Updated: Apr 22, 2020
This COVID-19 pandemic is spreading rather quickly. Earlier, President Trump announced that the U.S. is now in a state of national emergency, which isn't a need for panic but more so a call for expediting much-needed resources to help keep this virus at bay. There has been an influx of cities across the nation slowly shutting down, and with that comes the shut down of schools. For homeschooling and traditional schooling families alike, one common goal between us is figuring out how to keep our children occupied and not go stir-crazy. So what do you do when everything shuts down?
Keep it simple: Go for a walk or a run. Unless the virus becomes airborne (and even then you would have to be in close proximity to someone who is contagious), outdoors is not off limits! We are easing into the season of Spring which means a brighter sun giving us it's amazing rays full of Vitamin D. These days we can use as much vitamin consumption as possible. If you have a pet, get them in on your walks or runs too. Physical activity has been proven to release endorphins that cause us to feel good! Sun + feeling good= happy kids and happy family! Think about games you enjoyed playing as a kid. Have you taught them to your kids yet? Play with building blocks, Legos, jump on a trampoline, draw, watch a little tv...anything to keep the spirit light and happy without you having to do much to create that environment.
Create a schedule or routine for your children: Children of all ages and educational backgrounds thrive off of some sort of schedule or routine, and there IS a slight difference. A schedule follows a more strenuous time frame, where you are more consistent with abiding by the clock. Specific lengths of time are set to focus on one particular task. Routines are similar in that they allow lengths of time to hold the focus of a particular task. They are different in that they do not abide by the clock, but by the length of time. For example, a schedule will show your child completing Math from 9:15-10 am, while a routine will show that your child will complete 45 minutes of Math today or 45 minutes of Math after completing a previous task. If you know that your child thrives off of a more meticulous plan, then create a schedule for them. If you know otherwise, create a routine for them. Don't go overboard with what tasks they will complete because you don't want to overwhelm them. Your goal is simply to provide structure.
Create a peaceful environment for your household. We are all keeping track of news updates, receiving emails from companies we hold memberships with, talking to family & neighbors...all related to this new outbreak of the Coronavirus. It is ok to stay up-to-date on this information, but it is NOT okay to allow your children to soak up all of the same information, regardless of their age. With this being constantly thrown in our faces from media coverage, at some point your children will be made aware of the Coronavirus and its' effects worldwide. I suggest you talk to your children about what is going on and reassure them of your plan to handle the current situation. It could be explaining to them that they will be staying with a friend or grandparents while you are at work, or showing them that you have enough food and supplies to last for a few days, but most importantly that you are going to be with them no matter how scary the news makes this pandemic seem. Pray with your children. Have them write down anonymous prayer requests for you to pray over for them. Give them the opportunity to pray for the world or specific people who they know that may be being affected by this pandemic. Set up a peaceful atmosphere with opportunities for family Bible study or devotion, family prayer time, or family reading time. It is important to have this time, reassuring your children that everything is ok and you are keeping them as safe as you can.
Allow opportunities for fun, allow recurring & expected opportunities through scheduling and routines, and allow opportunities to welcome peace into your home amidst this chaos. I am including some resources for you to help you along these trying days. We can do it! Don't get overwhelmed. Live in the moment. Embrace your family, embrace your children, and enjoy the time that you are able to spend with them at home.
You may have seen a photo of a list of YouTube learning channels circulating the internet. I thought it was so cool that I updated it, revamped it, and created a printable PDF file for you (because I like to have the paper in my hand, and have printable copies for my children). You can click the photo to download your copy!
As we navigate possible quarantining & local businesses closing, we are trying to find fun and engaging activities for our children to participate in without us being in public. This download gives you a few options to look into for your family. Click the photo to download your copy!
Here are a few more suggestions on activities & resources for your children to enjoy!
"Fun & Free Ways to Learn from Home" $2:
Suggestions for activities to do with your kids at home:
12 Museums offering Virtual Tours:
Google Document with Education Companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings: