I use the word home-school in my title rather loosely, because lets face it, trying to teach your kids anything related to school work is pretty much impossible and double impossible if you’re also supposed to be working from home.. So, for today, give yourself permission to let it all go. Take the day off.
Teachers are amazing human beings and they are not expecting our children to return to school with the type of knowledge they themselves would be able to teach. They know that, they get it. What they would want are children returning who are happy, confident, balanced, calm enthusiastic and willing to give things a go. Things you can teach them yourself just through living together.
All learning starts within the home, your children have been learning form you since the day you brought them home for the very first time. They watch how you communicate and lead, how you listen or react, how you defend or accept. Perhaps use today to just reflect on that. To notice your reactions and pace.
I work in about 35 schools per year, running workshops on study skills, mindfulness, mindset, the fear of failure, confidence and meta cognition. These are basically tools to help students feel more at ease when learning. However none of these skills require facts, figures or formulas. None require the memorising dates and names. None require tests or exams.
School work is important but our children’s learning is so much more than subject specific lessons, if you’re struggling at the moment to keep up with the home schooling, try to look at the things you feel you can confidently teach your children – what life skills do you possess that they can take back with them when they return to school?
I have two children, aged 5 & 9yr and except for creative stuff and some reading we haven’t done much ‘real’ school work during lockdown. We have however communicated and interacted more than ever before. Sometimes through hugs and love and sometimes through frustration and raised voices.
We’ve learnt how to resolve conflict and how to compromise. We’ve learnt that noise and silence in equal measure create balance. We’ve learnt about trying and failing and how helping one another can feel really good. We’ve learnt about compassion and inner strength and we’ve got to know lots of our neighbours even within restricted times. All of these skills make for happy kids, something that everyone wants, including all the teacher out there.
So, don’t stress & don’t worry about school work and timetables. Go do the things they can’t do at school. Walk in the woods and climb tree’s, cook, play, do jigsaws & board games, make stuff, have water fights, do silly dances, exercise, run, scoot, cycle, argue, resolve, hug, listen and most importantly let them get ‘bored’ so they have to make up their own fun.
The experience they have with you during this time will be something they will carry with them. If you’re stressed they will be stressed and if you’re happy they will be happy. If the routine you currently have is making you miserable then change it up. If it’s working for you then keep going.
On a final note, be kind to yourself and if you need to, ask for help. Your friends, family or social network will be there for you, waiting to lend a hand. If isolation has taught us anything, ti that the connect with have with each other is more important than anything ever before.
Whatever you are doing right now to get through this, you’re doing a really great job.
Sending Virtual Hugs, Sally