Make It Fun: Make it fun

20 Apr 2020

Make It Fun

You’re working from home, the kids are off school, you can only go out for essentials and exercise. Self isolation could mean whole families are together, all day, every day for more time than they’ve ever been.

How do you cope without at best having niggles or at worst having full blown disputes – and not being able to let off steam?

Educational psychologist Zubeida Dasgupta told the BBC that structure is important. She knows from her own experience the need for flexibility.

LOOSEN UP

Having certainties through a bit of structure could really help,” she says. But not too rigid. Her original schedule with 30 minute chunks is now less rigid and more focused on ticking off tasks each day. “We had to loosen up in terms of accepting they are going to watch telly,” she says.

DON’T TURN YOUR HOME INTO A CLASSROOM

Mind website offers strategies for teens facing what it describes as a new (temporary) normal, including staying in touch with friends and dealing with cyber-bullying. 

Eloise Rickman, who runs courses on home schooling says while children thrive on predictability, especially when life is
changing around them, learning at home is not simply replicating school at home.

It’s not necessary to do six hours of learning like in school, she says, as lessons will be one on one and so more intense. Any schedule should be more like a “flow” – rather than something strict. She suggests creating weekly or daily activities and then read the plan out or “stick it on the wall”. She recommends making spaces for children to do arts or craft – for example covering a coffee table with newspaper and arranging pens in mugs – and even moving furniture.

“If you don’t want the kids looking at the TV for five hours a day, think do we need to rejig the furniture? Do we want to think about pushing tables back so the kids have space to run about, especially if you have a flat.”

“This is a time we need to prepare for our houses to be a bit messier. Having kids about all day, it’s going to get messy.”

fun tips

TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Her advice to parents at home with children is to think about themselves first. “Children respond so much to us and our leadership. Before you go down rabbit holes looking for curriculum think about how to support yourself first because you are that bedrock.

“Even just opening a window and taking 10 deep breaths, doing a free three minute meditation or writing down 10 things you’re grateful for.”

For further information about Mind: mind.org.uk

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