As some of us gear up for our children to return to online school while we continue to WFH (Work From Home), it can feel as if we are wearing multiple hats and juggling being parents, teachers, employees, chefs, and so much more. Not to mention, our young ones will also need special attention as they navigate distance learning. These are most certainly unprecedented times, but with a bit of a routine and perhaps help from others, we can ensure that our families remain successful during this time.
Learning pods seem to be the talk of the town when it comes to integrating our children back into online school. If you haven’t heard, pods are designed to aid your children in socialization and education through pairing them up with a group of children to take on online school with. The idea is that roughly 2-3 families will join together to form these pods and remain socially distanced from those who remain outside of that circle. Not only will your children and family have those to socialize with, but it can also take a bit of the burden off of you to care for your children while being at home if your pod chooses to rotate between homes throughout the school week.
Dr. Zoe McLaren, a health policy researcher at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County stated that “the ideal thing is that we just stay home forever and never see anybody- but that’s just not sustainable”. The tricky thing with this pandemic is that we must do our part to remain distanced from others but on the other hand, social interaction is crucial for maintaining better mental health. Consult with your family and discern if being in a pod is best for the school year. For more information on what pods are and how to choose one that is best for your family, visit New York Time’s “The Do’s and Don’ts of ‘Quarantine Pods’”.
Having your children home during their school season doesn’t have to be the biggest blow to their overall development and education. While they might not be receiving the same level of attention and interactions as they did in school, use their time at home to teach them other valuable life skills like how to do laundry, cook and bake, or use other household tools. Not only will they learn amazing lessons that are not readily taught in schools, but they can also aid you in accomplishing some chores throughout the house (talk about a two for one!).
Business Insider has a great list of household skills to teach your children for the upcoming school year.
Let us not forget that children are meant to take breaks throughout their regularly scheduled school days! At least one recess and lunch are a must even while working and doing school from home. Keep their routine somewhat similar to one they might have at school by penciling in snack times, recess, and a long lunch. You might just find that your children are even more mentally drained from the lack of socialization and staring at screens all day, so ensure that you allow for them to take ample breaks and have fun throughout their school days!
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