Families across Tennessee and the United States are being encouraged to practice social distancing and self-isolation when necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spending a lot of time in one place is enough to cause anyone anxiety, let alone parents and guardians who are now at home with their kids, constantly. The time away from academics may also cause concern. All schools in Tennessee closed by Friday, March 20 and will remain closed through Tuesday, March 31 after an announcement by Governor Bill Lee last week. Many school districts, however, have already announced their closure through early or mid-April.
Consider some of these action steps that can help your family avoid boredom and keep your kids’ minds growing;
Set up structure. Maintaining a routine will be important for your family, especially younger children. Consistent routines and rules help create order and structure in your day, which will go more smoothly when you and your kids know what to expect.
Learn at home. Some school districts are working to move to an academic online platform. Scholastic Magazine has created a learn at home guide. Time at home can also be used to cultivate your child’s curiosity and take a deep dive into a particular topic. Consider long-term projects, like keeping a journal, to help keep kids thinking, reading and growing.
Make time for active play. Physical activity will help you and your kids stay happy and healthy. For younger kids, bring out the blocks and toys and let their creativity go. Consider other games like charades that appeal to a wider age range and encourage older kids to make up a dance or work out to keep them moving. GoNoodle offers a wide variety of dance/movement, yoga and meditation videos. Teens likely will not say no to a Tik Tok dance challenge.
Tour a museum (online). Several museums across the U.S. and world have opened their exhibits to online tours. Take a virtual tour of some of the most well-known museums in the world from the comfort of your home. Some museum websites may also have ideas for art activities that can be done at home.
Give kids more responsibility. While they’re at home, get kids more involved in cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. They’ll gain important life skills and you may get a break! It’s a win win!
The Governor's Early Literacy Foundation has partnered with ReadyRosie and the Tennessee Department of Education to bring Tennessee families an exciting new way to keep their young kids engaged while spending more time at home. Parents, guardians and caregivers can register online to recieve a weekly playlist of short "Modeled Moments" learning videos that are demonstrated by real families in real environments.