Due to the importance of the need to contain the spread of the dreaded #EbolaVirus, the federal government has moved the resumption date for all private and public schools to the 13th of October, 2014. This further extends the holiday time for all children, to an average of 3-6 weeks. The news has obviously come with mixed feelings.
Some parents are excited that they get to spend more time with their kids and do not have to begin the process of ‘school runs’ or just excited to be able to add more time to their holidays away from home. On the other side of the divide, is another group of people who are wondering how they would be able to manage the additionally enforced holidays effectively. It is a situation that was just unplanned for.
One thing that all parents must do therefore is to awaken time management. Kids do get bored easily and it would be absolutely important for parents to figure out engaging activities to occupy this period of time. At this time, kids know they should have begun school and are beginning to get into the groove of learning. So, here are some tips you should try.
1. Discuss the reasons why they have to be home explaining the importance of the federal government’s decision. What a great way of getting children to learn strategies of decision making on a national level!
2. Talk extensively on why this time was designed for learning and should be used for that specifically. Here, you are teaching responsibility.
3. Act like a teacher! (It doesn’t seem to me that you have a choice in this time anyway). Create a time table of key concepts or topics to be practiced on a daily basis especially for subjects like Math, Language and Sciences. It could include topics learnt in the last school year that needs to be reinforced. Practice makes perfect! For those who can get into their natural born teacher instincts, this will be fun! Be careful to do this in age appropriateness by assuming some limits. Remind your child to show dedication and responsibility.
4. Reward good behaviour always – not in monetary terms but with frequent hugs and positive comments. You could take a nice walk – a phenomena most people do not get to share with their kids in #Nigeria. Talk about climate change (google it if you need to know more about it), and identify things in the environment during your walk that could help you make up a great conversation with your child. Do this within your neighbourhood for safety.
5. Talk about their dreams! Ask them what their dreams are. No child is too young to dream. Discuss what the possibilities are in positive ways. This is a good time for you to find out a lot more about your child’s interests. Ask them to write about it and when you get back from work, review it with them. For kids within the early childhood stage, they could be made to express theirs in drawing and colouring their pictures. This makes a good strategy to help them build essay writing skills. You are helping with corrections where necessary and appreciating their work all the time.
6. Ask your kids to redecorate. It could be their room, your room or the living room. Ask them to come up with ideas of what can be done and how to go about it. If plans fall within budget for you to buy anything, go ahead and have fun with them. If not, then have them rearrange existing stuff or recreate with available materials. Remember, this is age restrictive but all kids can participate fully in their own little ways.
7. Create time for indoor sports and games too. Depending on the age group, it could be simple tasks such as asking them to try bouncing a ball 20 – 200 times, skipping with a jump rope or building castles with cardboards…yes, it’s doable!
These are to mention a few. All of the above and more could make up your daily time table. Get into your creative juice! You will definitely find many more great ideas.
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