You Have All You Need – Families Finding Peace During Challenging Times
Wisdom from a 20+ year veteran Stay-at-home-Unschooling Mama!
If you are like so many of us and have your entire family at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and you are wondering how in the world you are going to get through this time together know that you probably have on hand all that you need to keep everyone sane, engaged, and “homeschooled”.
Also know up front that you do not have to recreate the school environment (aka “School at Home”).
Trust me, after having taught in the elementary schools for years and then homeschooling for decades all you really need is to be present and focus on the health and well being of your family including priorities like sleep, exercise, and healthy foods. The rest will follow naturally with a few extra bonus suggestions from P.L.A.Y. below, and in future posts, to help get you started!
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You are also welcome to contact me directly HERE by email or HERE by snail mail as I love to answer questions and provide support for parents as well as receive kiddo art work+letters and will write back! FYI – Our internet is slow up in this neck-of-the-woods so my e-response may be slightly delayed.
Here’s a few suggestions to get you started for calming practices during chaotic times:
- Creating a rhythm to your days is key to calm so family members of all ages have a sense of what to expect.
- Simply displaying a sequence of sticky note squares on the bathroom mirror or kitchen cabinets with things like “breakfast”, “story”,”tidy-up”, “screen time”, “crafting”, “outdoor play”, “puzzles”, “care for pets”, etc. will work nicely to give a flow to your day and can be rotated throughout the week for flexibility. A specific chart with exact times isn’t required or necessary for most households – however you decide what matches for you especially if working from home is being combined with kiddo care.
- Encourage ALL family members to make additional sticky note squares with activities and projects they would like to do AT HOME and weave them into the plans. They will feel more included and empowered and yes even your 2 year old can have a voice in this! Think things like building challenges – legos, cardboard boxes, etc. or 5 minute silly singing serenades to break up the day.
- Communicate clearly each day that you are all in this together and in order to meet family expectations everyone has to be open and honest with what they understand will be happening in the days ahead. When things do change, as they seem to be rapidly overnight, be forthcoming with new news and course correct together.
- Be a super strength spotter by being open to new possibilities and opportunities to connect and truly see what makes your family members tick. If one family member has a keen ability to bring humor and levity to situations ask them to put their super powers to use and generate creative ideas to keep the household morale going (ex. a joke served up at every meal time). If another family member has great empathy and compassion skills perhaps they could be creating cards to mail loved ones or posting notes within the house that let everyone know they are loved and thought of too.
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Special Edition Part 2 of COVID-19 + “Schooling at Home”
or as I like to call it
P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan!
Tried and true golden nuggets and silver lining sparkles arriving by blog post HERE with more practical pointers for how to fill your days at HOME and outdoors (with required physical distancing included).
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Stay tuned, stay home, and stay safe everyone.
Know that how you act and respond today will have a positive ripple effect in your home, in your community, and make all the difference in the outcome of this current worldwide challenge.
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And if you have found this helpful please pass P.L.A.Y. forward.
We are ALL in this together.
Sending much love, e-hugs, and even smiles to help light the way,