Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Futures During School Closure

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Futures During School Closure

By Jenny Brown

The no school quarantine memes and videos will without a doubt make you LOL but there is also some truth to them. Thus far my favorite is the dad who hears his daughter yelling for him and quickly grabs a background to camouflage himself into the couch. Raise your hand if this is you already on Day 5 of quarantine/remote learning? Whether you’ve gone from CEO to 3rd grade teacher or personal trainer to now 2nd AND 7th grade teacher, the struggle is real for all of us. How am I ever going to survive home school and this new quarantined lifestyle? This is the question we are all asking ourselves multiple times a day. 

Well, we will survive this and life will go back to our new normal, but until then let me share some secrets to creating the least restrictive, productive home school environment to ensure your littles continue to develop Healthy minds, Healthy Bodies, and Healthy Futures

Having taught Kindergarten and First Grade for many years, I have a few insights and resources to share with you all that I hope will be added to your “2020 Corona Home School Survival Guide”.

  A child’s school day is very predictable:  snack, math, writing, lunch, recess, they all occur relatively around the same time every day and or your child begins to memorize Monday-Friday’s schedule. Help your child adjust to this new school at home lifestyle by having them create, with assistance if needed, their own schedule. The more ownership they have over their schedule the easier it may be to follow. I realize life is nothing but a fluid situation right now, but the quicker we can create structure and predictability for your child, the more successful quarantine and remote learning will be for you and them! 

Learning can and should be fun. We realize you are not a teacher, nor have you ever had to make memorizing sight words entertaining. Don’t panic, there are many resources to help make these chunks of learning time enjoyable for both you and your child. Keep their brains engaged while offering out of the box lesson ideas to ensure healthy minds, healthy bodies and healthy futures and keep those quarantine blues away. Check out some indoor/outdoor lesson enhancements below. Please keep in mind these can all be differentiated to appropriate grade level and or subject. Get creative…have fun! 

Routines and fun can go hand-in-hand! 

Healthy Minds:

  • Create a daily challenge, for example have them collect objects from outside to spell out their name, sight words, or spelling words. 
  • Create a search for different household or outside objects that resemble shapes.
  • Instead of using paper, have them do their math with dry erase markers on windows or patio doors.
  • Bake or cook together to practice order or sequence with younger kiddos or fractions with older ones. 
  • Build a fort to read in.
  • Create building challenges inside or outside.

Don’t forget to offer lots of brain and sensory breaks for your child. If your child appears antsy, offer some yoga or stretching poses. If your children appear to be losing focus offer an active break of simon says, or jumping jacks. 

 

Healthy Bodies:

Student learning is never done all day sitting at a desk. The more you try and create the least restrictive environment for your child to learn the more successful you may be. Allow your child to design a small space they feel will allow them to work at their highest level. It’s ok for a child to work sitting on an exercise ball, with a lap desk, or even just standing. It’s ok that a few stuffed animals make pretend classmates. It is also extremely important to make sure your child keeps moving throughout the day. Remember each time they transition in school an active moment of some sort is experienced whether its walking to the lunch room, or standing up and putting supplies away.. Check out the resources listed below to help you keep your kiddo happy and moving. 

Cosmos Kids yoga – https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

Go Noodle – https://family.gonoodle.com/ Koo Koo Kangaroo and Moosetube are known favorites.

 

Lastly there are an incredible amount of virtual resources available from storytelling to animal exhibits at zoos. Check out the resources below to help create a fun, engaging, memory making Covid-19 remote learning experience for you and your family. 

 

Wildlife Encounters Facebook Live videos

https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

 

Mo Willems Lunch Doodles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmzjCPQv3y8

 

San Diego Zoo Live Cameras

https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams

 

Fluency and Fitness

https://fluencyandfitness.com/register/school-closures/

 

Ranger Rick Magazines

https://rangerrick.org/stuck-indoors/

 

Healthy Futures:

Everything we do right now for our kiddo’s during this trying time will create resilience within them that will last for the years to come.

Jennifer Brown, Youth Program Manager at The Works!
Jenny is a graduate of The University of Southern Maine with a Bachelors in Social Work and a Masters of Science in Education. She has previously taught Kindergarten and First grade in two local elementary schools. She also brings past experiences in youth programming as both a Summer Camp Director and a Program Director.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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