Tips and Resources for Parents while Social Distancing

Lifestyle,Teaching

I believe we’re all in agreement when I say these past two months have been strange, to say the least.

When I first wrote this post, we were at the beginning of quarantine.  At the time, my primary goal was to be flexible and meaningful with the time I had been given to spend with my children.  That still holds true now.   But the deeper we get into quarantine (Los Angeles county has extended stay at home orders to August) the less I care about academic standards and America’s construct of academic achievement.  So I tweaked the list to include a more balanced approach to learning and development for our kids.  Resources and methods to provide simple, flexible, and meaningful opportunities for our little ones to cope, grow, and minimize the traumatic effects of this global crisis.

 

Pre-covid lockdown, my kids were over scheduled.  Not because they participated in too many activities, but because of commute time.  When quarantine first started, there were a lot of blog posts, tips and tricks headlines, and colorful schedules circulating the internet for ways to keep kids engaged while at home.  None of them worked for me, my family’s needs or my values for how I was going to get through this pandemic. Our family needed a break from productivity and structure. My goal was to be intentional and flexible. I wanted to take advantage of all of the things I always said I didn’t have time for. But I also don’t want to feel bad about myself if some of those things don’t get done. I want this experience to be as positive and meaningful as possible, without the pressure or stress. I have compiled a list of intentions for myself and my kids during the duration of our social distancing, in hopes that it may assist or inspire anyone who is looking for some guidance and community.

Set Week Day Goals

My weekends are dedicated to pleasure and I like to promote fun and straight up vegging out. Majority of the productive things we will do, will be on week days, rather than on weekends. I also use the term productive loosely.  Here are the goals that I set at the beginning of the lockdown.  It was meant to be temporary, with additional expectations to be added as quarantine lengthened.  But I was pretty satisfied with the quality time my family was spending together, and the very simple routine we fell into by following these principles, so I have kept them the same this whole time.

  • Spend time outside, or in the yard (weather permitting).
  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Uninterrupted family time (movie, board game, meal, etc)
  • Play, build, sensory time.
  • school required assignments (specific to my 10 year old)

We may not get to all of these things every day but I feel this is a solid framework to follow at our leisure. Below, I have included some resources that will help achieve these things on the list and hopefully you see something that you like and want to fit into your days.

Instructional Resources

When it comes to academics, I believe whatever your school district is providing for your child to complete or participate in is enough tradition instruction they need.  Don’t feel pressure to recreate school at home if that is not working you or your family.  My son, tends to over think and cares deeply about academic achievement.  This change of setting has made him much more relaxed and willing to take risks and challenge himself academically without the risk of getting a bad grade.  Take advantage of this unprecedented time to provide an opportunity for your child to flourish in an activity, hobby, or skill school won’t give them a chance to explore.  Here are some great sites to help discover and cultivate your child’s interests.

https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning Science/ All Grades: Science Lessons and Experiments

brainpop.com All Subjects and Grades: Fun, Informative videos and quizzes

newsela.com Language Arts/ Science/ Social Studies/ All Grades: Leveled text, current events news articles

classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html Scholastic’s Website has daily activities with videos

https://www.kiwico.com/ Science and Art projects that promote play, building, engineering, problem solving.

https://jalilahsartstudio.com/  Downloadable/printable coloring worksheets, arts and craft activities for all ages

https://scratch.mit.edu/  Coding, programming, and storytelling  through creating digital content

Reading

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of reading to and with our children.  Literacy is the key to success.  Not in the academic sense, just in life.  Digital books are great, with many databases having a ton of titles.  Audiobooks provide another alternative reading experience.  Then there is good ol’ fashioned reading physical books.  Whatever medium works for you, read every day.

Los Angeles Public Library

https://lapl.org/kids/books

Play, Build, Sensory Activities

There are so many things that can qualify as playing, building, and sensory stimulating.  Legos, Duplos, block, Lincoln logs, Magna Tiles, Kinetic Sand, Play Doh, the list goes on. But in case you don’t have any of those, here are some household items you may have that can use to promote play with your kids.

  • Pasta (cooked or uncooked)
  • Beans (uncooked)
  • Rice (uncooked)
  • Water and paint brushes on the sidewalk
  • Oatmeal (cooked or uncooked)
  • Shredded paper
  • Dirt, soil, sand in your yard

You get the idea. Be creative and resourceful. Think outside the box, use what you have at home while you practice social distancing. If you desire or need to go out and purchase some stuff to occupy all of the extra time you have, may this guide provide some inspiration.

Educational Programs/ Shows

Since many educational establishments that would normally be available to us are closed indefinitely, try a virtual field trip, educational TV shows, or even search the internet for videos or stories being read online. Below are some links to websites that have some pretty comprehensive lists of what is available.

Virtual Field Trips:

https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com/20-virtual-field-trips-to-take-with-your-kids.html?fbclid=IwAR3tKkvyisvn7-Cv_7Rjsez1bXlMbHNu82Kh-2_JujoNj35eBhyU68qD9I4

Education Sites that are offering free subscriptions:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t3r618pd8MAi6V87dG2D66PtiKoHdHusBpjPKXgm36w/edit?fbclid=IwAR31s9G0zg8O-72ahW8fjWMCo3k4yaS-B6mfRtL2mqEa_PsSd7PiFFrvKAA#gid=0

Netflix Educational Shows to Stream:

homeschoolhideout.com/educational-shows-on-netflix/?fbclid=IwAR09ibIoYRiY4sxBTNlzsfUfSX18TaKduj99XHEPL7FwKufQtI_zznJDCA8

Remember, I do want all parents to understand this: don’t feel pressure to adhere your life to a schedule right now or that you have to make up for lost instruction. We actually have a unique moment in history to pour all of ourselves into our loved ones, with minimal responsibilities. Take advantage of it and release societal expectations of ourselves and our children for a little while.

If you have any questions or are looking for any other resources or just to check in, feel free to contact me. I will do my best to get back in a timely fashion. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get updates and follow me on Instagram @teachermomchronicles and on Twitter @britt_TMCblog