My Kids Are Home For a Month! Now what do I do with them?"

My Kids Are Home For a Month! Now what do I do with them?"

These strange times offer great opportunities for new ways to learn. 

While teachers are scrambling to learn new technology and thinking how nice it will be to deliver a lesson without interruption, parents are scrambling for things to do with their children. I have some great ideas for teaching valuable skills during this time that will benefit parents for a lifetime! I am all about teaching life skills while satisfying educational requirements. So, here are a few things you can teach your children while they are home while meeting some academic requirements:

  1. Learn how to do laundry: They can be taught how to separate clothing. This is teaching them how to categorize using different parameters. Then show them how to use the washer properly. This includes measurement of detergent and softener- that satisfies the math requirement. Separating clothing according to hang-dry or drier friendly is another higher level thinking skill. Describing how the fabric softener works to fight the static electricity satisfies the science requirement. (You'll have to look up the reasons for the static electricity). Folding and separating clothing all at once and then separating it according to the room it is to be delivered is training children to be efficient. Delivering the laundry to rooms is exercise and satisfies a PE requirement. Putting the clothing away immediately is teaching executive skills. 

  2. Teach them how to wash a floor: My grand children think this is the best thing to do at my house. I show them how to scrub the floor with scrub brushes to some good ole soul music. They are given different tools to see which are the most efficient. Then I add in a little Rock n' Roll. They move their bodies to the music and get lots of exercise. PE requirement checked off. Then they learn how to make water angels as they soak up the water from the floor using old towels. They learn about water absorption and how a variety of materials reach their saturation points at different times. The then chart the results on graph paper. They finish with ice dancing with towels on their feet. This counts toward music and movement and PE at the same time. They can then squeeze the water out of the towels and see how much water they recover.

  3. Teach them to bake and cook: There are lots of ways to teach fractions, measurement, addition, multiplication, and division while cooking. They can make a variety of cookies by molding them like clay into different shapes- art is satisfied along with math. Once the family tries the different cookies, they can chart family members' opinions about their creations based on different criteria. Math again is satisfied. 

  4. Plant flowers or vegetables in your garden: Firstly, immunity is increased by working in the soil. That's how you'll get your antibiotics, so no need to panic. They can be responsible for watering and weeding them daily. 

  5. Teach them to vacuum the carpet: Have them predict how many rows they will get if they vacuum in straight lines. Then have them make different patterns in the carpet with their vacuuming. This can satisfy both math and art. 

  6. Cleaning the toilet is a good lesson in why we want to clean up after ourselves when living in a home with others. Consider teaching your children how to clean the toilet using an infrared light to see bacteria. It can turn into a fascinating science lesson. It also made him aware of how sloppy he had been in the bathroom.

  7. Clean the windows. This exercise requires two people. I love this activity. One person stands on the outside and one on the inside. One person is the guide, while the other is to follow their pattern of movement. As they spray and wipe, they are making sure they leave the area clean. If the guide sees a spot that the other person is missing, it is his/her responsibility to continue going over it until the outside person is successful in removing the spot. After five minutes, they change roles. This is a great exercise to build concentration and increase attention. 

  8. Teach them how to wash and rinse the dishes: They love playing in the bubbles. Have them wash unbreakable items unless they are older. I'd rather lose a class or two in teaching this valuable skill. They can use gloves to protect them from breakage. Once they are done, they can dry the dishes with different drying towels and test their absorbency.

These educational activities will benefit parents the most if they haven't allowed children to do them before. Children thrive on novelty, so since they are novel activities, they should hold your children's interest the next few weeks. Your house will be clean and your children will have a new set of skills you can assign as chores in the future. 

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