Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools opted to switch to virtual learning to get the curriculum moving. Unfortunately, the schools were in charge of taking care of our kids during the day, and schedules were totally up to them. Now with my kids at home, it has not been easy to keep them active while the center of their lives seems to have drifted to their devices.
Thankfully, changes such as these demand that we adjust accordingly, which made me learn a few techniques to keep kids active. Here is a simple guide that has become my saving grace, and maybe it will be yours too.
Now that I cannot rely on my kids’ teachers to create and monitor their schedules, I have to do it myself. I found that the best way is to try to mimic the daily school schedule as much as possible.
Such a program involves:
- When to take virtual lessons
- When to have interim breaks
- What to do after an extended learning day
- Being mindful about the lunch hour
- Including after school activities
- Keeping bedtime and waking time consistent
Apart from the after-school activities, the rest will find a productive balance between schoolwork and play. Your schedule might include more things than mine, depending on your kid’s school curriculum. Still, foundationally, it will consist of most of the above activities.
I’ve realized that it is easy to bypass a break, especially in between related subjects. When this happens, my kids often lose interest in the middle of the next class, and then I have to convince them to pay attention longer before lunchtime.
Since kids are generally playful, they need adequate rest time and activities to keep them excited, so they can find their schoolwork more interesting. When I started getting more intentional with their short breaks, I realized it was easier for them to successfully concentrate through each lesson. This is how a school system works anyway, so why not try my best to keep it up at home?
It’s one thing to allow the kids to take breaks between different classes and a whole different scenario when stretching in the middle of a session. The latter works to boost their concentration and make them feel free now that they are at home anyway.
Although it is still not as safe to go out or allow our kids to play together, I find it helpful when they have their breaks outside. Basking in the sun is ideal for kids and helps them come alive while taking a break from the house.
After a few rounds of the same routine, both you and the kids will start getting tired. This happened to me too. I decided to learn a few games to play with my kids to spice things up. The interaction boosted both the kids’ performance and my relationship with them.
Kids have energy that keeps them active almost all day long. If you try to restrain them from tapping into this energy, you start to notice how restless they get. To avoid this, I prefer going for more physically involving games during breaks to balance out the time they have been on the screen. Activities such as playing ball or scavenger hunts have come in handy.
Now that kids are at home and still have to get their school work done, it does not mean we exempt them from home responsibilities. In fact, such chores could help foster productive procrastination. This allows kids to grow up all rounded.
At first, staying with kids at home was hectic, and we all wanted things to get back to normal. However, as time went by and most institutions started to look for alternatives, it was clear that we had to adapt as well. I’ve held it together and will continue to do so because of the help around me. Therefore it would be useful if you become intentional about asking for some help.