Raise your hand if you were also thrown into homeschooling and have been spending the last 2 months trying to figure it all out. Hands up here. The road hasn't been the easiest, we have 2 very different grade levels happening over here and I've never googled so many math questions in my life. But there is hope!
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How To Create a Study Space For Kids
The biggest thing that helped our kids settle into this new routine was creating a study space unique to them. My daughter is fine sitting at her desk in her room, doing tween things while she works. My son though uses alternative seating at school and has movement breaks built into his day.
What that meant was, getting him the adorable little desk I found was not going to fly. What is a mom who needs her office space to be hers to do? Cue the music, Oriental Trading once again swoops in to save the day.
If you thought Oriental Trading was just a go to for party supply needs then you have not even scratched the surface of their massive online store. Oriental Trading has everything you need to set up your new study space. From fresh craft supplies to educational tools, and boredom kits to fun games, parents can grab what they need to turn distance learning from blah to fun.
If you are looking for learning resources, Oriental Trading. Outdoor activities? Oriental Trading. Alternative seating options? Oriental Trading!
Where we live the county has provided a lot of work for the kids to stay busy with, so I was good on those resources but like I mentioned, I needed to make him a space all his own. I also needed to find ways to play and maybe learn that would break the boring, same ol same ol routine.
At Oriental Trading, I was able to pick up a massive floor pillow, art supplies, a GIANT beach ball globe, and more all on a dime. I love their price points don't you?!
During class time he sits, very relaxed, and gets through his math, reading, and science. His setup includes a jumbo blue floor pillow to get comfy with and various school supplies including lined dry erase boards perfect for practicing math facts and handwriting skills.
When it's time for a brain break one thing he enjoys doing is watching drawing videos. I use these hanging art clips along with some twine to show off his masterpieces. Other decorations include inspirational classroom posters and a black board letter kit that I use to write messages on that give him a boost when he's feeling frustrated or down.
His other favorite break activity is getting outside. Bike riding, scooter gliding, and lots of soccer and basketball. Even though he enjoys doing all of that it can get a little repetitive. I surprised him with this- a 40″ Globe Beach Ball! We take turns throwing it back and forth and looking up facts about countries we find on the globe. I can't wait to take this thing to the beach!
Distance Learning Tips
As a former teacher, I never imagined myself thrust back into a classroom situation, especially not under these circumstances. However, we all need to find our groove and make it work. This is what I've learned not only from being in a physical classroom but also as we have navigated this uncharted territory.
1. Take Breaks Often
This isn't a 6 hour normal school day. If your child is showing frustrations, take a break. No one is stopping you! Often a 10-15 minute movement break is all they need to refocus on the task at hand.
2. Rearrange Schedules As Needed
Sometimes a small break isn't enough. They are frustrated, you are frustrated, and everyone needs to chill out. Do you normally work in the morning? Move it to the afternoon and use the cooler morning temperatures to get out for a walk. Gross weather? Try snuggling up on the couch with a good book or head to the kitchen to bake something tasty.
3. Take a Mental Health Day
This is an overwhelming time for adults and children. We all need to be mindful of how we are truly feeling inside. Exercise, fresh air, and spending unstructured time together can help boost your spirit and get you ready to tackle whatever comes next.
4. Play With Your Kids
I don't mean just lay on the couch and watch them play. Get involved in what they are doing. The nice thing about all this together time is that no one can claim busyness as a reason why they can't do something with their families. Enjoy these moments and when your kids look back on this period in their lives they will remember that while it might've been hard being stuck at home at least they have lots of laughs and fond memories of being with their parents.
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