Parenting through Panic–the gift of the pandemic

Many states in the nation have closed their schools and many more will be following suit soon. Aside from the concern parents are having over health, safety, work schedules, and activities, they are also facing the dreaded idea of having their children with them 24/7 for an unspecified amount of time while being encouraged to stay home. This could cause any sane parent to panic. Have no fear, I am here to help!!

There are only 940 Saturdays between the birth of your child and the day they leave for college.

As a homeschooler, I am at home with my children 24/7 most days. I am not by any means claiming to be an expert, but I thought that I would include some activities and resources that we use on a regular basis to help. When facing a stressful situation, sometimes we forget options because we don’t readily use them. My list isn’t all inclusive, but I will try to include many suggestions to encourage learning and stave off boredom.

  • Play with shaving cream on a table
  • Paint with water on the sidewalk/sidewalk chalk
  • Bubbles outside or in the bathtub
  • Create an obstacle course in your living room
  • Build a tent and have an indoor camping trip
  • Do yoga–Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube or Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube for older kids
  • Read story books together
  • Choose a longer chapter book and read aloud together
  • Encourage kids to play pretend
  • Look up and learn origami
  • Have a paper airplane contest
  • Play outside–free of germs
  • Board games
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Paper bag puppet shows
  • Go hiking in the woods
  • Take a virtual vacation–choose a country, research it, watch videos and pictures, prepare food, and play games from that country.
  • Sing Songs together
  • Select pictures from a magazine, cut them in half, glue to paper, and have the child complete the picture.
  • If you need help teaching your child or keeping up with learning, check out https://www.khanacademy.org/signup It is a totally free education site run by actual educators. I use it daily!
  • Have children keep a writing journal. Here are middle school prompts: https://www.journalbuddies.com/journal_prompts__journal_topics/365-writing-ideas-for-kids/
  • Here are high school prompts: https://teens.lovetoknow.com/High_School_Journal_Topics
  • Take an online class–this site offers classes at a very inexpensive rate https://outschool.com/online-classes
  • Learn to draw: Art for kids hub on YouTube
  • Look up science experiments on YouTube
  • Let your kids plan and prepare meals
  • Teach your kids to do the laundry or other household chores and let them be in charge while they are off.
  • Encourage free reading time or have them read to one another. Many of the classics are free on kindle or your library may have online books.
  • YouTube has many books that are read aloud for younger kids.
  • Create a stop motion movie with the stop motion video app. You can use Legos, small, toys, or even drawings. We like stop motion studio
  • Take virtual tours of museums or famous places.
  • Do a research project on a fun topic: animal, place, amusement park ride, person etc.
  • Write and perform a play together

These are some of our favorite things to do (not including video games and streaming services) and I hope this helps your family. I know that this unplanned time at home is a burden for many homes with 2 working parents. IF you have the ability to stay home with your kids, I encourage you to look at these days as a gift. As a parent, we get 940 Saturdays with our kids. These days are bonus days!! Make them count and make memories because we aren’t promised 940 Saturdays.

If you have fun ideas or activities that you love doing with your kids when forced to be home bound, include them in a comment on this blog that way we can all share ideas! Remember, what you consider normal, someone else may consider extraordinary!!!

If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.

Abigail Van Buren

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