GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Students in Michigan are going on their third week of school at home while many parents are juggling remote working and educating their children.
Lifestyle contributor Emily Richett of HAPPY PR understands the stress working parents feel right now. “Like most parents, I’m going on three weeks of wearing all the hats,” Emily shares. “There is not a lot of planned education or lessons happening at our home, and that’s OK. Instead, we're squeezing in natural learning between my work meetings and meal planning. We are getting in the kitchen together, we’re playing, and we’re just trying to make the most of it.”
Dana Roefer is the co-founder of Journey Academy, based in Ada, that uses a student-driven model to encourage students to think independently, take responsibility, and embrace challenges.
“The first thing I want parents to know, is that children are natural learners,” she shares. “You don’t have to put this additional stress on yourself right now.”
Emily and Dana shared their top tips for parents to make the upcoming weeks and months, a bit easier.
Create a family contract - have a meeting with your children and decide what values or rules matter most. Put these up on the fridge or in a visible spot so everyone can see it. Patience may run thin in the coming weeks. Use the “family contract” as a way to bring the entire family together to set an overall expectation of how you’ll work together.
Keep it simple - Embrace curiosity and let your children learn in natural environments. They can work on math and measuring skills while baking. Encourage them to write letters to family or friends to work on writing. Take a walk in nature to discover signs of spring. You don’t have to have a lot of resources or special books to encourage learning, creativity and curiosity.
Set an example - Even as parents, you can still set the example of leaning into learning and growth. If your kids see you reading, completing a puzzle, or doing handwork like knitting, they’ll be encouraged to do the same. Find simple activities everyone can get involved in and you may find it gives your children- and your entire family- more rhythm than structured lesson plans.
Free Resource: Acton Academy founder Laura Sandefer is the author of ‘Courage to Grow,’ a resource for parents who want to discover compelling ways to learn and grow. It is available for free on Kindle for a limited time and also for purchase on Amazon. To learn more about Journey Academy, visit journeyacademy.org.
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