Okay, so we find ourselves at home with one or more squirming, tussling, arguing, irritated kid who wants to go and do anything but stay at home, but can’t. To provide more educational structure to each day, should you put on a homeschool hat and give it a try? Nah. I suggest that you keep your parent/grandparent/older sibling hat on.
We can’t just change hats and expect children to respond differently, as families struggle to take on the myriad challenges of surviving this pandemic.
Rather, I suggest that you stick with who you are and what you know. That said, on any day—in fact on every day—you can conduct an inquiry about anything at all that you find exciting. Encourage your brood to do the same and then share their discovery. Everyone can enjoy learning something new and then telling others about what they learn.
Make the learning invitational, however, not a requirement. Seek to celebrate EVERYBODY’S strengths, yours included. Keep it loose. Maybe after dinner is cleaned up, invite each family member to share what they did that day, what they read, what they created.
- Each family member, YOU INCLUDED, can showcase an idea for something about which other members might explore, research, and learn about. It could be an enthusiasm, a discovery, something read, something heard, something seen on TV or online—anything at all.
- Everyone can invite the rest of the group to join them with further exploration, expanding their interests.
- Children of widely diverse ages may find a piece of another’s focus of interest to them and take off from there, or simply applaud their inquisitiveness.
- Keep it light and fun, encouraging each person to contribute to any conversation or activity or to courteously opt out. Focus on making shared experiences positive for everyone.
This pyramid presents ways of sharing information in ways that humans absorb it. (Click the pyramid to visit its source website, “Vital Kids Medicine.”)
All of the ways to present information are listed down the right side of the pyramid with corresponding retention of the information listed on the left side. All presentation methods have interactive value. Choosing which way to share depends on how much information the presenter wants listeners to take away. (I recommend sharing in ways represented toward the powerful base of the pyramid: Demonstration, Discussion, Doing, and Teaching Others.)
So, during this time of redefining “normal” routines, let’s all keep our respective hats on as we enjoy and invite those around us to have wonderful, educational fun!