We are barely into a week of our new temporary normal, and some parents are experiencing defeat and difficulties with homeschooling/teaching. I would like to encourage you to not be hard on yourself. This is new for many of us, and there is no handbook. Give it your best shot and try to do what you can.
Our children’s attention span at home is undoubtedly shorter than the structured format at school, and we must remember, its normal. As we progress through, our children will become increasingly comfortable with mommy and or daddy being the teacher, and we WILL see better days, I have faith.
Until then, there are slight things we can TRY to do to help alleviate the stress?
Utilize A Timer - This is a terrific way to stay on task and alert the child that the task is not complete yet. This is also helpful to use for transitions. “Hey, once the bell rings, it's time to clean up and begin reading.”
Time Block - I have found (speaking with friends) younger children with significant energy are easily distracted, and 15 minute intervals of learning during this time is the best they can do with handling tasks. Try breaking up tasks in that manner and see if that helps. There is nothing wrong with trying something new.
Negotiate - I know, who wants to negotiate with a child? Typically, that is not my style BUT we are enduring a situation completely foreign, and they don’t understand why going to school is not a viable option because people are sick. After all, in their minds, classmates are always coughing and sneezing.
Time Out - It's the inevitable. Do not feel discouraged. The high levels of energy do eventually need to be managed. A good old-fashioned “sit in the corner” or “sit on your bed” can be just the break they need.
Yoga/Stretching - I know I sound like a “fufu” mom. (LOL). Call it what you like but, during these times, you must pull out all the tricks. Seriously though, this can help calm any anxieties or anxiousness the child may be experiencing. Heck, this may help us as well.
If & Then - This is a classic method to helping children stay on task. It makes them aware that the “thing” they want to do is not out of the question, they simply have to complete something else first to reach what they want.
I know, this is a lot to take into consideration. The entire situation has been leaving some families concerned about their ability to teach their children in a way that will be productive and or adequate. The answer is, YOU ARE TRYING, so that is adequate enough!