With school now taking place at home for both you and your children, studying at home and managing your children’s needs at the same time can be challenging. As you try to keep a study-life balance, here is some advice on how to keep your kids healthy and busy while learning at home.
1- Explain the situation to your children
This change of pace is not only confusing to you but also your children. All these new restrictions can seem unreasonable to them and can lead to a lot of frustration. Taking a moment to explain why this is happening and how social distancing is helping the whole community will help your children to better understand and handle the situation. Depending on their age, you can use Disney movies – such as Frozen – to explain how social distancing is helping everyone. For example, Elsa stayed away from her sister to protect her. Children are smart and with a little bit of empathy and understanding, they will adjust better to this new environment.
2- Establish a routine
Children may feel that because they are not going to school, they no longer have a routine. This is why establishing a routine early on (and sticking to it) is essential! Even if they are not going out, prepare a schedule of their day including getting dressed and eating breakfast, as well as their study and activity plan for the day. You can prepare several activities for them in advance, whether it’s simple crafts in the house, drawing time or even documentaries to watch. While they are busy with their own activities, it will be easier for you to focus on your studies.
3- Organize your space
Creating several areas in your home or apartment will make it easier to avoid being distracted while you are studying. Set up one area for study and another one for playtime. Keeping spaces separate will help your children separate each of them as a different environment with a different set of rules. Make sure to set up your study area in a room where you will be mostly isolated from distractions. For example, you may want to avoid the living room if you plan on letting your children watch a documentary or movie.
4- Study with your children
Schools may be closed, but your children still have classes online and homework to do, so studying together can be an asset. Planning a time when you can both learn your lessons and complete assignments will be beneficial, as you will be able to learn in a quiet environment. It is a great occasion to quiz each other on what you have learned and stay on track. Having a family studying time will also help children to keep good study habits until they go back to school.
5- Have realistic expectations
While having a schedule and creating separate areas will help you, don’t expect to study and learn at your normal capacity. You will be interrupted by your children whether it’s to answer questions, help with homework or simply supervise some of their activities. You will be less productive and setting more realistic goals will be necessary. While it is ideal to study during the day, it may be easier for you to study in the evening while your children are asleep.
Studying at home with children who currently require help with schooling and need to be occupied all day will be challenging. Patience, understanding, and empathy are more important than ever to get through this period the best we can. These tips will help you create a friendlier study environment for both you and your children until things go back to normal.