The lives we used to know and have schedules based around are on pause and have been for a while.
Instead, most of us have created new programs, plans, and ways of getting through our days: unfortunately, this isn’t working for everyone.
Children suffered from more boredom this year than any generation in the last hundred years and paired with anxiety and uncertainty around COVID-19; there’s an undeniable learning crisis.
Our kids still have to learn and, if you set it up well, you could help them discover learning is a great way to keep the mind busy.
Here are 7 ways to keep your child’s mind running wild with inspiration while ensuring they get their schoolwork done!
1. Create Function Spaces
Our minds need individual switches to change from task to task. You can help force these switches into flipping by making spaces that are one-use.
This plan may sound wasteful, but setting aside a corner seat for studying Bio-Chem, or a lawn chair for Algebra homework, will help your child set pathways that will help them learn.
Eventually, they’ll be able to sit in a particular place and immediately be able to study, even if they were distracted with their phone just minutes before.
This change can take some time to make functional, so be patient and help your child choose which areas are best!
2. Learn Through Games
Why should learning be boring?
Break out of memorization and page-turning, and instead help them learn things through games.
You can go for a classic, set up a Jeopardy board for your kids to work off, or teach your kids new words with games that they can play on their phones or tablets.
Beating levels, or gaining points, can push them to go further and do more while keeping them from getting worn out leaning over a desk.
3. Mix In Physical Activity
There’s a physical activity crisis in America right now!
Gyms can seem like a liability, but getting out and biking or walking is pitting yourself against the seasons and weather.
Instead, mix in physical activity in other ways! Play catch or indoor basketball by letting your kid have the ball when they get a question correct.
You can also inspire them to get into action by giving them at-home gym equipment like dumbbells.
4. Teach Problem Solving
There’s nothing wrong with some out of school learning! Help your children learn problem-solving in creative ways.
A fantastic way to do this is to ask them to create a baked good from scratch without a recipe. They’ll measure and play with ingredients and figure out what went wrong if it doesn’t go according to plan.
The easiest for this is cookies, but you can have teens make pizza dough or biscuits.
Working around not having a recipe and problem solving backward into a recipe will keep their minds active and their sweet-tooth sated!
5. Offer Rewards They’ll Enjoy
Are there big goals ahead? What about little ones?
Help your kids ramp up the energy and excitement necessary for work by giving them something fun to work towards.
It could mean five dollars to spend on a game app or a social distancing biking trip on trails out of town.
Figure out what kind of prizes motivate your children and work out from there.
Although you can’t, and shouldn’t, promise everything your kids want- you can still give them more incentive to reach their educational goals.
6. Schedule Around Them
Unfortunately, when we’re all home, it can be more challenging for anyone to have time or space designated for themself.
Consider scheduling yourself around your child. If you aren’t working during their class hours, avoid being too loud.
You may see it as an excellent opportunity to vacuum or deep clean your kitchen, but a distraction from noise or movement can keep kids from absorbing new knowledge.
Instead, please keep your child’s minds completely immersed by asking them to help you clean up when they’re not working on classwork.
7. Help Them Find A Hobby To Study
This option doesn’t mean classic hobbies like art or music, but instead, it’s about finding a topic to study and showing them how to learn independently.
Separate from anything they have going on in class, make a family project to learn about something together.
Focus on what your family feels like it’s missing because of COVID. If your family used to travel before this, pick a country or destination together, and then learn what you can about it!
If you like Japan, you can cook food from the island nation while your kids learn the history and fun art projects.
This plan will give them the tools they’ll need for independent study while also showing them learning is a fun task that shouldn’t ever end.