The current state of the world is a bit unnerving. No matter where you live, you’ve probably been affected by COVID-19 somehow. Maybe you know someone who’s had the illness, or maybe your country/state has faced strict rules. Events have been canceled, stores have been shut down, and schools have been closed. 

These are scary times. Depending on when you’re reading this, it’s my hope that we can look back on these times and realize how lucky we are to get through them together, and come out stronger on the other side. 

With that in mind, I’d like to touch on the last point I made above; schools being closed. Nearly 30 million children in the U.S. alone find themselves out of school because of this virus. Many parents are finding themselves at home with their kids all day, and while keeping them engaged is important, it’s equally important to keep teaching them. 

You can use this unique opportunity to be more mindful and boost your confidence at home by working with your kids. Maybe you had a poor work-life balance before you were forced to slow down. Let this be a time where you can be the one your children look to for learning. Not sure where to get started? Keep reading for a few tips. 

1. Have Them Create a Story

Using programs like GoogleSlideshow, your kids can put together a story of their time at home, or they can make up a story and present it to you. It’s a great way to teach them more about how to use technology while inspiring creativity and getting them to use their imagination to create something new. 

2. Make Math Meaningful

You’ve probably heard kids ask when they’ll use certain aspects of math in their daily lives. Maybe you’ve even wondered that a few times in your own life if you weren’t a fan of math growing up. 

So, it’s important to show your children just how much you do use math on a regular basis. Applying it to real-world situations can help your child to see its importance, and they may be more willing to try it if they know it will somehow make a difference in their lives. Ask them to help you with dinner, and use addition and subtraction with certain ingredients, like pieces of fruit. 

Measurements are a great way to introduce fractions to kids, too! They’ll likely be much more interested in learning what ¾ of a cup really means if they’re baking cookies with you. 

3. Plant a Seed Garden

Science truly is everywhere, and when your kids can see it unfolding before their eyes, they’re more likely to be interested by it. One way to keep science alive in your home is to start a seed garden. It’s something you can do indoors on a small scale, and your child can watch the progress. 

Have your child create a chart for each type of seed you plant, and record how they are germinating throughout your time at home. Which ones do better with different conditions? Which ones seem to need more water, sunlight, etc.? Your kids will love seeing how the seeds change each day as they start to grow. 

4. Talk About Wildlife

Thankfully, there’s nothing stopping you from being outside, even if you can’t leave your own backyard. There are still learning opportunities everywhere. If you see an animal, ask your child about it. You might consider questions like: 

  • Do you know where that animal lives?
  • What do they eat?
  • How long do they live?
  • Do they have babies or lay eggs?

Chances are, once you start asking questions, your kids will have some of their own, so be prepared with some fun animal facts (Google can be a big help here!). 

5. Re-Focus With a Puzzle

Let’s face it, when everyone is cooped up for long periods of time, there are bound to be some moments of craziness. Your kids might complain that they’re bored, or they might not want to focus on “schoolwork.” 

One great way to get everyone to calm down and re-focus is with a puzzle. Set up a table somewhere in your house and start a challenging jigsaw puzzle that the whole family can do. If your kids start to get distracted or wound up, suggest that they go work on the puzzle for a few minutes to wind down and re-focus. It’s a great way to challenge their minds, and help them to feel accomplished when they find a piece here and there. 

The learning doesn’t have to stop because your kids aren’t in school. Instead, you can take advantage of everyday opportunities that encourage lifelong learning skills. Use this time to be an educational mentor to your child, and they’ll never forget it. 

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