Yesterday, the PM announced that schools and nurseries around the UK would close down for the majority of the children. This situation is worrying many parents and for valid reasons. It's not easy to self-isolate with children. It can get quite challenging. However, we are here to support you and give some tips we think will help you go through this difficult time.
1. Stick to a routine
It should be noted that for the well-being of your children, it’s very important to keep a routine and to not change their daily schedule too much. Self-isolating is not only hard for you so it is important to keep things as normal as possible and to keep them away from all the anxiety. Waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday is a good step.
Make sure you stick to one schedule everyday, you want to make sure they study but also have breaks and free time. They will obviously not be spending all their day studying like they used to in schools, however it’s still important for them to learn something everyday and try to focus for a few hours each day. Here’s some things to consider when writing the schedule: Reading time, maths, free time, meals, physical activity and breaks. You also want to keep an eye on their screen time. When being at home all day, it will be inevitable for children to play video games and watch TV but it should be limited to a certain extent.
2. Limit play dates
One big question parents have is whether or not to have play dates. The best option would be to avoid as much social contact as possible and limit it to family members. Social distancing should be taking seriously. If you really want to have play dates then try to limit it to 2-3 kids at once. Make sure you wipe down toys, video games, door knobs and so on, as often as you can. For more information on this matter please follow this link.
3. Avoid outdoor spaces
Avoid playgrounds at all costs! It’s probably the worst place for your child to go to right now as it’s the perfect host for bacterias and germs. If you want to go out with your child during self-isolation, riding a bike in a quiet area is a better idea. Avoid as many people as possible. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, staying home is preferred.
4. Make lessons more fun
It’s no secret that children struggle to stay focused for a long period of time. You need to make sure lessons are diverse and fun! You can have a look at the teacher’s playbook, hands on activities, online learning and worksheets for example.
We recommend you check out Read Conmigo. You will find a great selection of free children's books in English and Spanish. Reading has plenty of benefits but is also a fantastic way to learn a new language! They also have wonderful learning ressources and educational apps. If you want to teach your children without much effort, try to show them documentaries. Nowadays with all the video streaming platforms available, it's so easy to find new things to watch everyday. There's plenty of educational content available as well! (here’s a list from the Washington post if you’re not sure where to start!). Online classes are also a wonderful way to learn away from school. We will offer free online classes next week on Facebook live so don't forget to go check it out!
5. Enjoy some family time
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be at home with their loved one so try to make the best of this difficult time. Thus, this is a good opportunity to have some quality family time. Your children will be happy to have more attention than ever. If you’re not sure what to do, you can easily find lists online of indoor activities you can do. Here’s a few suggestions: puzzles, board games, reading, cooking, facetiming families or watching Youtube (check out our channel!). Being at home doesn't have to be boring! Make sure you're setting up a positive environment for your children.
We hope this will help you go through these next few weeks. Don’t forget, you’re not alone struggling, many parents are self-isolating with their children right now all over the world! If you need support, you can always reach out to other parents through social media, especially on Facebook groups. If you would like to join us for a free session you can send fill in our contact form here or send us a message on Facebook.