Well, here we are. It is 8:30am on a Wednesday morning and I am sitting in my home “office” looking out a window listening to my kids racing through our home at an unprecedented speed. I am pretty sure my two-year-old just set a land speed record.
These next few days, weeks—or dare I say months—will be tough to navigate, so I want to share a few thoughts on how to best manage the situation while ensuring our kids continue progressing as students, humans, and citizens of our global world.
Step 1: We Must Take Care of Ourselves
My wife was in such a hurry to transform our home in to a preschool and early childhood center that she forgot to take a few moments and think about what she needed first to ensure she could be there 100% for our kids. The news, the world, the pandemic—it’s nuts. Process first. Determine the routine that will work for you.
Step 2: Remember That Kids Are Resilient
It’s okay to help them to understand what is going on. If our children can be educated about these difficult times, the strangeness of suddenly having school at home might be easier for them to adapt to.
We started this journey by sugar-coating reality: “It’s an extended spring break,” “We are trying something new,” etc. But I quickly discovered what works best for our five-year-old who notices EVERYTHING is simply the truth. She doesn’t fully understand the scope, but she gets it enough that she can adapt.
Step 3: Create Without Worrying About Perfection
Too many people are pushing themselves to make sure their kids don’t slip, don’t miss out, don’t move backwards. The reality is there are teaching moments everywhere and we can work together to ensure our children learn as much from this as they would from their classrooms. Utilize online resources, bake cookies and talk about fractions, read together on your couches—there are endless ways to keep our kids entertained and engaged in learning.
Step 4: Don’t Forget to Play
Everyone needs to play. Mom. Dad. Aunt. Uncle. Whoever is in charge of our students. We must make time to play. Go outside, explore nature, remove the tech, run around, provide an environment that promotes health and wellness through play. As an example, I have been dusting off my “tag” shoes and I am ready to dominate two kids, ages 5 and under.
Step 5: Find the Joy in This Moment
While the fear of the reality outside our homes is unprecedented for many, there is joy to be found in the time we spend together. I am a “glass half-full” kind of guy. See the opportunity in front of us to be with our families, adapt with our families, and truly live with our families.
I wish everyone health and wellness.
Matt Levine is the Brand Manager for Moving Minds. He holds an Master of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Drake University. Matt came to Moving Minds in 2018 after working in higher education for more than 10 years, serving time in student life and activities and leadership development programming. When Matt is home and not chasing his two kids Ellie and Will around the yard (who are typically chasing their dog Ruxin around the yard), he enjoys cooking with his wife Anne, and embracing the outdoor activities that Minnesota offers!