Corona gives us the opportunity to teach our kids (and schools) to learn and adapt

Just like almost any other blog writer, I also want to divert a little bit from my normal topics to write about this pandemic that hits us all. COVID-19 or Corona. Just like almost every other country in the world, my family and I are also bound to our house. That means, working from home, and home schooling. Many other bloggers have written extensively about working from home, and show their setups. That part, I can keep shirt and concise. I am working on the attic (as always), where I have a nice desk, a chair and a monitor (bought last week), and it works fine.

The other part is less visible in our tech community, home schooling, and dealing with kids. But, actually this part can help us (as tech community) grow as well. Looking at what happened last week, there is a window of opportunity to improve many things. In this blog post I want to talk a bit about the things I have done at home, to get through these weeks without divorce, family fights or nervous breakdowns. And almost everything, is inspired by things I do in my day-to-day job.

Agile Planning

Planboard for a day

My kids are 9 and 5. I cannot expect them to be fully self-service, but we can help them a bit. I have created a daily schedule with time blocks of an hour. An hour of work and an hour of fun. There are some required tasks to do every day, and there are optional tasks. Every “work” block can have 2 tasks. Every evening before bed, we create the schedule for next day. That keeps the kids engaged, they know what to expect.

Sketchnotes

Admitted, I am not very good at it, but it does the job. By creating nice sticky notes, with small images, the kids know what is expected from them. No hard reading (especially for the 5 year old). It gives me some practice, but it also inspires them to create nice little doodles.

Different formats, different results

The school work, that my oldest son gets, is actually quite boring. Filling in fields in a computer program. Of course, the content differs. Sometimes math, sometimes spelling, sometimes reading, but in the end it is all the same. I try to get some different content from different learning platforms, or use games and movies. For example, I made them watch Frozen 2 in English, with subtitles. My 5 year old, listened and understood what the movie was about. My oldest, listened and read the subtitles. They both said it was the best english class ever.

Image result for frozen 2

Me-Time

In these times, where we are cramped together at home the whole day, me time is also important. To accomodate in this, we created a very simple on/off board. You can take your name and move it to the “NOT HERE” column. That’s where we have agreed that you cannot be disturbed. Sleeping, headspacing, sports, or just time alone. All fine. Ths cards are respected

Social contacts

After a week or so, my oldest son started missing his friends. Normally they work together on a theme and of course just socializing. At school they use Chromebooks that are now at home. Within half an hour I’ve setup a Google hangout for them. The Google account from school, allows them to use the G-SUITE and set up meetings. By using https://meet.google.com and writing a very simple instruction, the kids hang out with each other every afternoon, and work on a theme. I’ve found well prepared lessons and themes and the WWF site (in dutch) that are educational and fun !https://www.wwf.nl/jeugd/educatie/toekomstkunde/lessen

These are strange times, but we have to keep going. Invent new ways, explore new grounds, and use your kids to experiment these new ways. For them, basically everything is ALWAYS new. It is our world view, that makes things “strange” or “not normal”. Think outside the box, involve others, learn and adapt to come out of this in a better way!

Stay Safe!

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