices after using them.

We are all in this together

We are all navigating the challenges of homeschooling together. For those parents grappling the demands of homeschooling their kids and working from home, the thought of keeping your kids up to date with their learning can be daunting. However, remember that you are parents, not schoolteachers. You can only do your best when it comes to educating your kids. If you need help, ask for it. Luckily, many schools are now in the process of launching distance learning programs, and there are also endless online learning resources to guide you.

There is a huge community of other parents who are facing these challenges too when it comes to maintaining a healthy homeschooling routine for your kids, so reach out for advice. Sharing tips and advice is always helpful and makes the situation a little less daunting. There are plenty of online resources and social media posts to help you find a range of creative and fun activities to keep your kids learning and entertained.

Original Source: | 16 April 2020