While for the most part, our homeschool routine has not been greatly affected by the precautions we as a society are taking, such as no meetings and social distancing. Socially, we are struggling.
My children are extraverts like their father.
They LOVE being around people, making them laugh, telling stories, and playing games.
I am an introvert.
I need time away from the constant “mom/ honey can I have/where is the..” chatter.
Our reality right now though, is that my social kiddos are not going ….
to their scouting meetings, they are not going to campouts and hikes, they are not going to church or youth and they miss all of their friends. I am not able to go to the craft store and walk around aimlessly. I cannot go to a bookstore and get lost in the wonders and journeys that books can offer. And I am not getting some “reset” time.
Bottom line, my kids are needing social fueling and I am over fueled lol.
So what can we do? Distract each other. While some people may binge-watch shows, there is only so much we can do of that. My kiddos are very high energy and if they sit still for too long, the attitudes come out with a vengeance. Shows are limited to no more than two a day for my sanity lol. Below I have listed some options we have used to entertain and distract ourselves as well as some we plan to use.
Arts and Crafts
This one is a big hit at my house as everyone is crafty in some way. My older boy loves to draw fantasy scenes, bridges, and ships. My youngest lives to re-use the recycling to create robots, cat homes, or castles. My girl loves to draw animals, play with blending colors and crochet.
Those are things my kids like to do but easier or more simple things that can be done are paper towel roll crafts, paint exploration (at any age this can be fun just taking paint and smearing it around a page to see what you can make), or nature drawing. Examples of these and many more are on Pinterest. I’ve told my kids since they were little you do not need to be an artist. You do not need to be perfect at it. It is just for fun.
Whether you play an instrument or not, you can appreciate and maybe even practice some. I personally play the flute and am trying (whenever I can find the time) to teach myself the violin. My hubby plays the piano and the guitar. My twins have guitars and my youngest loves to drum on things so I am teaching him rudiments.
Youtube is a wonderful resource. Whether you use it to learn about music in general, to appreciate various musical artists, or even to learn a specific instrument, it can help you. I personally think one of the most fun instruments to try to learn is the drum box (cajón). Kids also love to learn the ukelele and I know a few teens who have learned how to play using Youtube.
Also connected to music is singing. You do not have to be a fabulous singer to learn new songs and enjoy singing them together. I personally love to learn some traditional Irish songs that gather speed as it goes. Those are beyond fun to do with the kids. My kids also enjoyed learning “Do Re Me” from the Sound of Music and will randomly start singing it.
Board and Card games
This is probably the thing that people first started to do but I wanted to mention it. We have a 6ft wide, 4 ft tall shelving unit that is FULL of board games. My fondest memories growing up were actually playing board games as a family for days because a hurricane came and knocked out the power again. There are games such as Count Your Chickens, Shoots and Ladders, and even fun phonics board games for little ones. There are games that captivate the older elementary kids into the middle kids like Cat Crimes, Professor Noggin card games, and Dragon Wood. Then for the teens, there are a plethora of variations of Monopoly so they can play one that is Star Wars, Fortnite or Scouting themed, whatever interests them. There are also games such as Canton and Ride the Train that are fun for a wide range of kids (including teens).
My last idea to share involves the kitchen. I have head many parents say that they are reassessing their meal plans. This can be because they are home more and the restaurants are closed or this could be because the grocery shopping trip did not go as well as you had hoped. Either way, you get to experiment in the kitchen and what better way to do that then to include the family. We have made taquitos, pad thai, and even started some baking too. Today, I plan to make some bread with my kiddos. I have made a sweet bread that was a hit and even some keto “bread”. The next challenge is regular bread. I am looking forward to doing this with my kids.
So much has changed but we can still find the positive.
Right now we are all adjusting to changes in our lives. Schools are closed. Restaurants are closed. Parks are closed and we are to limit how many people we are around. Staying home this much is very trying on us all. My hope is that this article helps you enjoy your time together a little more and gives you some ideas for when “I’m bored” is hollered.
Stay Healthy and Enjoy the Journey
Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 8 years now. I am also a military spouse, so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it. As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs, or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.