Are you growing weary of masks, sanitizer, social distancing, quarantining, and online learning? Pandemic fatigue has definitely settled in, but we can still keep kids engaged and thriving while also flattening the curve. Hybrid learning is a challenge, but it opens the door to new ways to explore and get excited about topics of interest. Here are a few ways to keep children engaged and learning, even in the midst of COVID protocols.
Model excitement for learning.
Children watch our reactions to challenging situations. If we show positive attitudes and excitement for learning, it can be contagious. Even though hybrid learning is difficult, we need to strive to embrace it and accentuate its positive aspects. Keep negative words at bay, and focus on what you can accomplish with a little flexibility and a desire to learn and explore.
Empower with facts.
Help your child understand why we have protocols in place. To slow the spread, many schools and events have been canceled. This may leave you feeling disconnected, but focusing on the good that comes from the COVID protocols can be empowering. Help kids understand that proximity is not the only way to stay connected. We can make choices that will slow the spread of this virus and help us care for one another.
Learning online can be tiring, so make sure to keep kids physically and mentally active. Take breaks and find fun and engaging ways to move and explore. This will help young ones refocus and reboot—ready to take on more academic challenges. Kids need to exercise their minds and bodies to stay strong and healthy, especially in the midst of this pandemic.
Stay connected with friends.
Protocols have limited our kids’ social interaction with peers. Try to stay connected with social media opportunities that will excite and keep friends in touch. Video chat with classmates about assignments and special projects. Create a kids’ book club and have virtual read aloud times and discuss the texts. Set up a video lunch date with a friend and share what you have been learning. We may be apart, but we can still stay in touch.
Make time for reading and math.
Inspire a love for literature by making reading a priority each day. Choose a book with rich language and set aside a few minutes to read together with your child each day. Talk about the story elements, make predictions, and simply enjoy the storyline together. You can also build your young mathematician’s problem-solving skills with a quick problem of the day to enhance strategic thinking. These short, fun bursts of learning can truly inspire.
Enrich, explore, and enjoy!
Find an enrichment project that inspires your child. Encourage art, music, engineering, scientific exploration, and athletic activities that spark thinking, encourage excitement, and keep children actively engaged.
Participate in a project that fuels your passion.
We may be socially distant, but we can still touch the lives of others. Encourage children to take on a project that will help or inspire someone. Create thank you notes for those serving on the front lines of this pandemic. Paint pictures to send to family members. Hold a virtual food drive for a local food pantry. Clean out your closets and take gently used items to a charity organization. Focusing on the care of others can be cathartic and empowering for us all!
This has been a difficult year, but times like these are catalysts for creative thought and ingenuity. Challenge your child to find ways to enrich their learning and to make their minds and bodies stronger. Replace the negatives with positives. Instead of focusing on what we can’t do yet, focus on what we can do now. We can inspire optimism, persistence, and a love for learning no matter the circumstances.