With schools closing all over the world, including here in Canada, many parents now find themselves in the position of working from home with a new side job as a teacher.
If you are like me and new to homeschooling, you might be wondering how you will keep your kids learning and busy while you work without sitting them in front of devices all day.
Fortunately with a little strategy and some free resources, we can all get through this current crisis with some sanity intact.
How to Deal with School Closures while Working from Home
1. Make a Schedule
Most kids will really thrive when you have a set hourly shedule with a consistent routine. Get your kids involved with making the schedule and post it up on your fridge so they can follow it themselves. This has created a lot of excitement in our household and has created a sense of normalcy for my children as well as providing me ample opportunity to get things done.
If your kids know their daily schedule at school it may be easiest to build a schedule based on that. Be sure to include plenty of breaks and outdoor time.
These free printable schedules are cute but this really can be as simple as grabbing a sheet of paper and just writing it out by hand.
2. Check your School and School Board Websites
Some cities and provinces are providing some online resources, although we aren’t likely to see much until after March Break. Check your school and local school board’s websites for more information.
3. Online Resources
Many educational websites are now offering their services for free during school closures. I have found the best free worksheets for us on Worksheet Fun, and Math-drills.com as well as the free weekly packets from Education.com.
Scholastic has set up a “Learn From Home” website with four categories: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3 to 5, and Grades 6+. Each day of content is filled with exciting articles and stories, videos, and fun learning challenges.
Tech Learning has put together a huge list of free resources for parents affected by school closures. Don’t forget to make use of digital resources your children likely already use in their classroom such as Prodigy Math.
Also check out our craft projects for kids and free learning packs for more fun things to keep yours kids occupied.
4. Stay Active
While we all stay indoors more than usual, it is important for kids to get in a lot of physical time. Cosmic Kids Yoga is a favourite of my kids and a great way to get them active and moving while having loads of fun.
Don’t forget you can still practice safe social distancing and get some fresh air by letting your kids out into the backyard to play.
5. Screen Time is OK
Unless you have some serious mental fortitude, you aren’t going to be able to keep your kids off devices and away from the television. That just isn’t realistic. Instead with some moderation and quality control you can keep your kids happy while you get some work done. We have been assigning them age appropriate chores to do to earn time on our family devices. I have never seen my kids quite so enthusiastic about sweeping the floor so this has been a huge success for us. House kept tidy and kids screen time limited. Winning!
When it comes to television, Netflix offers plenty of kid friendly documentaries that will get you through and enrich your kids understanding of the world. Check out documentary series like Our Planet, Growing Up Wild, and Dancing with the Birds.
Of course there is also plenty of educational kids programming available as well including shows like The Magic School Bus and The Who Was Show?
Do you have any tips to share for other parents?
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!