With schools closed for the time being, many families are struggling with how to approach education: Should they treat these weeks as spring break? Try to replicate their child’s school schedules at home? Create some sort of homeschooling schedule? On top of this new challenge, many parents are also trying to work from home or care for others at the same time. Understandably, some families are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about this right now.

In the coming days, we’ll be sharing some educational ideas and resources to support families at home. But today, I hope parents can put aside any guilt or pressure they feel about how they are (or aren’t) handling education right now. Instead, consider this idea when feeling anxious about school:

The things kids need most right now are the same things their parents already know how to give them.

  • Comfort – Routines have changed, and while they’ll normalize again, this is a real time of transition. Continuing to offer hugs, smiles, and a few minutes playing or reading together can make a big difference for both of you.
  • Sleep  – We all cope best with changes and challenges when we’re sleeping well. Just like before, helping kids get enough sleep each night sets them up for calmer, happier daytimes, and more resilience overall.
  • Movement – Children (and adults!) often feel best with lots of exercise. If they can get outside while keeping a distance from others, kids can walk in the neighborhood or park, ride a scooter or bike, make up scavenger hunts in the area, or play hopscotch or jump rope on the sidewalk. Inside, activities like yoga, dancing to music, and playing active games like Simon Says, red light/green light, or Twister can let out some extra energy. For those with internet access, there are a lot of fun options online :
    • YMCA (https://ymca360.org/) is offering a selection of free exercise classes online
    • Go Noodle (https://family.gonoodle.com/) has different types of child-oriented videos, including some to get energized and others to calm down
    • Libraries– With a valid library card, both Seattle Public Library (www.spl.org) and King County Library (www.kcls.org) offer access to video resources that include exercise-related videos like dancing, yoga, and cardio sessions

The bottom line is that this is a tough (and temporary) time. But like always, parents have already got the know-how to give kids the foundation that’s most important to get through this time. Do what you can, but let go of the guilt to do more.