Keeping Kids Engaged During Social Distancing

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As government officials and medical professionals work to get the COVID-19 crisis under control, parents across the country — and even the world — are struggling to deal with the question of what to do with their children who are stuck at home.

In Florida and other places, schools are temporarily closed until April 15. Millions of students are huddling at home with their parents, many of whom themselves have been ordered to stay home from work as part of the national social distancing strategy to deal with the crisis.

So what do you do with your kids when they aren’t in school? And how can you make sure that they keep up with their schoolwork — or at least do something other than watch TV, scroll through social media, or play videogames — for the next couple of weeks?

Check with Your District

The first thing to do is to check with your local school district. Many Florida schools are offering online learning or remote teaching programs. These allow students to interact with educators online so they can continue their education even if they are physically in the school classroom.

It’s also worthwhile to ask your child if their teachers or school administrators gave them any instructions about what to do during the unscheduled, extended Spring Break. They may have reading assignments, reports to write, or science experiments they need to complete. But they may not tell you unless you ask.

Other Options

Pre-school aged children may not have assignments. But parents can still keep them busy with stimulating activities such as reading, storytelling, using flashcards, or simply sitting down to watch TV together. Just be sure to promote videos or shows that have educational value as well as entertainment.

For both younger and older children, it’s important that you take some time out of each day to spend outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine will help both their physical and mental health.

Try to look at this crisis as an opportunity to share time with your children. Make the most of it by paying attention to their educational needs as well as their safety during this time of crisis.

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