So, for us tomorrow is the first day of the new normal. The kids won't be going to school and all of my work is cancelled (my husband Guy has had his cancelled for some time now) due to Covid 19.
Many of you are in the same boat, maybe some of you have already been this way for a few days.
As a previous teacher it is tempting to get out all of my old 'teachery stuff ' create a learning timetable and start home schooling like I have seen many others share on social media. I also feel some sort of pressure to do this from social media and the pack of work sent home from school.
Lot's of people seem to think that this is the time for us to take of our parenting hat and put on a teacher's cloak (although that does sound cool!) and get to work 'educating our kids'.
I'm not going to do that.
The reason is because this isn't home educating. This is a serious global pandemic. We are in the s#*t. Everyone is.
There is no point pretending that every aspect of our lives haven't changed and just ploughing through with phonics, maths and spelling like everything is fine. It's not fine, the kids know it's not fine.
We need to nurture our children's well-being before we think about anything else. They are looking to us, thinking; What now? How do we cope with this?
This is an opportunity for us to connect with our children and model what resilience looks like. It's an opportunity to be honest, open and vulnerable with them and to reassure them.
So no. I'm not home schooling.
Of course, I am not saying that we won't have a structure to our day. Routine is important for children to feel safe, it brings order and comfort. There will be a daily routine in our home, no set timings for us, but a general 'flow' of the day to keep us all sane!
I am also not saying that there won't be any learning. As parents and carers, we are our children's number one teachers.
So what are we doing?
As a Well-Being Education Consultant I read a lot about what keeps us healthy and I love an idea proposed by Dr Daniel Siegel and Dr David Rock. They talk about The Healthy Mind Platter, similar to the Healthy Food Plate. They think that we all need 7 elements to keep our brain healthy, which leads to overall well-being. Our day in the Hankins house is going to be based around this notion:
The Healthy Mind Platter
Please excuse my scratty photo! These are the basics, the things that neuroscientists think help us to have a healthy mind when we do them daily. In very simple terms;
Maybe you would like to do this too.
So today, we talked about each element and the kids came up with ideas of things that they like to do that fit into each category.
Tomorrow we will create our own 'daily plan' base on what we think we need when. This is very personal to each family.
I really believe that involving children in their daily routine plan will help them to feel included, important and in control (so important right now).
Here are my children's ideas of what things they like to do in each category. I'll share some of their ideas in the facebook group. If you would like to do this too but are struggling with ideas, get in touch.
Keep well, and KEEP AWAY FROM EVERYONE ELSE!!
In my blog, I reflect honestly about my experiences of trying to enhance the well-being of my own children.