Director's Column: Uncharted Territory - Routines, Reinforcement and Resources
This is uncharted territory for us. Many of us have questions about how long this will last, how strict we need to be about seeing other people, and what we are going to do with all this time spent at home. Kindergarten screenings have been cancelled, extracurricular activities have been suspended, even the library has closed! We are all going to have to get creative over the next weeks and, possibly, months. The teachers and I have discussed how we can help reinforce the work we have been doing in the classrooms during the time you are spending at home. Each Monday, the teachers will be sending you some activities you can do with your children throughout the week. We hope that will help you manage your days sequestered at home! Here is some additional advice from NESCA: Create Routines – Children thrive on routine. Consider keeping their regular bedtime and morning routines, sitting down for lunch at the same time, and writing out a daily schedule so that they know the plan for the day. Keeping these small things consistent can help our kids to feel regulated, calm and make a potentially scary situation feel much more predictable. Use Screens Wisely – Many parents will no doubt be working from home and have significant to-do lists of their own. While watching movies and favorite TV shows is likely an inevitable – and in many ways beneficial – tool to pass the time, consider exploring some more educational screen-based options as part of your child’s day. Resources such as National Geographic Kids, PBSKIDS.org, ScienceDaily.com, educationworld.com, TIME For Kids, Smithsonian Tween Tribune, among others, can help to provide more academic content, including Social Studies, Science, Current Events and more. Commonsensemedia.org is also a great resource for finding age appropriate options. Move Your Body – While getting outside for some fresh air is the ideal way for our children to move their bodies, this may not be an option. Thankfully, there are some creative ways to make sure our kids get in time for gross motor movement. Consider options such as GoNoodle.com, Cosmickids.com and Gaia.com for whole body movement and yoga videos. If you are looking for options other than video-based activities, consider building a pillow fort, keeping balloons off of the ground, having a dance party or setting up a home-made obstacle course. Bolster Life Skills Education – The process of teaching our kids to become functional adults starts at birth. Consider spending this time teaching some skills in the home: have kids help with the process of doing a whole load of laundry from start to finish, work through a recipe for dinner together or clean surfaces around the house while explaining how to safely use different cleaning products. All of these experiences help a child to understand their future role as independent adults.
Work on the Broader Executive Functioning (EF) Skills – EF includes skills such as problem solving, time management, goal setting and organization. Provide sorting activities, or play some problem-solving games such as Heads-up, Charades or Guess Who. We will miss you all over the next weeks! Please let us know how you are doing, and we hope we will see you soon!