As a stay at home mom life under quarantine isn’t all that different for me than a normal day would be, but I was a working mom for over eighteen years and know full well the challenges of trying to get it all done. Some working moms probably thought the option of working from home was wonderful, until they realized that their children and even a spouse was suddenly going to be home all day too.
I am pretty lucky in that my boys are older. They are capable of doing their online homework without a great deal of attention from me, which frees me up to work on a video, edit, or write a new blog post like I am doing right now. I am also very fortunate that we have a home office in the basement which is where my husband is working, making phone calls and Skyping.
For those of you with younger children, your 9 to 5 is going to be more hectic. The truth is you are teaching ABC’s and multiplication facts during this time instead of doing your own job. The good news is that homeschooling should only take about two hours since you won’t have the distractions and interruptions that normal teachers have to deal with. So how do you get your children to leave you alone long enough to do your job and clean the house and cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Art and Creative Play
Cut a trash bag down the side to make a protective barrier on your table top and pull out the art supplies. Play dough, water colors, scissors, glue, construction paper, yarn, and crayons are wonderful for imaginative play. Yes, you will have a mess to clean up later, but this should buy you a good 45 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time. Also, when the children are done being creative just pick up the trash bag like a sack and boom, mess is gone and deposited in the trash. Be sure to hang any masterpieces on the fridge.
PS-Actually take a moment and have your child describe their art work to you. This helps with their imagination. If you truly want to have your munchkins make Pinterest Projects you can, just know you will need to be by their side for the duration of the project. If you want to have time to get stuff done, then just stand back and let them do their own thing.
Pop in a Movie
I know what some of you are going to say, oh no, not screens! How can you even suggest such a thing? I can suggest it because I am a real mom who has been there. Sometimes you just need a two hour window to shower, shave your legs, and figure out what you are going to make for dinner that day. Also, not all movies are created equal. Here are some suggestions for helping to improve your child’s imagination and even learning a bit of right from wrong. I also highly recommend after watching the movie you tell your daughter that, “Yes, she is a princess, all girls are,” and that if you are fortunate enough to have a small stream or river near your house you should go and play Pooh Sticks. Using your living room, some pillows and blankets, and creating Neverland can also be tons of fun!
Growing up my boys watched these movies again and again, even the ones that had girl leads. A good story is a good story, and can be enjoyed by all.
If your child has their own Kindle Fire you will be happy to know they can do so much more than just watch goofy YouTube videos on it. Search the Apps in the App Store for:
Reading Grade 1
Math Grade 3
A wide variety of Apps will appear and you will have you choice of easy to use learning tools at your disposal. Now your child can play a game and learn at the same time, which is always a win.
Everyone knows Candyland and Connect Four, but here are a few new games you might not have heard of, and they are loads of fun.
Blokus Duo is great for two players and is really good at helping children learn spatial relationships. Shadows in the Forest is great because how many game can you play in the dark! Plus it is an easy game that you can play right away after reading a couple directions. Suspend and Suspend Jr. is a great game because it is all about balance and again, thinking mathematically, but all kids know is they are having fun.
If you know more great movies and games for children please share them in the comments! Us moms need to stick together and find ways to have fun with our kiddos, now more than ever in this scary time.
Sending lots of love,