Almost overnight parents across the world have now become teachers and are trying to do the very best they can to home school their children in a very challenging environment.
Most parents don’t have experience of homeschooling and due to how suddenly it all happened didn’t have time to prepare.
Well this post is my plea to all parents to stop worrying and stressing over homeschooling your children. They will be alright.
You have to remember that schools and teachers have months of preparation and years of experience to provide our children with structured learning at school so trying to replicate this structure at home is going to be near impossible. Not to mention that we as home school teachers now have the added stress that we can’t go outside and the fear of the CoronaVirus causing everyone anxiety.
Most primary schools have around 30 children per class all with different abilities, likes and interests so structure is key in a school environment to ensure classes and learning run efficiently and everyone gets to do a bit of everything.
However in a home setting you will only have your own children to teach so why not take this time to let them focus on the subjects they enjoy the most whether it be Art, cooking, creative writing, geography ect. Ask them what they would like to learn each day or which subject they would like to focus on. Even if your children, like mine, spend nearly all day drawing and baking they are still learning and developing their skills.
These are tough times that we are all going through and I think most adults are feeling worried and anxious so our children must be feeling a bit of it too. Anything you can get them to do that will keep them occupied and enjoying themselves will help to ease their stress and worry.
Even if you have high school children instead of trying to get them to do a bit of every lesson and fit it all, spend a bit of time on the core subjects Maths, English, Science and then spend most of the time on the subject that they enjoy the most. This is going to be a hard time for them too especially that they are not able to go out with their friends so keeping them happy is going to be the main priority and probably a tough one with teenagers.
There are lots of online educational games and learning tools available now that are brilliant for teaching children especially when homeschooling but if your children really don’t take to it or don’t want to do it then don’t feel pressured to make them. Just keep trying different things until you find something that works.
This is a very difficult time for everyone and a lot of people are suffering at the moment but if we try to find a positive in all of this it is that we have been given this extra time with our children so just try to take the time to enjoy it.
This is a very difficult time that we are all facing and as well as looking after our physical health we need to also think about our mental health. A lot of us are going to be put into situations we are not used to being in and will find isolation a challenging time. I wanted to share a few tips / ideas to help anyone that is feeling overwhelmed by the current situation to find some calm.
Read a book
By taking time out to read a book this can really help your mind relax and for a period of time forget about your worries. As the saying goes ‘ lose yourself in a good book’. I always find reading takes my mind off things and helps me relax. Reading is especially good before bed as it will help you to sleep better.
If you have run out of books and are unable to go out to get a new one then why not look at kindle books. You can download the kindle app for free on phones and tablets and then using the kindle store you can have access to purchase thousands of books to read instantly. There are also so many indie authors with great kindle books at amazing prices.
Take a break from the news
I think we have all got caught up in the media storm around the Corona Virus and are constantly checking the news to see what the latest updates are. I am not normally one for the news but even I have found myself checking over and over again for updates and it can be so overwhelming.
If you find it is getting too much then taking a break from the news and social media can help. I don’t mean cut yourself off completely but have a good few hours a day where you completely blank out the news and anything to do with the Corona virus.
Listen to Music
Music is a great way to relax and try and take your mind off things for a bit. Although try and stay away from the radio as this will have lots of news and updates and you want to get away from listening to these if you want to relax. Even putting the music on and having a dance around will be a great benefit especially if you have little ones at home they can join in to.
I think exercise is going to be a key part in us all being able to stay sane during this tough time.
While you are able to get out and enjoy walks or runs in the fresh air as much as possible, please do make sure you stick to the current health guidelines and stay safe when out.
If you are self-isolating then setting a regular exercise routine is going to be crucial. It is so easy especially when at home to brush off exercising and finding the energy to exercise can be hard. However if you do manage to be motivated and keep exercising then you will find you have a lot more energy not to mention feel happier. When we exercise our bodies release endorphins which can trigger a positive feeling in the body.
A few ways you can exercise when self-isolating –
Exercise from online videos. Youtube has lots of great workout videos including the Body Coach. If you want to sign up to more of a class where you have someone helping you stay motivated try signing up to an online exercise platform. A lady I follow Laura Bland runs a online health and fitness business and with the way things are at the moment you will find a lot of your usual exercise clubs are going online like a local one to me FitClub has done.
Indoor walking. Being indoors it is easy to sit for long periods of time without moving so to combat this why not set yourself an hourly alarm to get up and walk around your house a set number of times.
If you have stairs in your home and are able to walk up and down the stairs a few times. You can see how many times you can do it and then increase it by 1 extra time everyday.
Dancing is a great way to exercise and is fun too. Just put on your favourite tunes and dance away until your heart’s content.
Being creative and taking part in any kind of art can really help with mental health and can be a great distraction when times are tough. This could be in the form of colouring, drawing, painting, knitting, story writing and even photography and if you are finding yourself homeschooling children then these are activities you can all do together. Being creative is my go to activity when I am feeling stressed, my favourites are photography, writing and painting.
Connect with people
Self-isolation doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself off from the world just away physically from it. You can still connect with people over the phone, txt, social media or by video calling, so make it a priority to speak with at least one person a day that is not in quarantine with you. This could be family members or friends and speaking with them will not only benefit you but will help them too. Social media is a great way to connect you with like minded people from all over the world and can help you feel that you are not alone. However do remember if you do start to feel overwhelmed again ensure you take a break from it.
In these tough times it is more important now to ensure you are regularly practising self-care. Just by setting a side a bit of time everyday to carry out some self-care can really have a positive effect on your mental health. Some of the ways you can do this include –
With the resent events and schools having to close and families self-isolating I thought I would share a post filled with indoor craft and activities for children and toddlers. This are all simple, easy and cheap activities for children.
Fork Easter Chick painting
This is an easy and fun craft idea for children. They can make lovely textured chick pictures that can also be turned into Easter cards.
Cut an egg shape out of coloured paper and stick on to your white paper. You can either stick your egg on whole or cut in half with zig zags and stick on.
Set out the yellow paint and let the children dip the forks in the paint and use it to paint their chick on the paper.
Use the glue and stick on the googly eyes and beak to the chick
Use the felt tips to add on grass or background.
Den Making is another great rainy day activity. What child doesn’t love a good den and the sense of pride once they have created it. Whether you go all out to create a masterpiece of a den or just throw a spare cover over a couple of chairs, den making will keep them entertained and once built it will keep them occupied for hours as they will happily sit inside and play.
These paper dolls are brilliant and can keep the kids entertained for a while. Not only does making the dolls keep them occupied but they can then use their dolls to make a puppet show or just to play with afterwards.
There really is only one step to this activity and that is take the felt tips and draw on the paper doll. Let your children be as creative as they want. To add to the activities you can get the glue and let them stick on googly eyes, string, buttons or whatever else you have.
Yoga is a great indoor activity for children, It will keep them active and can help channel some of their energy. There are lots of great videos on YouTube my girls enjoy Cosmic Kids Yoga.
Cork caterpillar painting
This is a great activity for children and gives parents an excuse to open that bottle of wine for the cork.
What you need –
Felt tip pens
Dip the cork in the paint
Then dab the cork on to the paper one next to the other to make a caterpillar shape
Use the felt tip pens to make a background and draw on the caterpillar’s face once dry
Crazy Dancing can be a really fun activity and can burn off a lot of energy. You can do this from just playing some music and all dancing away or put up a Youtube video and copy the dancing. I guarantee if everyone gets involved including parents then you will be happy and laughing together in minutes not to mention everyone will be worn out afterwards allowing for some chill time.
Paper Fairy Gardens
These are cute little crafts to keep the children busy and inspire their creative side. You can really use anything that you have available to make it.
Extras – buttons, sequins, lolly sticks, pipe cleaners and anything else you want to add.
Step 1. Decorate your toilet roll
Step 2. Add the paper cup cake case to the top of your toilet roll
Step 3. Lay out your green paper add on your toilet roll house and then add and decorate the paper however you want.
If you are looking for a way to keep children active whilst staying in doors then why not get them doing a children’s HITT workout. This will wear them out without having to go out the house. Youtube has children’s workout videos and fitness expert The Body Coach has a collection of children’s workout videos.
Rainbow Finger Painting
This is a super easy craft and great for children of all ages. You can also turn this into a St Patrick’s day craft by adding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
What you need –
Paint in rainbow colours
White or blue Paper
Extra – scissors and black paper
Step 1 – let the children dip their fingers in the paint and dap them on the paper to make a rainbow
Step 2 – add in any background you like
Step 3 – you can then cut up a put using black paper and stick this at the bottom of the rainbow to make a bot of gold.
Salt Dough Creations
Salt dough is brilliant it is so simple and easy to make and you can use it to create so many things with it.
What you will need –
Acrylic paint (this paint is best to use but if you don’t have any just use whatever paint you have.
Step 1 – Make your Salt dough by mixing one cup of plain flour with half a cup of salt and half a cup of water. Mix together until this becomes a dough then take out a knead a bit. Try not to knead too much as I found the salt made my hands a little sore afterwards.
Step 2 – Get creating! You can use cookie cutters to make shapes or go freestyle to make whatever you like. If you want to stick bits of dough together i.e some eyes you made, then dab a little bit of water over the area before putting on this will help them to stick better.
Step 3 – leave overnight to dry or put in the oven on a very low heat for 1-2 hours
Step 4 – Once dry use the paint to decorate your creations.
Step 5 – You can use Mod Podge once dry to seal your salt dough creations
Hama beads are a perfect rainy day craft for both children and adults. I enjoy crafting with them just as much as they do and we can all enjoy hours of creating our masterpieces. You can use Hama beads to make fridge magnets, key rings, earrings and even bowls. For more info check out my blog on Hama Beads.
Amos Glass Deco Pens
Amos Glass deco pens are filled with liquid gel that you squeeze out onto a plastic sheet in the design that you want and once dried you can peel them off and use as decorative window stickers, which can be peeled off without any mess.
They are easy to use, you just need to make sure that you don’t smudge them before they are dried. For more information on these check out my post on Amos Glass Deco Pens.
Sketching can be a fun activity for everyone to join in. I am no artist but there is something calming and peaceful about drawing. A good way for everyone to join in is to all pick the same thing to draw or use a how to draw guide and then see how they all turn out together. The best thing about drawing the same thing is that you will all learn together and can help each other along the way. Youtube has some good videos with step by step drawing guides.
Lolly Stick Super Men/Women
These are super cute little craft ideas and your children can use them to play with after they have made them
What you will need –
A lolly stick
Coloured and white paper
Step 1 – Cut a triangle shape out of the paper and stick on the back of the lolly stick.
Step 2 – cut a small rectangle of the same coloured paper to go across the front of the lolly stick as an eye mask.
Step 3 – either draw on your eyes or cut and stick some small white circles on top of the eye mask.
Step 4 – use your felt tips to make the face and hair
This is a lovely activity for children and once they have made their boats they can play with them whilst having a bath if not able to get outside.
What you will need –
A plastic take away tub
Felt pen or sharpie
Step 1 – make sure your tub and straw are washed out and clean
Step 2 – use the paper to make a flag and then sellotape this to the top of the straw
Step 3 – attach the straw to the inside of the boat using the sellotape
Step 4 – with the pens draw on the boat or use the paper to make and stick things on to the boat.
DragonFly lolly stick craft
These are a fun and easy indoor craft for children.
What you will need –
Felt tip pen
Step 1 – decorate your lolly stick
Step 2 – Get 2 pipe cleaners and make them into 8 shapes then stick to the back of the lolly sticks.
Make a Doctors Surgery with Toys
If you have any spare bandages or plasters around let your children make a pretend doctors surgery and use the toys or you as their patients.
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