Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, many things have changed. We work from home, go to school from home, and are even stuck trying to find the best entertainment options from home as well. While this is difficult for adults, it can be downright devastating to many kids. They are no longer able to see their classmates, hug their teachers, or even exchange Valentines. So, as a parent, you should be doing your very best to help your kids adjust in a manner that is as healthy as possible. With that in mind, here is a list of ways to help your kids balance school and fun at home.
One of the top things you can do to create a balance between school and fun is to set boundaries. Although it may seem antithetical, setting boundaries will help your child focus better during school and more thoroughly enjoy their playtime. If you have free time or a fun activity planned, you can simply tell them to finish their assignments, and then they can have some playtime. This often makes children excited to complete their work because they know there’s an award waiting.
You will find that some of the top teachers in the eyes of students are those who often give out prizes and rewards. Why should homeschool be any different? Offering rewards for completing difficult assignments, for being ready to work on time each day, etc., are all great ways to keep your child engaged, learning, and having fun. You can cook them their favorite snack or let them watch some Star Trek Voyager episodes after everything is finished.
Another great way to help your child balance school and fun is to play motivational music. In the school setting, there are plenty of teachers who incorporate music in a wide variety of lesson plans. While your child is working at home, you can use music to help motivate them to finish a task, to spark their creativity, or even to help them study. For instance, studies have shown that playing classical music for children can help stoke their cognitive abilities. So, if your child is having a stressful day or is having issues focusing, playing a little Bach in the background may be all it takes to get them back in the game.
Create a Playroom
One unique way to help kids create a balance between school and fun is by literally sectioning off the house. By having one area that is only for school and another area that is solely for play, you will be bringing more balance to the life of your student. In doing so, you can simply tell them which room they are due in and what time, like teachers do in the normal school setting.
The room for studying should include things such as desks, lamps, chairs and educational toys. On the other hand, the play room should be much more fun. You can include a TV, video games, balls, playmats and more. Also, if you are looking for something super comfy for them to sit on, try a modular sofa. These are sofas that come in many parts and can be formulated in a number of ways. Not only are they comfortable, but older kids love to move them around and make new designs with them. This makes them an ideal addition to a playroom.
Although it’s not always fun to play the role of disciplinarian, it is sometimes necessary. For instance, if your child is having an especially rough day in terms of staying on task, you need to explain to them that just like in regular school; they need to complete their work at home as well. In extreme cases, you may actually need to threaten them with loss of privileges (i.e., losing access to the playroom). However, hopefully, those times are few and far between.
Whenever possible, try to incorporate documentaries into the lessons. Not only are these more entertaining and make for better engagement, but this is also a way to make the lessons more memorable. So, if your child is having trouble learning a subject, you may want to find some documentaries to help them better understand the information.
Overall, every parent/child dynamic is different. Adding the titles of “homeschool teacher” and “homeschool student” to these dynamics has made things more complex than they need to be. However, by taking heed to the tips mentioned here, you will be helping your kids balance school and fun while at home.