No School?! No Panic…

I’m seeing a lot of posts at the moment about how to fill your days at home, now that the kids will be out of school (and not allowed to hang out with friends etc). And more than once, I’ve felt a wish to tell parents to please calm down. Not about the virus, that is a genuine and very valid worry to many parents of medically complex children. But about the pressure that many seem to feel when it comes to keeping their children busy and learning.

It’s not that I’m against learning (I hope that is obvious to followers of this page!). But learning doesn’t need to look like it does at school, nor does it need to be as intense. In my experience, many children thrive on learning in a more relaxed and less stressful context. So how about allowing for learning at a more comfortable pace, and in whatever forms your child/-ren and you enjoy. And don’t forget to allow for plenty of time to take it easy, too!

Some children thrive on routine, I know, and you might feel that you need to have a full schedule for them, so that they’re never left in limbo (which could lead to increased anxiety etc). But perhaps you can schedule in plenty of downtime? Not only for their sake, but for your own just as much. This could be life for a long time now, so please pace yourself.

When you’re at home with your child, learning happens in various ways at all times of the day and throughout the whole week. Of course, if you and your child prefer a setup which mimics school, that is totally up to you. But be open to all options, and choose what feels right for You and your family.

We have been home educating for about three years now, and Penguin (who is autistic, nonverbal and developmentally delayed) has plenty of breaks throughout the day. And most of them involve screen time of some kind (oh the horror, huh?).

He really needs his downtime to recharge and to avoid stress. If not, he’ll go into a state of overload and either shut down or get visibly distressed and upset, and once that happens there will be no more learning until he’s got himself balanced again, which can take hours.

So when I post about activities we’ve been up to, such as in my facebook post below from the other day, please know that there has also been several hours in our day of doing very little! And that Shaun the Sheep most likely has been keeping us company for large parts of the day. And that’s okay.

Of course you should be doing activities together with your children (as I’m sure you already are, now and then). Play games, do some painting together, or crafts, baking, reading stories, explore music together, involve them in cooking, house work, gardening etc, watch films, documentaries, look at photos together, and so on. And by all means engage in learning activities of various kinds.

I’ll be sharing about things we do (as usual), on our social media and here, as well as about other learning resources. BUT please don’t feel pressured to do more than you’re comfortable with. Remember that things we learn stick better when there are positive emotions connected to that learning. So, keep it enjoyable, and at a pace that suites your child, and yourself.

Take care now, and stay safe x

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No School?! No Panic... Learning at home during coronavirus school closures. #homeschooling #homeeducation #homelearning #specialneeds sensationallearningwithpenguin.com

Linking up with:
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13 thoughts on “No School?! No Panic…

  1. Oh I couldn’t agree more with this post😍
    Thank you for this🙌 We have a lot of downtime too. Maybe too much🤣 and honestly just trying to figure it all out with another kid added to the mix:) love this post, and I feel so many people are feeling really pressured right now, so this is a timely message.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth, I’m so glad to hear that this post resonates with you ❤
      I think we have to allow ourselves to try and go with the flow and not be overly ambitious about we can achieve each day.
      I can only imagine how tricky it is to have two (or more) children with differing needs to juggle… Be totally forgiving with yourself, you're a brilliant, loving parent, and you are enough as you are xx

      Like

  2. At first, I was regretting not being able to provide my four year old with the same structure as her preschool.
    Now, when I am through my work from home workday, I try to teach her things through cooking, playing, and nature walks. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our schools have been amazing – both primary and high school are replicating their normal day online. It’s really fantastic. There are offline activities in the time table too, but the morning ‘catch up’ is really good for their ‘connection’. #Dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very well said! I am fortunate that my son is too young for school anyway so I have escaped the home schooling craze. I do believe that every child is different anyway and will learn in different ways so following somebody else’s schedule will never work. Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Steve! True, and I think that’s one of the main challenges for our schools in general as well: They are great at providing education that works okay for ‘the many’ but not always great for each individual child. Some schools do amazingly, but it takes a lot of passion and keen effort from those who work there xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My 8 year old has ASD so its been very trying the last couple of weeks. He needs a routine but the first one I tried even though the actual school led learning was very minimal he got very upset and angry. So I think the best learning we can do is creative, baking cakes and planting, as whilst I don’t want him to fall behind his mental health is most important. We will find a way through. Take care #KCACOLS x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jade, thank you for your lovely comment, and apologies for my extremely late reply. I suspect you’re absolutely right, focusing on having an enjoyable time doing various activities together, and just let whatever learning that comes with that happen, without pressure. How are you getting on now? I hope things are going okay for you xx

      Like

  6. I have been sharing our home learning journey on my blog. It is NOT home schooling and we need to be mindful of the emotional impact this situation is having on our families. Thanks for linking up with #dreamteamlinky

    Liked by 1 person

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