The postponements and cancellations of indoor activities around the globe – and certainly here at home – are wreaking havoc on everyone.
But, perhaps the people with the most distress are parents: especially those who need to work at home the next three weeks (or more). And it’s not simply a matter of “what can I do with my children to keep them busy?”
Their little brains need to be stimulated with education as well as physical activity. With school labour disruptions having already taken away several learning days (as well as a couple of “snow days”), many parents are fearful their children will fall behind in their learning.
There is all this to consider while maintaining social distancing, trying to keep the necessities in your home stocked, worrying about helping stem the outbreak and oh yeah, getting some work done.
Let’s start with the obvious: physical activity for your kids is easy to come by in Muskoka (and other like places) – just send them outside! Playing on the front or back yard will not be outlawed, even if some measure of quarantine comes into play.
And if you’re worried about them being alone out there, then see below for a daily schedule that you can follow also to get some outdoor time.
At no point have any scientists, health officials, government officials – or anybody with common sense – said not to go outside. What they are saying is to avoid contact with others and keep up social distancing of at least six feet between one another.
In fact, fresh air is used as a healing tool for many types of viruses – including the much discussed Spanish Flu in the early 1900s which took millions of lives.
So, that’s settled. Now for the education part. There are many online educational programs and tools you can use to help your children stay on top of their learning. Our family has already been registered with Khan Academy programming for a couple of years – it’s free and easy to navigate.
Scholastic has stepped up and offered free learning programs indefinitely to help parents and children stay on top of education throughout this unfortunate event.
Once they’ve done some school work and played outside, it’s a good idea to incorporate arts and crafts, playing cards and other non-screen games.
To help our family stay on course, we’ve asked the kids to get themselves each a basket together including homework, arts, books to read and other activities. You could even have them write out a list to follow.
Of course, you’ll eventually allow them to have some television or tablet or whatever time – but again as part of the schedule. Below is what we’re doing, but you can do your own.
9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Choose something to do from your activity list.
9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Math
10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Science
11 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. – Snack time
11:20 a.m. to Noon – Reading
Noon to 12:45 p.m. – Khan Academy (or another online school option)
12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. – Lunch time
1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Outdoor Time
2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Free Time – kids choice including screen activities (I personally let Outdoor Time creep as far into Free Time as possible).