Another day of quarantine has come and gone and you are starting to feel like you’re at your breaking point. We get it, we’re feeling it too.
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to invest time in caring for yourself. When your cup is empty there is no way you can take care of everyone else (let alone teach, work, clean and just breathe).
We put together a handful of ways to take care of ourselves to we can get through this together. Here’s what we came up with.
Keep your expectations reasonable
On day one you probably imagined a month of back-to-back lessons, eager kids and gratifying improvements in their education.
We’re a bit over a month in and let’s just say … that’s not the picture you’re seeing. It’s okay, you can readjust those expectations without throwing out learning altogether.
Every second will not be filled with earth-shattering learning but there will be beautiful moments packed into every day.
Set reachable goals for learning
Give yourself (and your kids) a break from time to time. It’s OK to put them in front of a movie every now and again, or to do whatever it takes to give all of you some downtime.
Don’t forget that even these break activities can be used to support learning in their own way. For example, watching a movie could be followed up with writing about an idea from the film, or drawing a favorite character.
Keep in touch with other parents
You’ll need to lean on your network. No one understands what you’re going through quite like other parents. Share the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’d be surprised how much just chatting through it can do for your mental health.
Schedule a weekly coffee catch up over Zoom, join parent support groups online – whatever format works best for you.
Flexibility is your friend
Rigid timetables and six-hour days won’t work. Accommodate for ups and downs, and your own working commitments. You could set aside schoolwork for mornings or mix it in with play times throughout the day
When things come up, remember that you don’t have to drop everything to continue with your plan. Finish early or start late where needed. Just try to keep some overarching structure.
Leverage EdTech and online resources
The internet is full of free resources for online learning that will make your job easier while also keeping your kids engaged. EdTech programs, apps, and online videos are being leveraged by parents across the globe, so take advantage of what’s out there.
Enjoy the moment
This is a scary but special time in our lives. It’s an unprecedented opportunity to slow down, spend time with your family, and just breathe.
Learning isn’t just about books, screens, and curriculum mandated outcomes – it’s also about having fun and exploring in a hands-on way. Build a fort, cook together, read a story, play a board game, get active – enjoy your time together.
Ease up on yourself
You’re going to make mistakes. Your partner is going to drive you mad. Your kids are going to ask all the wrong questions at all the wrong times. And there are definitely going to be days where you question whether you’re really making a difference.,
But that’s OK. Cut yourself some slack and celebrate the small victories instead of focusing exclusively on the challenges. Did you keep your youngest on task for a full 45 minutes? That’s a win. Did you manage to coax your teenager out of bed before 10 A.M.? Go you!
Focusing on your successes will make it that much easier to face the challenges of home learning each day. So pat yourself on the back and take it from a teacher – doing your best is more than enough.