I gotta say, 2020 is NOT turning out how I had envisioned.
There is information overload, fear, and
so many unknowns with my kids home from school and life as we know it
grinding to a halt.
Yet, I am also finding things to love. I'm appreciating the time I get with my kids that is not mired with my work or our overly busy schedules of things to accomplish. We learned to properly prune our fruit trees. I'm loving the different ways people are finding to support each-other, it's pretty unique to watch this new way of being unfold.
1. There are some really great free resources being shared to help parents inspire their school aged kids who are at home for the time being.
This week we have really loved Mystery Science - great interactive lessons with optional activities to go along with them (hint: prep materials for activities ahead of time). The free version offers many great videos, but if the school closure continues I'll be forking out the cash for these entertaining science lessons, for sure.
I checked out many other pay-to-play apps and sites that offer limited free material and nothing compared to Khan Academy's amazing treasure trove of always free and well produced songs and games to trick your kids into learning math, science, logic, reading, and much more.
For keeping kids active I love Cosmic Kids yoga, but this week we mixed it up with Go Noodle - silly songs and fun dance moves for both you and your kiddo to move to!
2. While all the online tools are great, remember that you can learn together naturally. I’m an educator by trade, and I spent a few hours going down the online learning and homeschool rabbit hole trying to prepare myself to teach my kids while they were home from school. On Monday morning we ran out of resources in a few hours and it felt like a LOT of work to keep the plates spinning. Instead, I started noticing small opportunities for learning unfold naturally around us during the day.
At meals we play alphabet or rhyming games.
We found the dominos and the playing cards to use for math practice.
Yesterday my girls, ages three and six collected various pinecones for a fairy garden, and I quickly found a chart online to help us learn the names of different trees in our yard. They now use words like "sample" and "identify".
They asked if they could make their own snacks and I moved a selection of food to lower cupboards and shelves so they could pick something from each food group.
We read a book about bees and later we watched some bumble around around the snow-drops without screaming and running away in fear. Win!
I gave them a spoonful of mini m&m's and asked them to count, sort, compare, and create patterns - that's totally math, right?
3. I've also heard from parents that are really struggling with behaviors and their own stress levels in this new, uncharted reality. It's not easy, I'm not going to lie. I wish there was a magical wand to wave at the tantrums, bedtime call-backs, hangry demands and constant requests for screen time. While it's not magic, the education and strategies you'll gain from my Mindful Parenting class WILL help you decrease punishments, guilt and shame in your house. It does take some time to complete all 5 modules (20-45min. each) so that you can learn about yourself and your children. In the end, it will give you MORE time and energy to connect meaningfully with your family because you wont be dealing with unwanted behaviors. Learn more and see the curriculum here.
What resources have been helping you navigate your new normal? Please hop on over to my facebook community to share - there are lots of fun and thoughtful ideas happening there.