Dad’s, are you ready for the new normal for school? We are all dealing with life in this new fear based society. Regardless of how you may or may not personally feel about the situation there are some things that we must deal with. The school year is fast approaching and not all schools are going back to school as we all know and love it. There are a variety of plans being discussed depending on where you live and I encourage you to get involved in that conversation. Right now is a really important time for you to get involved with your children’s schooling. If they are even considering in person schooling it is probably nothing like what it used to be. Some plans are talking about alternating days with half the school, others are going to remote learning period. There is a very high likelihood that your child or children will be “learning” from home at least part of the time. Here are 5 things to help your child be more successful this year.
1. Children Thrive on Organized Schedules.
Regardless of how spontaneous you may like to be in your personal life, children do better with a schedule. If you are doing remote learning with the help of the schools then you will likely be on some form of schedule anyway. You can do more to help than leaving it to their school schedule, you are the parent. Optimize your kid’s schedule while remembering they are still kids so we cannot become militaristic.
i) Set and maintain a consistent wake up time for every day.
ii) Make sure they get dressed and don’t let them wear PJs all day, it is a mental game.
iii) Set and maintain a certain meal time that is consistent.
iv) Once you know the school’s schedule make sure your kids get lots of active breaks.
v) Make sure they are eating healthy food, especially breakfast, their brains will work better.
vi) Make sure they are drinking plenty of water.
vii) Limit the TV time after school, they will be in front of a computer screen a lot so we need to protect their eye health.
viii) Make sure they have a consistent bedtime.
2. Create a Dedicated Space for Learning.
The kids need to have a set place that is their learning space. When you go to work you switch to “work mode” when you walk into your place of business. There is a mental switch that triggers in your brain saying “this is where I ‘blank’ ”. A lot of people do not have the discipline to work from home or work out at home. Most people need that physical change to get into the necessary headspace for what they are trying to achieve. Kids are no different. Since they will not be going to school physically, having a dedicated space will help them adjust to “school time.” Keep it clean, organized and prepared with the supplies they might need like pencils, scratch paper and probably some power outlets for computers.
3. Make sure they have Physical Play Time.
Schools that are meeting are cutting out “non-essential” (don’t you hate that false phrase?) classes like music, arts and physical education. Physical activity helps your kids feel better, sleep better and learn better. Physical activity stimulates the brain. If you can, play with them and see if it helps your brain too. As adults we often get too “busy” to play like we did when we were kids. It will be fun and create a great opportunity to spend time and make memories with your kids during this insanity.
4. Organize your own Field Trips
Let’s face it, kids are going to miss out on a lot this year and, as we found out from last spring, it will become trying for them and you. It is up to you as a parent to fill in some of the dead spaces in their education with things they will miss. There are several great Youtube channels that teach kids science experiments, book mark one or two and start a list. If you are anything like me, elementary level science was a long time ago and you can do some at home. Also go to local geographical areas close to you. Maybe you live by a historical monument, maybe a park or water areas. Take them hiking in the mountains or out to a farm (with the owners permission of course). Take your kids’ education outside as often as you can.
5. Be Prepared to Deal with a lot of Frustration.
This is not going to be an easy year for anyone, people who were already homeschooling will be a great resource for you. If you don’t know any home school families to consult with then look for other resources. Here is one for you “Heather Torres – The Homescchool House'' on Youtube. I think she might have a podcast as well, but am not 100% sure on that. Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC01GP6AxyiIJaEz6C4BVEA
There is going to be a lot of frustration for you and your kids, be ready to reach outside your comfort zone to help alleviate it. It’s not your fault and it is certainly not your kids fault. Life is strange right now. How you deal with it will impact your kid’s ability to deal with it greatly.
Right now a lot of us have a lot of anxiety over this situation and that includes our kids having that anxiety. You are a Fallible Man, capable of learning and growing. This situation is an opportunity as a father to grow and really shine for your kids. They need you to be patient, calm and lead positively. They will gain strength if you lead with real leadership and will be able to come out better. Keep positive and help diffuse the crazy, also make sure that you and your spouse keep an open dialogue about what is working and what is not. Support each other and you will strengthen your children.
You probably don’t think you are a teacher, but you became one the minute that your child was born. Helping with schooling is no different than teaching them to make fart noises to piss off your in-laws. Just time, a little effort and a lot of repetition will make everyone smile. You can do this!
Bonus, see our blog https://www.thefallibleman.com/post/investing-101
Maybe you don’t want to teach them finances yet, I would encourage you to, but teach them another thing that they won’t ever learn in school if finance isn’t something you are into yet. My 6 year old is reading a book on starting a business. You can find age appropriate books for just about anything and there is a large swath of useful life value information that the schools were never going to teach them anyway. #Unschooling
Be better tomorrow because of what you do today!