Firstly, we are dealing with an unprecedented situation here and I am by no means an expert. Like most i’m just learning as we go.
One thing I have learnt is that we can’t control what is happening but we can control how we deal with it. So how are we going to keep the family sane during lockdown?
If like me, you are in lockdown at home looking after your children, you may feel overwhelmed. Some people will be setting up a strict school routine, trying to keep things as normal as they can. Some will be taking a more relaxed approach to teaching their children through play and others will have the juggling act of working from home and teaching their children. There is no rule book here, no right or wrong we are all just going to have to find our own way.
Children love routine
Children like to know what is coming next, but that doesn’t mean you need to plan out every minute of your day. Maybe split into morning and afternoon actives or if you do like more structure then break that down into hourly blocks. Its is easy to become overwhelmed by all the free resources out there, choose a few things to do each day and stick to them, try not to do everything at once. One thing I am regularly doing at 9am is the Joe Wicks PE lesson, it is a great way to keep the kids active and get them awake and ready to engage in some learning. We also have a list of fun things the kids like to do like riding their bikes and playing with their toys, so each afternoon we pick one to do.
Teachers have done an amazing job in preparing for this and there are so many resources out there to help you with their learning. On a daily basis we are seeing more and more people coming together on social media offering dance classes, music groups, story time, the list is endless. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Cosmic kids yoga
- Joe Wick PE Lesson
- Natasha Lamb signing Lesson
- Story time with David Walliams
If you can get out into the garden, I 100% recommend it, even if its just to lift our mood. We have had such a miserable winter and finally the sun is shining and there is hope that spring is on its way. Nature also offers lots of learning opportunities, here are a few ideas:
- Shadow pictures
- Scavenger hunt
- Paint a picture
- Plant flowers
- Ride a bike
- Chalk drawings
Change your mindset
Rather than thinking we have to do this, try thinking we get to do this. Instead of we have to teach our children, think of it as we get to enjoy time with our children and family, we get to teach them life skills like cooking, gardening and riding a bike. Instead of we have to tidy the house, think we get to declutter the house, free up space and make us feel refreshed. We get do some of those jobs that we never have time to do. It may not be earning us money or doing the job we love but it is achieving something and that in its self can boost our self esteem. Lets fill our social media with positivity and inspire others to do the same. We all need to support each other, I love getting my daily boost from Kirsty at Abundance Therapy Education Coaching.
Our mental health is going to take a real battering over the next few months and we need to remember to look after ourselves as well as our children. Taking time to listen to music, read or listen to podcasts, its a great way to relax. Don’t feel bad about having some chill out time, let the kids watch a bit of telly whilst you have a cup of tea. Maybe even FaceTime a friend or family member for a chat. One of my personal goals this year was to challenge myself in both my business and personal life to follow a positive mindset to be the best I can and achieve my dreams. Lots of companies are offering free online courses so its a great time to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. Here are a two of my favourite podcasts to keep me going:
Learning doesn’t always have to be sat at a desk. There are plenty of ways that kids can learn though play and arts and crafts. It is also a great way for the community to come together. I love the idea of putting rainbows in your window to make people smile. My children have done this and also made pictures for my grandads care home who are all in isolation. There are great websites out there with so many ideas:
Finally, try not to compare yourself to others, see others social media posts as inspiration rather than competition and if its too much, come offline for a bit and enjoy family time. Cuddle up and watch a film, build dens with old sheets and have a picnic. Your children will remember these precious little moments with you not the fact that you didn’t teach them maths correctly or explain the Anglo Saxons very well. Make sure you document this time, take photos, keep a diary or even a video diary, we are making history here!
I hope you found this helpful and maybe we will look back and see this as a turning point for our society when we all came together as a community and supported each other. Yes we are in isolation, but you are not alone. With the use of technology and community spirit we are now connecting and engaging with more people than ever before! I would love to hear your tips and ideas for getting your family through this so please put your comments at the end of this post.