How crazy have the last few weeks been? From our normal lives, going about our every day-to-day business to this crazy, abnormal, out of routine and restricted COVID-19 life! BUT MAMMAS AND DADDAS, we’ve got this! We can get through this – because we always do! We are human and we are made to adjust. We may not like change, we may not want to change, BUT we can change until we can go back to our NORMAL lives when this is all over. Right now, our biggest help for home-schooling our little ones is routine. Trying to keep their life as normal as possible in this impossible situation. They still need structure, they still need free play, they will still need directed play/intentional learning. Just like they experience in daycare, kindy and schools.
‘Vygotsky emphasised the importance of relationships and interactions between children and more knowledgeable peers and adults. He believed that children’s cognitive understandings were enriched and deepened when they were ‘scaffolded’ by parent, teachers or peers’ (Lorina, 2018).’
We, as parents can still nurture our children the same way a teacher/educator would. Even though we can’t leave home, we can still engage our children in activities, interact with them and build relationships with them. I have prepared a little something for all parents that may need a little support, encouragement and help to give this whole thing the best shot! Below is a routine that you can use, adjust and make fit for your family.
NOTE: this is just an example/suggestion. By all means, make this suitable to your situation, add things that I haven’t thought off, take away things that you may not like, include your own routine to make this perfect for your family. There is NO right or wrong! Each family’s routine will look a little different. And that’s perfectly ok! Our lives would be boring if we were all the same <3.
Home-schooling Routine (for 5’s and under)
6.30am – 8.30am ® Wake up/Breakfast/Free Play (depending when your little one wakes; breakfast time and free play time will vary)
8.30am – 9.30am ® Intentional Teaching (this varies depending on the age of your child)
9.30am – 10.00am ® Morning Tea/Brain Snack Time (ensure your child gets sufficient nutrients – give them fruit, yogurt or vegetables)
10.00am – 11.30am ® Free Play (this can be indoor and outdoor)
11.30am – 12.00pm ® Lunch Time
12.00pm – 1.00pm ® Quiet Time and Intentional Teaching (read a book, meditate, listen to some calming music)
1.00pm – 2.30pm ® Free Play (this can be indoor or outdoor)
2.30pm – 3.00pm ® Afternoon Tea
Remember this is only a suggestion for you! This is a general long daycare routine. In the morning during free time let your children explore their toys, let them swing in the backyard. Children learn best through play. As Goodstart Early Leaning (2017) stated in one of their articles ‘it is through play and active exploration that children’s brains are shaped and with that many skills are developed such as creativity, communication, problem solving, resilience, emotional regulation and relationship building’. You can give children a plate and they will create a restaurant – you can give them a cup and they will make you a coffee shop. Their imagination is so far beyond anything that we can imagine!
When it comes to intentional teaching – don’t think of it as something big or major. First of all, it’s a good idea to choose on main focus per intentional teaching. Don’t try and do Maths, English and HASS all in one. Say you focus on English/Literacy – you could get your child engaged in singing the ABC, depending on their age and level they could write the alphabet with chalk on concrete. If you choose Maths, engage your child not only by counting to 10 inside – send them outside and make them collect 10 rocks or 10 leaves etc. Intentional teaching DOES NOT have to be difficult or the most challenging thing to think of, however, it does have to be engaging, fun and age appropriate.
During their free play children can do arts and crafts activities (you could use The Messy Caterpillar Home-schooling Pack throughout this time) or you could print of some colouring in, give them recycled materials to build something with. Once again, it doesn’t have to be something expensive or bought. A child’s imagination will turn any junk into a masterpiece.
Quiet time in the middle of the day is also very important for children to recharge. They are only little and it’s exhausting being active for that amount of time. Reading a book, doing some meditation helps calm their bodies and recharge some energy for the rest of the day. During their free play at any given time of the day – feel free to give them something to do that requires physical participation. This could be as simple as an obstacle course, yoga moves, dancing or a ball game (keep it easy, simple and achievable for them).
And just like that, you’ve heard enough from me! I hope that some of you are more at ease about this home-schooling situation. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, I’m not saying it’ll be perfect and I’m not saying that you won’t have any downs – what I AM saying is that
“WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS … TOGETHER”!
Goodstart Early Learning. (2017). How do Children Learn through Play? Retrieved from https://www.goodstart.org.au/news-and-advice/november-2017/how-do-children-learn-through-play
Lorina. (2018). Child Theorists and their Theories in Practice. Retrieved from https://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/articles/childcare-articles/child-theorists-and-their-theories-in-practice