By: Connie Masak, APNP

“I never wanted to do it yet here I am.”

As students around the world are missing school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are finding themselves not only working from home, but teaching and learning along with their children.

This is not the typical homeschooling experience. Most parents who homeschool will tell you that they spend much more time outside of the house than inside. With the “shelter at home” order, parents are feeling the stress of uncertainty. In an effort to continue a daily routine some parents may feel that they need to be the curriculum enforcer. This will most certainly lead to more stress and frustration for parent and child at a time when we need to focus on minimizing personal and family stress.

So how do we accomplish learning without schooling? In an effort to reduce tensions related to “schooling” let your kids make a list of things that they would like to do and learn. Possibilities include math and chemistry through baking, botany through gardening, or astronomy through the Stargazer App.

Look at old family photos and create a family tree. Have your child pick a photo and write a story about the photo. Play cards, read books, color, sing, or dance! YouTube has some fun sing-alongs and dance videos available.

Try to be aware of the fact that your children are missing the socialization with their school friends. I’m not sure that teachers give out class lists with phone numbers like they did in the “old days”. If you don’t have a list of phone numbers, email the teacher. Maybe she can send out an email to the class asking for parents who are willing, to share phone numbers. Allow your kids some screen time to skype, or FaceTime with the friends that they are missing.

There are a multitude of websites to assist you in coming up with ideas for learning. I found these particularly helpful and easy to navigate:

I hope that I have been able to give you some inspiration and some ideas to keep you and your family stress free during this unpredictable time. Remember to stay healthy and safe!