I’m locked in a mental battle as my deadline draws near. Steeling my nerves against the unyielding repetition of ‘Thank you, next’ by Ariana Grande sung in duet with my seven year old daughter, who can hold a tune … I’m just not sure if it’s the same tune Ariana is singing. For almost an hour the whining tones have flowed down the hallway, now assaulting my ears. I’ve written and re-read the same lines a thousand times and I’m just about to break.
It should, because by now all instant, at-home educators are being subjected to a specific torture of their own. Where the tapping of computer keys and adult directives used to fill our days, we are now competing with study hook-ups, musical instrument practice, interconnected video learning games or the incessant chatter as teens abbreviate their way through phone and FaceTime conversations.
And what’s with the food orders? Why do our kids eat so much and so often?
By now most of us can’t unsee the many hilarious posts and memes doing their internet rounds illustrating the potential pitfalls of schooling from home. So, what can we learn from those resilient to the task of home schooling? Here are the top 3 tips for a fuss-free remote learning day.
Routine, routine, routine.
To make sure the kids aren’t rocking up to their ‘login’ time wearing last night’s pjs, try keeping a school-time routine – snacks included. This will inevitably assist other daytime routines – perhaps it’s not only the kids assuming new working quarters for the quaran-time being?
Even if it’s a walk around the streets of home, physical activity helps kids think, gives them clarity and the ability to return to their home desks refreshed and ready with brains untangled. Scavenger hunts are returning to favour for added stimulation – I googled hundreds free to download.
Hand over the control.
Mainstream schools timetable academic work earlier in the day so if you can help your child build their own subject scheduling in a similar way then allow them the choice of afternoon activities, the mental load will get easier as the day progresses.
From personal experience flexibility is absolute key here – if it’s not working, do something else. Home is not school and most parents are not teachers, so be kind to yourself. Pandemics are just another area of content the instruction manuals forgot to include – a little planning at this time will help ease the stress that this containment is already causing.
As I push ‘send’ on my latest article, Ariana (with Miss Seven’s vocals in tow) again reminds me that this is a period of learning. From correct hand washing to schooling from home and lockdown – survival of interesting times indeed, but as we re-skill into our new normal looking back wistfully at lives of such personal freedom, I’ll be the first one to scream at the back end of Coronavirus, “thank you, next.”