Homeschool Fatigue During COVID-19
Now that remote learning and homeschooling have become part of the new normal of COVID-19, many parents are feeling the effects of the added pressures at home. Keeping kids motivated, helping them understand complex topics and encouraging them to stay on task can take its toll on the most upbeat parent. Here are some tips to help deal with homeschool fatigue you may be feeling during COVID-19:
Make a plan
If you don't already have a routine that you and your children follow daily when it comes to school, it's time to make one. A daily schedule brings familiarity and security, especially when so many things are out of your control. On the other hand, if you have been using a routine, try moving some things around. For example, try art before exercise, a cooking lesson before science or do math problems on the patio to freshen things up and prevent boredom.
If your child is as tired of remote learning as you are, then look for new ways to motivate them. What is important to them? Is it play time outside? Is it a certain snack? How about a field trip to a park, a bike ride or a video call with the grandparents? A motivated child will be more interested in school and make your job easier.
If you are overwhelmed with teacher and school emails, create an email address just for school matters. Designate a time once a day to review emails and act on them. This way it is not constantly interrupting your own routine of work or household duties.
If you haven't seen the inside of a classroom in many years, it can be very difficult and taxing to help children with homework. Use free resources like Bedtime Math, educational mobile apps or Khan Academy, which offers short YouTube videos to explain subjects ranging from math to economics to science.
Talk to other parents with children in the same grades. Figure out who is the best at what, and pool resources to help each other. Is there an avid reader in the group who can help kids with grammar? Anyone good at math? Who is the best organizer? Who is the creative type that can come up with outside-the-box solutions to keep everyone motivated and engaged? Create a virtual parent team to tackle different tasks.
Get everyone involved in the household
The kids are home. You are home. It makes sense for everyone to contribute to household chores. Involve kids in tasks they can handle like peeling carrots, emptying small trash cans, sweeping and dusting. Kids will gain a sense of pride and accomplishment and you will get some of the mundane chores off your back. If you can afford it, tie chores to an allowance to help kids learn how to manage money. Or set up a chore chart where kids can work towards a special treat, like an outing or a favorite dessert.
Incorporate life skills
Life is not all about conjugating verbs, memorizing historical facts and figuring out algebraic equations. While the kids are home, they can learn firsthand how the world works, from cooking and household upkeep to how to save for a future vacation or treat. Teens can learn financial literacy lessons through checkbook balancing, budgeting and online bill paying. Children can learn how to be money smart by simple exercises like learning to count money to save for a special toy or game.
Teach the benefits of downtime
Not every schedule has to be packed with activities, learning exercises or busy work. Children, just like adults, benefit from balance. Plan field trips and fun activities like baking cookies together, dance parties, outdoor sports or walks around the neighborhood into your days. It will mix things up and take some of the pressure off you and your kids.
Get them into reading
There are so many benefits to reading. It helps with vocabulary skills. It enhances creativity. And it keeps kids quiet. Libraries offer free access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks that can be downloaded to a tablet or phone. Try graphic novels, comic books or book apps for a reluctant reader. Also, let kids choose their own books, as they will be more likely to read something they're interested in.
Take care of yourself
Carve out time in your day for yourself, even if it's only 10 minutes at a time. Try a meditation app. Lock yourself in the bathroom and listen to classical music. Step outside and soak in the sounds of nature. Find a 10-minute workout video on YouTube. Periodically recharging your batteries throughout the day will help you regain balance and feel like you are in control.
Ease homeschool fatigue during COVID-19 by taking care of yourself, mixing up your routine and finding new resources to help you and your kids stay motivated.
Julie Landry Laviolette is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, health and living well. Find her on Twitter at @JulieLavio.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.