To all our parents, carers and friends, You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your children. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You’ll limit technology until everything is done! But here’s the thing… Our children are just as scared as we are right now. Our children not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends. Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behavior issues with your children. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally - it will happen. You’ll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behavior in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances. What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love your children a bit more. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing. Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single child is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your children because they don’t want to do maths. Don’t scream at your children for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it. If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your childrens’ mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those 4 weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day. We have created this evolving page with useful links to help you keep the children engaged while they are at home with you. We have grouped them to try and help you find what you might be looking for. We will continue to add to this as time passes, so keep popping back to see if there is something new for you to try. If you have any suggestions you can send them on to the email address at the bottom of the page.
Keep yourselves busy, stay safe and follow the government guidance. We are here if you need us, just call school or email.
See information below for links to various activities and websites for helpful information:
Books: The 3 books below are to share with young children to spark a conversation about current issues that might be worrying your children. 'George' is about loss and bereavement,' Pim' is about not being able to go to school and 'Teddy's Birthday' is about having a birthday during lockdown.