We all need to work together as families and communities to deal with the current situation, social distancing, and risk of illness. Here are some ideas for how to be successful with your kids for online schooling.
- Have a consistent sleep schedule
Make a consistent bedtime every school night and wake up time in the morning. This is not only important for younger kids but for teens. (maybe it’s a bit later since kids don’t have to be at school so early. Have the kids take a shower, brush their teeth, have a healthy breakfast and get ready for the day.
- Develop a plan for your school schedule
Develop a school schedule that allows your kids to remain focused and not get distracted. Perhaps, 9-10am School, 10-1030am, go outside and take a break. 10:30-11:30, school. Lunch. Quiet activity or something outside. Any remaining school.
- Create a distraction free environment
Have a computer/ Chromebook set up in such a way that your kids won’t get distracted easily. Maybe create a quiet workspace. Perhaps a kitchen table, office set up could be helpful. Try to turn off on your wifi YouTube and other game sites during school times that could distract your kids. Be mindful of distractions such as TV, kitchen noises, iPad/ phones. Have kids charge their devices away from their learning areas. They can’t use their phones during classes at school, they should not have them during classes at home. (some exceptions may apply: such as a group chat for a high school class).
- Get your kids more active
Encourage dog walks, shooting hoops, kicking a soccer ball, a short run. Get outside with your kids. You have a unique opportunity to actually spend more time with them as most of us can’t go to work. Consider it a gift.
- Incentivize getting things done
If your kids can do some of their work independently, they are showing great maturity and responsibility. Their good choices are allowing you to do your work. Track this on a chart or contract with your kids.(visual).
Maybe have a movie night on Friday (at home), grab some ice cream and have an ice cream sundae party. Have a family game night. Go for a hike, family bike ride, snowshoe excursion, fishing, make some fresh cookies with them. Find ways to keep your kids happy, motivated and allow for some opportunities for them to help you and your family.
Finally, allow for some more creativity and flexibility in your approach to your kids and home routines. Maybe some more online (with friends) gaming is allowed at this time. (not too much). Maybe we can do some more with skype, facetime, webcams to communicate with our friends and families. Take out those old board games, Legos, and books. Be kind to others.
If I can be of support to your kids or to you as parents during this difficult time, I am available still for face to face meetings in a quiet and safe set up and also am offering virtual (telehealth) therapy.
Dr. Steven Lazarus