Suddenly the world finds itself home-schooling and parents everywhere have just about gone into shock. Not only are they juggling something they really didn’t sign up for, many are also trying to work from home and then there is this whole virus thing to worry about…
So from a parent who has been doing this a few years I felt like I needed to step in and give you a few survival tips…
So in the midst of an alleged pandemic, schools very remarkably got their entire curriculums working online and sent kids home to sit at a computer and do all their schoolwork.
At this point I want to scream StOP! Breathe. Ok. I need to stop y’all right there. Thing is, there’s this global pandemic situation. Allegedly. I’m not going to debate that. I’m going to debate our responses. Many parents are endeavouring to protect the kids and keep them away from all the fear. Which is fine, that’s a choice as a parent. But let me explain something – your kids FEEL it anyway. Read that again.
So all the kids are FEELING ALL this panic and fear and no idea why. (btw I have a whole other series on how to clear the emotional overload…) They have then been sent home and told not to leave the house…which seemed fun at first but then they weren’t allowed to go to the park, hang out with their mates and now they have to check-in online every day to attend school. Phew! Not sure about you but I’m a wreck just processing all that!
1 – Emotional wellbeing is more important
So here’s my first tip. Emotional wellbeing is so much more important than algebra. Yours AND theirs. We are in the midst of all this stress, a new situation none of us have experienced before and no ability to have outings or social experiences which is actually CRUCIAL for our mental health and, ironically, our immune system.
So let’s just breathe and check in how we’re all doing emotionally. Don’t try to recreate school at home if it’s not working for your child right now. Don’t make your child feel like a burden for being home and in your space while you’re trying to work (ugh it can be soooo annoying right?!). Home needs to be their safe place, now more than ever. Reassure them, and yourself, that you’re doing ok. This is not forever and it’s better to enjoy some connection time than to worry about calculus (don’t mind my examples – I actually love algebra AND calculus, but you get my point).
You may worry your child is going to miss out on some crucial learning. Which brings me to my next point..
2 – Learning doesn’t only happen sitting down.
Sir Ken Robinson is an education and creative thinking expert. He challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. Check out his ted talks here. I find it fascinating how quick education changed for this pandemic but not for the radical reform experts like Sir Ken have been championing for DECADES…but that’s probably a whole other debate. His talks are great and encourage us to think beyond the idea that your child needs to sit and listen to an “expert” to learn.
Kids learn through doing. So as a home-school mum what we tend to do is ask the child what they are interested in, and then find a way to make that a fun LEARNING experience. My son loves cooking. So he can measure ingredients and write recipes…it may feel foreign but once you find a topic they love they’ll be MOTIVATED to learn and you don’t even have to try…(honest!)
If you do need to sit down for some things – pop some calming essential oils in the diffuser (or all over the child!) and know that without all the interruptions at school you can spend a lot less time sitting and achieve a lot more. It’s estimated if you spend 2hours a day you’ll cover an average school day’s worth of work. I know, I know, what you really want to know is: “Did you say CALMING oils?”
3 – Essential oils can help us all to calm, focus, and breathe through the overwhelm…
Loads of oils can and will benefit you, just ensure they are an awesome clean brand or contact me if you need some help with that. Here’s some suggestions for these times:
InTune – the focus blend from doTERRA is amazing. Alternatively Lemon and Peppermint are good for getting the cogs turning and the brain focussed. Pop it in the diffuser and feel the focus 😀
Peace – umm, kind of self-explanatory. Another doTERRA blend of amazing oils for calming the central nervous system for anyone highly strung or needing to calm and bring down that heightened energy, including vetiver and cedarwood. You can absolutely get these oils individually, but these blends are made for the specific purpose, so I do love that aspect.
Clary Calm – for balancing the moody hormones and I love for my DD to calm the farm (almost instant I swear!)
4 – Addiction is the price we pay…
Ok if I haven’t already upset you I’m probably going to do it now but don’t shoot the messenger. I don’t know what the answer is as a techno-dedicated society but research demonstrates very clearly that screens create addictive chemistry in the brain. It’s not a great thing to encourage in young kids. This is a fab talk that is well worth listening to on this topic. Basically, less screen time is better. Less tantrums when you turn it off too.
Screen off? Then what? I know, I know. Kids get BOOOOORRRRED. Did you know boredom:
- Increases creativity AND psychological wellbeing
- Increases motivation – they are making more decisions and practice important life skills by learning to self-direct!
- Allows parents to BREAAAATHE! Because the kids learn to do for themselves!
So it’s just a suggestion, but rather than be online, being directed in learning, maybe time to consider just…being. Being bored. Being creative. Being…and then when they overcome the boredom and find something to do…something new to explore…it’ll be because it attracted and interested them. So guess what? They are motivated to learn more about it…
And this… this space of pursuing passions and learning through doing and seeking and loving and exploring…THIS is why we home-school.
PS A final word.
Many of you have always asked about socialisation and how isolating it would be for the kids to home-school. What you are doing now is NOT home-schooling. Currently everyone is trying to learn from home because we aren’t allowed to leave. This is NOT how real home-schooling is done. Home-schoolers join in excursions, camping trips and weekly activities with a whole group of other home-schoolers that they get to know as their peers (we attend many of the same events). We see each other less than every day, sure. But we see each other often and have a community network of awesome people who are pursuing many different areas of passion and interest, skill and talent. Which we collectively share. It’s pretty cool.