I can’t shake hands; I can’t hug my friends and I can’t sit next to anyone in the Dining Hall. My dog club obedience lessons have been cancelled for the rest of term, my aqua fit classes are also cancelled and the Term 1 Learning and Organisation workshops for parents and Year 7 students that Mr Lawson and I were looking forward to delivering have had to be put on hold for the time being.
I am left wondering what on earth will I do with all my spare time. At the moment I am finding that helping respond to parent and student queries is making up for any perceived gaps in my schedule, but as we settle into a new routine, the levels of query and concern will decrease.
I’m fairly sure that families whose weekends generally involve a string of children’s sporting activities will also be wondering the same thing – what will they do with the time they now have?
Having struggled to think of ways I might entertain myself during a period of unusual inactivity, I thought it might be helpful to make some suggestions of things that our students can do at home after, of course, they have made the most of the many remote learning opportunities we have provided. Of course, we should all follow government advice when considering any of the activities I suggest.
Get outside and do some exercise
However weird the circumstances, getting some physical activity is still important, for physical health, mental health and a bit of fun. Arguably even more important at this time.
Kicking a ball around with a mate (at an appropriate distance), going for a bike ride, enjoying a game of ping pong – all the old-fashioned things we used to do as kids - are still available to our daughters and sons and many have the advantage of being free. Older students may want some sort of challenge to stick to, or a target to meet – there are fabulous online programs which show how they can exercise without any necessary equipment. I spent a very pleasant hour perusing this website, which had 50 different programs, one of which might inspire your child to switch off their phone and do something more physically active.
For younger children, growing a bean seed in a jam jar, or a sunflower seed in a pot or cress on a damp paper towel is guaranteed to fascinate and provide an unending series of questions for you to answer. For older students, growing plants in the garden is a definite possibility and if they can be edible or beautiful, so much the better. It’s a great time to start a cactus and succulent corner or a patch of flowers.
Many of our students already read a lot. The School library page is a great place for advice on this – or you can click here to read some useful suggestions from Ms Pritchard on what to read.
Play some music
Now is the perfect time to focus on starting a new piece or finishing off one you’ve been working on all term. There are even tool online where students can collaborate and produce their music online together.
Learn something new
Most kids are familiar with Education Perfect and Mathletics, which are a great way of practising skills in those areas and reinforcing learning. If you have extra time on your hands, then there are lots of other things you can learn from home.
NASA offers free projects for kids and adults stuck at home
Khan academy is great for older kids wanting to learn more – including some things at a high academic level:
And here are some ideas for indoor activities
I hope that you, as well as your children, find something lovely to do this week.
Director of Teaching and Learning
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