While becoming your child’s teacher these days can be very stressful, this may be a wonderful opportunity to turn chores into lesson plans.
Insist that your children help around the house, using everyday things that need to get done as opportunities for them to learn math, science, language arts, and social studies:
Rather than struggling to teach children a curriculum that has little to do with what they are living now, use the experience of being at home during a pandemic as the basis for a child’s learning. Be creative. There is no subject that can’t be taught in your home. Post your ideas for others to see. Better yet, have your child post their own lesson plans and, in the process, improve their literacy skills.
Use the curriculum provided by teachers, but let it inspire new approaches to teaching the same content. While I certainly couldn’t take on calculus, there are plenty of ways to learn statistics online and to apply these ideas to probabilities of infection.
Older children will need more structure and should be expected to advance through their standard curriculum, but even then, it will be more meaningful and easier to motivate them to do their studies if they can see the application of those ideas to their world now and, even better, let them teach their parents things we adults don’t understand.
Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is a Family Therapist and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family, and Community Resilience, and is the author of Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success. Learn more about Dr. Ungar at michaelungar.com.
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