#Lifeathome with #children during #SelfQuarantine: #Inspiring #Children by tailoring the #learningexperience with #favorite #characters

Greetings, one and all! Feeling the cabin fever yet?

I know, I know…this self-quarantine’s only just begun, yet here I am, so itchy to get out that I willingly went to Walmart with the boys and promised them time in the toy department.

Bo, my introvert husband, is taking this all in stride, of course. So long as the local coffee shop is still open for take-out, he’s content. He and our three little Bs worked hard cleaning the house while I graded papers; at last, I can walk through the house without stepping on cars!

Thank you to those who provided me with ideas for activities with the kids to keep our time homeschooling interesting and varied. I’m going to share what I’ve gathered over the next couple of days because believe you me, there’s a lot to share! Before we dive into that, though, I just wanted to touch on an important strategy to help keep kids engaged.

“I don’t wanna do school stuff at home!” Biff has said since the announcement. I can’t blame him. He’s got all his toys here, all his Lego and favorite books’n’movies. Distractions. Are. EVERYWHERE. How do we get kids into a learning mindset when they’re in the home environment?

To me, it starts with what they love and building from there. Take Biff, my little fan of all things cosmic, especially Star Trek.

Give this kid a book about space, and he’ll devour it. Why not make math problems about spaceships, too? Why not learn about different stars in science? Tailoring the subject matter to fit his passion promises a more engaged Biff during our learning periods as well as stronger motivation for him to share what he learns in a way he enjoys.

This is my biggest hope for Bash, too. Of all the robots in the cosmos, none hold his heart quite like Wall-E.

Bash has often gotten into trouble at school for doodling robots when he was supposed to complete a math sheet. Well, this time, his math sheet will be about robots. This time, he can write his stories about Optimus Prime and Wall-E having a birthday party. This time, he can read Transformer stories to his toy Wall-E. He can draw Wall-E and Eve flying through space. If he’s still learning, let him have all the robots his imagination can hold.

Blondie’s imagination is often filled with animals both real and fantastic. It can be soft as a puppy or as firey as a dragon–Blondie loves’em all.

Her love of learning is already very deep; it helps she’s a smidge older than the twins and is used to a heavier homework load from school. Plus, Blondie was old enough to be allowed to take her Chrome Book home (a smaller laptop issued to many American students these days for school work). She is THRILLED to have her own computer at home, and has already taken many opportunities to play Prodigy or simply explore topics that strike her fancy, like ghosts. My challenge with Blondie won’t be motivation-related so much as focus-related, as she is very prone to tumbling down the Virtual Rabbit Hole. Keeping her tasks dragon-themed is sure to keep her creative fire burning so she can show her little brothers what it means to get homework done at home.

Let’s face it–for many of us, homeschooling is an uncharted land. I’m excited to explore all the amazing resources out there, but I know that if the material doesn’t connect to something the kids care about, I’ll already be in a fog with them, waving my hands about, desperate for clarity.

No resource out there is going to know your kids as well as you. So, as you’re preparing your own teaching strategies, ask yourself: what are my kiddos’ favorite movies? Characters? Games? How can I make this math problem use those characters? Can I find a story tied to that movie? What if I had my kiddo write a story featuring his game’s favorite battle? The better we connect our children’s passions with what they need to learn, the stronger our chances of a successful academic journey.

Tomorrow I’ll begin sharing some kickin’ activities and resources to help you through your reading, science, math, and writing sessions. We can do this!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

14 thoughts on “#Lifeathome with #children during #SelfQuarantine: #Inspiring #Children by tailoring the #learningexperience with #favorite #characters

  1. So here we go as well. All schools in the country to close indefinitely. Today was spent listening to son tell me how he would book Wrestlemania. How famous books should be rewritten to fit in with modern life. Bird spotting and learning how to spot raptors. Learning about Alexander the Great and then speculating on his death. Monday school is talking about bringing in online lessons. Will give it a go but this maybe schools last chance. So far it’s been too restrictive, too narrow minded. I like your approach. We can do this. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good ideas! Now you only need to tri-locate and be with each of them separately at the same time to give them the amount of attention they need! πŸ˜‰ But seriously, good luck Jean, and I’ll be looking forward to your list of homeschooling activities with great interest!

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  3. Some lovely suggestions, Jean. I’ve no one to home-school except myself, starting from this afternoon, but I’ll be fallowing with interest. I’m likely to opt out of the maths, tempting as you make it sound, and concentrate on taking up a few writing projects that have been stagnating – how lucky we adults are, getting to make that kind of choice πŸ™‚

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  4. Yay! And you are absolutely spot-on:))). This is how we brought Tim out of the autism that had swallowed him whole – took those passions of his, ran with them and taught him through what he passionately cared about…

    I would ALWAYS teach through games and fun – when at school, I wanted to teach mental Maths through gaming it. But the Head said no – I had to have pencil and paper proof the children were learning *sigh*. So I contented myself with making the first 20 minutes of the day Game Time, alternating English and Maths games – the children loved it and so did I…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: #Lifeathome with #children during #SelfQuarantine: balancing #screentime and #handsonactivities | Jean Lee's World

  6. Pingback: #Lifeathome with #children during #SelfQuarantine: #revising #homeschool expectations so a #parent can #workathome and #write | Jean Lee's World

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