Homeschool In Your New Home
COVID-19 has everyone wary of big gatherings. We are all practicing social distancing, refreshing our hand-washing technique, and staying home as often as possible. If you are feeling a little stir-crazy or have little ones roaming about the home, I’ve gathered some sanity-saving ideas, as well as free programs and activities to keep everyone entertained and healthy.
Keep A Routine
I know it is difficult to find interesting activities and plan for fun days when the malls are closed, theaters are shut down, and even libraries are out of service. It would be so easy to spend the days watching Netflix, Instagram, and YouTube just to sleep in late again the next day. To help combat the cabin fever, make a routine. If you have kids at home, they are used to a dependable, structured plan for each day. They know what class comes next and when lunch will be. Keep the kiddos (and yourself) sane by coming up with a daily plan!
Photographer Jessica McHale created a handy hourly guide for those of us new to the homeschool scene. I really like this daily schedule. It allows for exercise, creativity, and electronic time. And you can adjust this as needed! It’s a great starting point to help define your time throughout the day. Personally, I am using this time to reinforce and share life skills learning. How to properly do laundry, cooking basic and staple meals, even some advanced baking attempts! Thanks to WikiHow, we’ve managed to tackle a leaky faucet, too. Tweak the guide for the best way to make your family happy.
Honestly, this is great for anyone unused to working from home, too. Section off chunks of time throughout the day to ensure your work is completed while making time to take a breather and throw the ball around with the dogs. There are endless benefits to working from home (if you can), but you do need to watch for the major pitfalls. Sleeping in is fine and well if you don’t have hard deadlines or scheduled calls. A daily plan will help you stay on target without cramping your new relaxed work flow (and attire).
Define A Space
It can be helpful to define a working space and a free-time area. The first step is to keep your bedroom free of work (if possible). This will help you sleep easier once your work is done, too. If you are working in a smaller space or your desktop is centered in your room, just try to keep the desk for work and the bed for sleeping. Setting mental boundaries for your stay-at-home life is necessary to staving off the cabin fever.
This is helpful for those with school-aged children, too! Cordoning a section of the room and house to center on crafts or school work encourages focus when it is time to dive into those homework packets. After a homey breakfast and clean-up, getting everyone settled at your kitchen island allows you to continue your own personal list of work or chores while staying involved! Wherever you decide to set your work and homework base of operations, try to maintain that invisible boundary of work and play. Knowing that once you get up from the desk or leave the kitchen table that you finished with Work Mode allows you to freely enjoy the rest of your day.
Enjoy The Little Moments
Seriously though, none of us are really prepared to be staying home if that wasn't already your lifestyle. Not you, not your kids, not your pets. We are all just doing the best we can while hoping to cut this quarantine off at the knees. If you didn’t already have a homeschool or work-from-home station, you are managing like most of us. While it may help to try out a few of these tips, remember this is an unprecedented situation for everyone. It’s okay to ignore all these ideas and just take care of yourself and your family. When are your kids going to have another chunk of time where they MUST be around you? Soak it up. Make cookies. Play with the Legos. Binge watch cartoons from your childhood. It’s okay to spend the whole day dressing your pup in little hats and ties.
Ideally, we won’t see another critical episode like this again in our lifetime. We’re all stressed. We are panic watching the news for every snippet of updated information. Maybe a routine is going to keep you anxious and wired. Instead of setting up boundaries, your entire home becomes a self-care spa. You eat those cupcakes and wear your comfiest yoga pants for two weeks. If the best thing for you and your family is picking up a bird-watching hobby on the hiking trails, spend your time investing in that! So long as you are happy, healthy, and social distancing, there’s no wrong or right way to process the unexpected changes. I’ve found it therapeutic to spend the weekends social media free. A small break from the epidemic has helped me stay aware and unpanicked. Find your own reprieve.
There are a lot of people who feel pressured to "use this time wisely." Don't let the guilt of your interrupted work schedule force you into a status quo. Cleaning the attic can wait. The most important thing right now is to wash your hands, practice good hygiene, and social distance. Outside (or inside, these days) of that, do what is going to make your days the most exciting. If that means oatmeal and bad rom-coms at 3 am, live your best live.
Here are a few great links to keep you and your family entertained from the safety of your home. Hopefully your newest passion or hobby is right about the corner.
California Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cam
Georgia Aquarium Sea Otters Cam
Berlin Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall
Scholastic Learn At Home
ABC Mouse has free membership right now with the code SCHOOL7771
Harvard CS50 coding/programming courses
These are some good places to start your stay-at-home adventure! Remember to take a break from all the news articles and social media scares. Reach out to your neighbors, your family, your friends, and your community. We are all in this boat together.
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