Happy Monday! This week a lot of you are headed “back to school” aka distance learning – an equally exciting and bittersweet season. Change and adjusting to something different during unprecedented comes with its challenges, and I would love to give you some bright and cheery hope to keep in your back pocket over the coming weeks! I also trickled in some notes of encouragement you can save to your phone and use as your wallpaper, because I care about you. Xo!
also – SCROLL TO THE END OF THIS POST FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD
THAT WILL BRIGHTEN YOUR KIDS’ DAY WHILE THEY LEARN FROM HOME
Our oldest started preschool over the summer, and her first day back to “school” will be on Wednesday. Even though she will be attending school, we did all we could to prepare her heart and mind for school, new friends, learning time at home, and setting boundaries because of covid.
Back to school means a lot of heart checks for us parents too, since school looks a lot different now. Read on to find out how you can best equip yourself and your kids to succeed through distance learning this fall!
you are the gatekeeper for your home, heart, and now, homeschool
When you are genuinely excited about something, your kids will be too. They feed off of our emotion, which is why it’s so important to have a good attitude about the new school year moving majority to distance learning However you choose to feel externally about the new regulations for school this fall, it will reflect into your kid’s attitudes towards it as well.
Make sure you try your best to create a positive, exciting, fun, and supportive environment for them at home: get your learning area organized, make breakfasts extra special, schedule plenty of outdoor time, take a break midday and do something non-school related, and relaxxxxxx – don’t be tense! Do your best to show your kids that you are here to help them through this. Take lots of breaks to make sure your kids aren’t on the screen all day, and set aside intentional have family time where you can talk about things other than school. And repeat after me: I can do hard things.
how to make going to virtual school extra fun
Back to school gear doesn’t need to be costly or extra, especially since a lot of schools are starting with virtual. So even though your kids probably don’t need a ton of new school clothes or a new backpack or lunchbox, you can still make back to school shopping fun with some new homeschool things!
For little kids: have them choose a special marker set/crayon set, grab some new play doh, wooden music instruments, or counting activities. For older kids: have them pick out desk decor for home, like a plant a pencil bin, create a faux “locker” with a whiteboard on the wall and decorate with locker accessories. All that matters is that you make it feel like a celebration, something to be excited about even though it’s not what was originally planned. Here are some ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram for back to school festivities:
create a fun little station/cart full of supplies to keep them busy
subscribe to a STEM kids box like Kiwi Crate (5+) or Tinker Crate (9+)
create a faux “locker” (aka a magnetic wall hanger) for them to decorate
create a learning space with a rug, small desk, file drawer, and study station
highlight their fav school subjects by keeping those activities easily accessible
make up your own classes to incorporate based on age: cooking school, home ec, drama, etc.
distanced park dates with school friends to do casual schoolwork activities together
how homeschooling teaches your kids better life skills
Looking back, I wish my middle/high school offered classes on advanced art techniques (fiber art, sculpture, wood shop), how to file your taxes, how to budget and save money, cooking classes, family and consumer science (aka home ec), car shop, wood shop, relationships with people in personal life and in business – literally all the things I needed to KNOW as an adult that actually matter.
Right now, you have this amazing opportunity with your older kids at home to teach them these things! Make a mini course about cars where you teach them to change a tire/measure and add fluid, and change the oil. Make a mini finance course where you can teach them about credit cards, checking and savings accounts, how to budget, and wise spending. Make a mini home ex course where you teach them to be a basic human and do laundry, have recipes memorized that will actually nourish them, how to mend clothing, fix a clogged drain, replace a sink faucet…you get me? You will be setting them up to be a successful, participating, appreciate, and smart member of society 🙂
realize the importance of play
As your kids grow older and move up in grade, their time outdoors spent learning, playing, and exploring goes waaaay down. I’m sure you are realizing this as the majority of your kid’s coursework is asked to be done behind a screen. But the great thing about having your kids learn at home is that you can get them outside way more than they are at school!
Have them write their papers out on the lawn. Do STEM activities while you’re on a hike. Hold art class at the lake. Have PE at the beach. That is the beauty of learning from home – you can use a specific curriculum as your base, and then customize it as best you can to your family style/your kid’s needs/methods of learning. Being in nature allows us to feel grounded, connected, calm, adventurous, secure, confident, and all the things. Even if the most you can do is go on a daily walk, that’s better than nothing 🙂
So many of us are in the same boat of having to adjust to this new schedule of learning from home, and I want you to know you’re not alone! Even though you might feel isolated, frustrated, inadequate, or ill-equipped to hold the role of teacher…God knew this season would come and He’s got you, girl. He has equipped you immensely and given you the capacity you’d need to get through this, so don’t doubt yourself for one second thinking you can’t do it ❤ You can, and you will. Now to the fun part – download the freebie I made just for you:
**download note: I designed these note cards to be used to write encouraging notes to your kids each day or each week, as they start virtual learning from home. You can also use them to write affirmations for each child and keep them in a space they can see daily.
There are two color tones to choose from, and multiple designs of each! Print the cards on card stock for better quality, and use sticker paper to print off the sticker page – use the stickers to add extra flair to your kid’s noteboooks, binders, laptop, and/or planner for the school year. If you use these designs at home, please tag me on social media (@theminiapartmentblog) so I can see how you use them, and to share your space in my stories!