Okay Work-From-Parents (aka right now, Everyone),
Let’s do this.
Our family started to self quarantine about this time last week because both my daughter and I had non-Covid19 illnesses, so friends, I come to you from the future. This is not easy. This is not normal.
This is also well within your super powers.
Working from home is tough enough. You have new challenges you’ve had to add to your plate in managing your workload, managing your mental state in isolation, and your oddly comfortable acceptance that putting on real pants just isn’t a part of your day anymore.*
One of the things I’ve realized, is that my child does not see me as an authority figure when it comes to education. Sure, Mommy can teach her a thing or two throughout the day when a question arises, but try and work through the complications of drawing the letter “S” and everyone loses their minds. Where she may have respected a daycare teacher to help her through a learning curve, as her parents we are not given the same clearance. When it’s her mother or father, she rejects it as if we are being conditional with our affection. (We aren’t). What we think is encouraging is seen as “mean,” and as my three year old put it so succinctly, “Mommy, you are not my best friend anymore.”
Listen, teachers should straight up get basketball money for what they do for our kids each day. You may not have known to the extent of which you should be thankful until now, but hey, we’re here.
I’ve grabbed a collection of resources here that have been passed on to me via friends who are educators and other parents who find themselves in this desperate situation to add structure to their child’s day while away from school. Most of these will have differing age ranges to which they cater and I hope you find something for you. For our pre-schooler, we are doing twenty minutes mid morning and twenty minutes after “quiet time.” Which by the way, good friggin’ luck with quiet time, my kid hasn’t slept in YEARS.
Truly parents, you’ve got this. Please share and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional links and resources you find helpful for others.
First up, my favorite so far: ABC Mouse. These are interactive games that are good for various ages and grades. There's currently a thirty day trial in which you can see if you like the product but you can also subscribe monthly or pay what I believe ends up being about $45 for a year. (Please check me on this). Your kids can also make their own avatar, choose a classroom pet, and even choose their teacher. It's cute. You can do activities on an iPad (mine was glitchy) or using a mouse and laptop/desktop computer.
Next up, have good looking famous people read books to your kids. Storyline Online is The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website. There's countless books on here and a true Reading Rainbow quality to it that gives you the guilt free screen time feeling you've been dreaming of, parents. You'll actually want to watch with them.
This is Scholastic Learning Online BookFlix. It also gives your child opportunity to have books read to them, but with follow-along text. Afterwards, there are activities to allow them to answer questions about the story as well as learn real life facts about things that may have been included within the story. For example, we read something about a some cartoon bunnies but then got to learn about real bunnies afterwards.
AND Susie Allison also known as "Busy Toddler" on instagram. Find simple games, sensory projects, and learning opportunities with everyday items. She's gonna be your new best friend. Follow her HERE.
Good luck everybody.
*Hi, me again. Please put on real pants in the morning. This is not just me taking opportunity to make a silly joke, but a tip I’ve learned quickly. If you work from home, self-care and respect needs to stay in tact. Give yourself the same amount of time you would before your normal commute to have a cup of coffee and eat breakfast. Then put on pants. Comb your hair. Wash your face. Brush your teeth. The reason for this is easier than you think. It’s because if you don’t, your day will start to blend between work and non-work (Netflix) and you will find the timeframe in which you go full The Shining stir-crazy to come sooner than you expect. Try your best to separate the time in which you work, and when you “play.” Your brain and family will thank you.