Like most parents, I’m a few weeks into wearing all the hats and feeling the strain of working – and schooling – from home, so I shared my top tips for working at home on ABC13 for parents trying to find that balance like I am.
There isn’t a lot of planned education or lessons happening at our home right now, and that’s okay. Instead, we’re squeezing in natural learning between my work meetings (head to my recent post to see how I’m helping my agency and other businesses shift gears right now).
We’re getting in the kitchen together, we’re playing, and we’re trying to make the most of this extra time together.
For some inspiration to keep the kids engaged during all the extra time at home, I chatted with Dana Roefer. Dana is the co-founder of Journey Academy, based in Ada, which uses a student-driven model to encourage students to think independently, take responsibility, and embrace challenges.
Here are the top tips that Dana shared with Emily to help parents make the upcoming weeks and months a bit easier:
Create a family contract
Meet with your children and decide what rules or values are most important to your family. Hang these on the fridge or in another visible spot.
Patience may run thin in the coming weeks, so use the “family contract” as a way to bring the entire family together to set an overall expectation and reminder of how you’ll work together.
Keep it simple
Encourage curiosity and let your children learn in natural environments – you don’t need a ton of fancy materials to keep them learning.
“The first thing I want parents to know is that children are natural learners,” Dana shares. “You don’t have to put this additional stress on yourself right now.”
Baking can teach them math and measuring skills. Writing a letter to family or friends they can’t see right now is a great way to practice their writing skills. They can discover nature by going on a walk with you – maintaining at least six feet of distance from others, of course.
Set an example
As parents, you can set an example of leaning into learning. If your kids see you reading, doing a puzzle, or another activity like knitting, they’ll want to do the same. Find simple activities everyone can participate in, and it’ll give your children a more natural rhythm than structured lesson plans.
If you’re looking for some more compelling ways to encourage your children to learn, Acton Academy founder Laura Sandefer (a previous guest on my podcast) is the author of ‘Courage to Grow,’ a really great resource for parents. It’s available for free on Kindle for a limited time and also for purchase on Amazon.