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. Hopefully, it won’t be long until the gymnastics center near us is open again!
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?
However, if your children are old enough to understand these concepts, you may not need to force them to concentrate in class. However, they still require encouragement to bring a focal point into their minds. For example, if your child is in senior high school, he still requires motivation to continue. You could divert their attention from the usual boring stuff by asking them to look for the gowns and caps they will most likely wear at their graduation ceremony on websites like https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/catalog/1311279/Penn-State-University/col_greg/Graduation-Caps-and-Gowns/. This may give them hope that everything will be fine in the end. They’d have a good time at proms and graduation parties. And it may help them focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative ones.
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.
With the learning going digital, school apps have decided to incorporate various offline functions like classroom management, online testing, and assignments, etc. Bespoke software building companies make personalized applications for these schools, which has, in turn, helped the students and parents to keep a tab on their activities and, decide on the time students should be allowed some time for family too. And, surely family time would include some house duties. Schoolwork surely does not mean we exempt the kids from home responsibilities. Such chores could help foster productive procrastination. This allows kids to grow up all-rounded. In a similar vein, parents can consider finding an au pair through an au pair agency (visit https://www.goaupair.com/childcare-advice/its-not-too-late-to-find-a-summer-au-pair/ to learn more) who could stay with them and help the kids with their studies, take care of them, as well as take on a few household responsibilities. Having an au pair can help the kids to stay engaged and the parents would have fewer chores to do since some of them would already be accomplished.
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.