Thoughtful Parenting: Parents as teachers
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
In an instant, parents had to take on a new role, teachers. After more than 20 years of teaching and a few years of being a parent, I have some insights that may help you through this time.
Change in plans
Teachers make plans for every lesson that are subject to change. It depends on the child. Right now, there is a critical part missing. Teachers are unable to be there as children are working. They cannot guide them if the lesson goes off course, if the child needs the lesson explained in a different way, or to notice that a child needs a break. I encourage you to be OK with letting your child not complete an assignment if it is not going well. Reach out to your child’s teacher to help you course correct.
Learning through play, activities
The activities that we consider play offer important lessons too. When children engage in self-directed play, they are using their imaginations, working out conflicts (you may need to intervene with siblings), and making discoveries through trial and error. Take time to explore outside and learn about the natural world. Everyday activities, like cooking and doing laundry, offer opportunities to practice reading and math skills.
What does your child love to do most? This is a great opportunity to explore passions. Maybe they love to draw, build, or cook. For the many parents working from home while caring for their children, there are virtual field trips to zoos, museums, and national parks, sites with online lessons, and educational shows available to let your child explore a passion.
Most of all your child needs your love and a safe space to find comfort at this time of uncertainty. If that is what you are able to provide most of the time, consider it a parenting win. If even this is a struggle every day, please reach out for support: https://thehealthpartnership.org/. Parenting right now is harder than ever. Find time each day to do something with your child that brings you both joy. Together we will get through this.
Kim Schulz is the executive director and part of the team of reading experts at Steamboat Reading. Steamboat Reading is a nonprofit that provides a community of support for struggling readers and their families. They are part of the Routt County Youth Services Coalition. Visit steamboatreading.org for more information.
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