How do you explain to your children that normal life has to continue during the lockdown? I have to work but now have 3 children at home who I am also trying to get to do some school work? Have you got any tips before I tear my hair out?!
Some things that may help are first not putting yourself under pressure to replicate the classroom in your home , remember that your children like us adults will be struggling with the huge change to their routines and missing their friends and structure of school.
Most schools have set work for children to do but if they are struggling with this encourage them to do work around what interests them, if they like animals do some fact finding and write and draw about their favourite animals, if they enjoy sport they could write about who they would have in their team, send them on a bug hunt if you have access to outdoor space, they could chose their favourite meal and write a shopping list for ingredients, build a den for reading and quite play,
Try and break the day down in to hour slots so they have some activities they don't need your attention for so you can get the work calls made, another hour where you could all sit together and all do your work so you can answer any questions with out having to keep getting up away from what you need to do.
Don't put yourself under pressure, find a routine that works for your family - that may mean you doing more of your work earlier or later in the day, there are lots of ideas online of different routines, there are also lots of free resources online including PE and dance lessons, Music, sign language lessons, Zoo cameras. Use your children's interests to spark some ideas of different ways of learning.
This lock down gives us the opportunity to look outside through windows, stand at open doors to see and listen to the natural world, enhancing childrens' observation skills.
I love nature, wildlife, the countryside and the big sky which paints a picture for us everyday, if we but bother to look.
Everyday, all day, I intermittently take a few seconds to look outside to see what I can see. What bird is that standing on the fence, what was that one flying by? What bird call was that? What is that pigeon struggling with, it happened to be a large twig for it's nest which it could barely manage to carry.
Walking by a hedge I could hear a crunching sound, most unusual, what was it? Bending down to investigate I discovered a mouse eating a lollipop stick.
On another occasion I witnessed a hare (deer family) carrying a bundle of straw, it appears very few people have seen that.
Some years ago I witnessed a squirrel suckling two of it's young at the base of the bird table, an unusual and beautiful sight.
All of the above seen and heard from my house or within a short distance of it. I don't live in what most people would call a beautiful part of the country although it is to me! I am a fenlander.
I must mention the sky which some days is forever changing both in it's colour and the clouds. My grandchildren and I look at a cloud and decide what shape it is, it may resemble an animal, an object or anything we want it to. Sometimes we will paint, draw or write about it or make models of things we see.
The sky at night, each night before getting into bed I open the bedroom window and look at the stars, planets and the moon.
I must not forget all the plants and trees coming to life at this time of year. The many butterflies, bees, insects and spiders who weave such beautiful webs all of which we can try to identify and what part they play in nature. We can encourage children to take an interest in our natural world and have fun and learn whilst doing so even during this period of lock down we are going through.
When lock down is over I know where I'm going - fishing!
There is some great advice already been given to you, I would just also suggest that you take one day at a time and although you, like many other parents/carers at this time want a normal routine to carry on, I think it is also important to be clear and help them to understand these are not normal times. No one has ever been in the situation we are all facing before. Don't be afraid to share in an age appropriate way, why you need to stay safe etc.
Break the day up into bite sized chunks, and try not to stress if they don't complete as much school work that they could've. Each day is a new day, so try again the next day. Continue to praise good behaviour, perhaps try to have a treat at the end of each week, and if you're able, spend some 1 - 1 time with each of your children perhaps doing a craft activity together or playing a game.
On the humorous side - what better time as now to teach your children life skills - such as housework, food management
Wishing you all the best,
Parent Support Volunteer, Fegans