Concerned? Optimistic? Maybe a little bit wobbly? Will just push through ...?
If you are anything like me, you will have experienced a heady mix of feelings and emotions over the past 10 days. Here at The Crazy Bee, we certainly don't have the expertise to comment on our current state of affairs and attempts to predict the future have always been 50/50 so ... we thought the best we could do is try and provide some practical guidance and help. A list of top tips and links to other places we think are well worth checking out in an attempt to make this potential time together as stress free and worthwhile as possible.
1) Communicating with children
As with any tricky situation, keeping an open, two way dialogue is key. Stick to the basic facts, tell the truth and explain you are always available for them to ask questions and share their worries.
As the potential for the day to day structure of your family life may change, possibly over a prolonged period, be upfront about it, and be clear about what your expectations of them will be. Their role in the family, living, working and learning together, being a team.
Stay grounded with as much normality as you can, distraction is always a good technique, as are fun and laughter.
Here are some other links you might find useful:
2) Home learning
It feels like a big challenge. I have one that would rather eat worms than do her homework and one that's happy to sit down and do it - but only if it's perfect and when it isn't - oh boy! However, needs must and we believe that with focus and structure, there is the opportunity to achieve great things. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information online so get googling.
TOP, TOP TIP: One absolutely invaluable resource is Twinkl. Commonly used by teachers and parents for educational resource, they have stepped up to the plate and offered FREE educational packs. We definintely recommend you check it out. Look for the 'Coronavirus offer of help'.
BBC Bitesize is also another fantastic resource with lots of educational info presented in a variety of formats. There are even live lessons the children can sit and partake in.
There are also lots and lots of workbooks for children at any stage of their education. Search for 'learning workbooks' on Amazon and it will give you an idea of what's available.
If you haven't used Pinterest before, or only for decorating the spare bedroom, get registered today. It has a wealth of ideas and inspiration for almost anything you can think of.
3) Getting prepared for activities ....
It's worth thinking through what resources you might need but essentially this is a great time to reuse and recyle what you've already got. You could even get the children involved in sorting through boxes, cupboards and sheds to find all those things you've forgotten about.
The garden. That messy matte of twigs and dead stuff with hearty weeds in between. Not just about getting them involved in a chore or a physical activity, what a great chance it is to get it sorted. Getting them involved in growing their own food, right from seed can be used as a learning science activity as well as ensuring a fine crop of cucumbers for the summer. A front door step, a balcony or a window sill will still provide enough room for a small pot of peppers or herbs. Be creative with your use of tools and equipment - recycle what you've already got. Seeds are normally available at any good supermarket and we haven't seen bare shelves just yet.
See our suggested links below:
Art. A perfect activity for some kids who love 'crafting' - and still a great one for kids that don't - we suggest you lead up to it differently or call it something else! Collecting/science/nature/geography/fairies/animals - because whatever you come up with can come alive with some glue, cellotape or just in a different format. Dig deep in those cupboards for all the fantastic materials you already have, reuse and recylcle to make pictures, paintings, sculptures and collages. Get them outside to collect from whatever is around them and make something amazing. Look online for inspiration - there is so much out there.
4) Look after yourself
You know when you give other people advice, but you need to remember to take it yourself - well this is one of those! Take care of yourself. The term 'self-care' sometimes feels a bit indulgent - but it's not. The current situation we all find ourselves in is about survival on so many levels - and you will need all your mental and physical strength to get you through. So don't feel guilty. Like me, you're probably in a bit of a support sandwich - with kids and grandkids below and parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents above. Eat, breathe, walk, rest, read and use the old blower - remember that time when we'd spend hours talking to friends with the phone cord wrapped around our fingers? You might even find you have a little bit of time to do exactly that .... And, laugh. We're still allowed to and it's good for us.
And that is our top tips for now. We will be in touch with some more suggestions and updates on activities you can do at home with the children. Here at The Crazy Bee we also have a great selection of games and activities if you need a bit of a boost or something different. Deliveries are currently still running.
Good luck and keep well. We'll be in touch. x