With social distancing measures and directives still firmly in place for many locales, many parents are contemplating what the upcoming school year looks like as part of the new normal. Thanks to the use of video conferencing technology, distance learning and homeschooling will be the reality for many families at least for the fall. Your child’s physical campus may be your home, which can be a potential source of stress for parents, teachers and students alike. Here are some hacks that can bring some stress-relieving fun to your household or campus.
Establishing a Routine
When working from home, it’s important to establish a routine for each weekday morning. Now that your kids are back to school, you need to set a schedule to keep them on track. Make it a fun activity by using art supplies such as colorful markers, crayons and poster boards to create a weekly schedule. Use construction paper or index cards to color-code the schedule based on the days, or the children themselves. You can use your entryway or a mudroom as a kind of homeschooling control center which not only features the schedule, but also assignments and chores to be completed.
A fun activity might include incorporating meal prep for the week into your Monday routine. This is a great hack for teaching your younger kids how to make their own lunches. Using colorful pens, markers, notebook paper and plastic storage bins, you can organize non-perishable lunch and/or snack items in your pantry and perishable items in your refrigerator. Kids can learn to make healthful choices in putting together their lunches for the week or on a daily basis.
Organizing School and Art Supplies
An important consideration for school at home is to make sure there are dedicated spaces for your homeschooling supplies. Save time and avoid procrastination by using a caddy or plastic drawer sets to organize supplies. Crayons, pens, pencils and other writing utensils can be stored in the various compartments in your caddy. Notebooks, construction paper and drawing pads can be organized in a dedicated set of drawers in a designated area so your kids know where to go for supplies, especially when it’s time for homework.
Designating Homework Notebooks
A little chalkboard paint or paper on the cover of your children’s notebooks gives them a place to write down their daily assignments to keep track of the textbooks needed for homework. Colorful chalks, including chalk crayons, are great for making note of assignments on these notebook covers. It also provides an opportunity for creative expression as kids can draw their names and other decorative elements on the cover.
With a fall semester that looks less and less like what you and your kids are used to, it’s important to prepare. Getting back into the swing of things will be a challenge, but you can make it fun with a few creative hacks that let students use their creativity, imagination and quality school supplies. Establishing routines, maximizing group activities and designating work areas can help everyone get back into a school state of mind.