Our first week of homeschool was rough.
Rough like if the Wild West and the Middle East struck up a fiery affair then the condom broke. There were tears, screams, hair-pulling and I might have refused to turn on the camera one morning. #flatout
IT. WAS. REAL!
The boys and I have found our rhythm and I'm feeling wayyyy more confident to take on whatever the school year brings thanks to these 10 essential items to keep you and your young scholars thriving:
Comfy seating: Comfy seating is essential when working for hours with little physical interaction and so much screen time. These questions will help guide your seating selection: Is it the right size, Is it too soft, proportional to the table, well lit and close enough to an adaptor or socket without tripping anyone up? Don’t underestimate the power of great back support guys. I’ve seen some #SFH home photos with kids lying on rugs for school but I don’t think it’s a great idea for encouraging good posture. I found seating that's functional and stackable here
WIFI connection: There’s Everyday WiFi and then there’s Quarantine Level WIFI. Everyday WIFI’s low pressure, it’s the bed in the guest room that ends up with laundry you never came around to folding. Quarantine level WIFI is that king size in the Master Bedroom. Just because your WIFI’s good enough for playing games and watching Tiktok shenanigans does not mean it’s good enough for school work and grumpy kids who are learning to mute themselves. Lawd if I hear “you’re on mute” one more time.... Check out this brand's Extender.
Snacks, water & sugar-free drinks: Sugar-free will save you in this time, you’ll see. These kids run on full tank once breakfast hits the spot and it's tough getting them to sit still when the Zoom credits start rolling. Setting snacks and hydration nearby gives them something to look forward to and it gives you some more time to figure out what to serve for lunch especially if you happen to be working from home. Be intentional about snacking though - Buy in smaller portions or invest in portioning into Ziploc bags to avoid ruining their appetites completely or too many bathroom breaks. Warning: 2020 Teachers are docking points for too many bathroom breaks, eating on camera while learning and refusing to turn the cameras off. Parents, this year is not for play play.
Headphones: These are great for dealing with distractions i.e creaky floors, pans clanking, parents on their own Teams calls…. Hearing loss used to be something associated mainly with seniors/ older people but like so many other “old people issues” has weirdly become common among kids. Researchers are blaming prolonged exposure to noise and they may have a point. I still hear my mom’s voice in my head telling me not to stand too close to the TV because it could hurt my eyes. Today I sound just like my mom every time I tell the boys to turn the volume down. Whatever helps our babies, right? Get a pair here.
Kid - Friendly Workout videos: This makes for fun activity especially if you have kids of different ages in the house. Considering the way they’re eating everything in sight and the fact that habits are easily ingrained in kids, a workout culture might be just what we need in our homes in this period. What do you have to lose? You’re probably not taking that high falutin’ diet seriously and you are too scared to try your pre-Covid denims on. Again, what do you have to lose? My kids love these fun workouts by Moe Jones.
Bulk Stationary: There’s a pencil monster in my house. How else do I explain the mystery of disappearing stationary? The kids swear they don’t know what happened and I don’t know what happened so who’s stealing the pencils and scribbling monster selfies on all the writing pads? Bulk buy guys, so you’re not running around acting like the crazy Dad or Mom while your kids’ friends giggle into their juice cups. This one's a great choice.
Dictionary: I know this one’s considered old school but I still think it's necessary because interactions are really limited right now and there seems to be a ton of colloquialisms flying around these days. Am I the only one who feels like no one speaks English anymore?
Printer: Now is a great time to get one of these if you’re working from Home and haven't already invested in a printer. Printers are only going to get more and more valuable from here on out. It’s useful for families with kids still learning to write, do their numbers and even for the older ones to create flashcards among other things. See here.
Blue light glasses for kids: When I think about how much time my young kings are spending online now, Blue light glasses are a must have for them. I worry about the short + long term effect of all this screen time the kids have got during quarantine coupled with Remote Class. Blue light glasses reduce strain which also helps avoid headaches, sleeplessness and eyesight degeneration. I totally sound like my mom right now but the growing years are important so Blue light glasses it is. This one's a pack of 3.
Air: Air out the school room regularly. My Father In Law taught me this one. He swears by it, airing out kids rooms for 5 to 10 minutes, even in the winter. TBH, I was a bit horrified the first time he suggested it, my first son wasn’t even a year old at the time and he had challenges breathing properly. We had tried a ton of old wife + online remedies but this seemingly small suggestion made a huge difference so I’m a proud Fresh Air Advocate now.
So proud of the Parent Teacher community right now. What are your biggest concerns or challenges with Homeschooling? Leave a comment.