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With Love to Sudden Homeschoolers

By on March 18, 2020 0 1901 Views

When we all learned that the schools and the majority of other activities are cancelled indefinitely, to some this was a cause for satisfaction. But for many, it became a concern, worry, disappointment, and possibly fear.

As parents, we all need to pause and think for a moment, giving ourselves and our kids time to process this emerging situation. It’s important to reassure safety and make people around us feel comfortable. They will not fail to learn because they missed out on days in school.

As the situation is changing daily, we’ll inevitably receive more information as plans are created and rolled out, and we’ll have a better idea of how and where this pandemic is steering the world towards. The good news is our kids didn’t stop learning; it’ll just look different than we’re used to.

To the mama whose kids are suddenly home

When I learnt about eight activities cancelled for my kids, I thought to give them and myself a week off to settle in. I put myself back together saying, “Put your own oxygen mask on first.”

I have three kids and I am trying to make a schedule and have lots of separate centres for them throughout the house. Just a case of finding a new normal and accessing all the new routines with totally different activities. Homeschooling does not look like school and doesn’t schedule like either.

Here is the way our day and activities look like during quarantine:

After morning prayers, we do prepare breakfast from scratch, trying different variations and flavours like banana spelt pancakes and guess what we learnt our Maths. While eating with freshly prepared berry sauce, we discussed pandemics that happened in the past with grandparents, such a blessing!

We took this time to learn some art skills and techniques, some sewing, embroidery and hemming. We took out our board games that were not touched for a while. It’s a perfect time to do some easy science experiments and there are tons of online resources available. We appreciate all those beautiful hearts who put their hours of work-free to use for us during this difficult time.

Again, it’s time to prepare another time-taking recipe from grandmother’s diary, might be traditional rice, sweet coloured rice, chickpea roti. The best part of cooking is that everybody is in the kitchen helping to do some part from Mr. Toddler to grandpa.

We have a beautiful tradition to do on rainy days, well snowy days for us Albertans, “Tea Time Poetry”. We started this tradition, thanks to a great homeschooler mom: “The Brave Writer”.

We do sip some tea while reading aloud a book or poetry. It varies sometimes from the most lavish high tea with snacks and beautiful pottery to very simple tea. The purpose is sitting together, read something and discuss. This is a great time now to start having ginger tea with kids or golden milk to boost immunity.

We are planning to do journals and diary about this pandemic documenting our days and spread that we noticed. We are planning to write letters (email messages) to our friends around the globe.

When this super mom gets tired, I don’t hesitate to use screen time that is educational, as well as entertainment. My kids particularly like YouTube channels: The Fixies, Operation Ouch, Science Max, Maryam Masud, Ted Ed, TEDx Talks, Discover the Universe, Science Mom and Math Dad.

Then comes dad’s time in all this and we do our exercises, learning karate from each other or doing stick handling altogether. Some days it can be simply rolling a ball and chasing. The evenings get calm with listening to memories, watching some albums from travel and family.

One thing we consistently do throughout the day is to read, read and read.

Some plans for the coming weeks are finger knitting, planting seeds and plants, start baking sourdough bread, spring cleaning…

Few weeks missed at school does not mean we need every parent on the planet to turn into a homeschooling expert overnight. It took me years of homeschooling to get this flexible and I’m still learning.

Take this time to just settle into YOUR routine and take the “homeschool” pressure off your back. The key is to enjoy a slow rhythm together at home… no early morning rushing to catch the bus, no running from activity to activity.

Think of this as your chance to let your kids do art, music, and gym to fill their hearts, anything and everything that gets them excited… building forts, rainbow loom bracelets, designing robots, baking muffins, building LEGO or puzzles. Spend great family time. They keep learning from us how to cope with panic emerging situations!

Take care of yourselves and your families.

Peace, blessings and health to all!

About the author

YMM Parent Contributor

Shazia Mughal is passionate about humanitarian activities and parenting coaching. She was a prominent researcher for many years with the Laboratory of Communication Sciences in France before moving to Canada. She has extensive practical experience with a wide range of change management, human-machine interaction, validation of information system, ergonomics and quality management.

Shazia Mughal received Master’s in Human-Machine Interaction from France. She also holds Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She has lectured on human-machine interaction, cognitive designing, ergonomics, change management, quality management for WSEAS[1], IEEE[2], IFAC[3] and IADIS[4]. She wrote two book chapters published by IGI Global, USA.

Shazia calls RMWB since 2010 along with her husband also involved in various community services. Shazia is a proud hockey Mom and Manager of Hockey Team. She homeschools her three kids and learned a lot through this journey. Her aim is to inculcate the love of humanity in kids to make our world a better place. She is currently serving as Board of Directors with Wood Buffalo Regional Library Board.

[1] WSEAS: World Scientific & Engineering Academy & Society

[2] IEEE: Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers

[3] IFAC: International Federation of Automatic Control

[4] IADIS: International Association for the Development of the Information Society