Whichever part of the world we’re in right now, as parents we are all on the same boat with regards to our children. It’s probably never been tougher to be a parent during these trying times when we are under some form of isolation due to Covid-19. How do we keep our children busy, happy, and entertained during these long hours of being indoors? One week into our lockdown situation in Singapore, I was already tearing my hair out! It is then that I started forming ideas on how to create a routine for my kids. In this post today, I’d like to share one of the ideas that has been very successful for us five weeks into our “iso life”.
What is the idea?
I instituted something called the “Grandparent Academy”. The concept is simple: I set up time for the grandparents to teach something to my children five days a week at a specific time of day. It is built into their daily schedule and something they look forward to! Of course, this idea can easily be applied to other family members like older cousins, aunts, or uncles living far away.
Why it worked for us
The secret sauce is basically that it is a win-win situation for everyone involved! For my kids, it is a way for them to learn something new or interesting from someone other than their teacher or parents. For the grandparents, it is a way to interact with their grandchildren while also staying connected to family far away. For us parents, it’s an hour of our day free of the kids, allowing us to work or take a break. The bonding over these 5 weeks of Grandparent Academy has been incredibly heartwarming to see! I dare say, my older one has learned more from these sessions than from school remote learning itself!
How to implement it
- It's good to plan out topics in advance for the week ahead. That way, the grandparents (or whoever is teaching) can think about the topic and how they want to teach it. In our case, the grandparents found fun YouTube videos or photos as visual aids for these sessions. It's really cute to see how they get into it!
Topics we have explored so far
- How does a car work?
- Space related topics
- Solar system and the different planets
- How a rocket launches into outer space
- Cycles of the moon
- Solar and lunar eclipses
- How to solve a rubik’s cube
- Answering fun riddles together (here's a link)
- Learning about cricket (or any sport that is of interest to your child)
- Learning about an animal of choice (we've covered cheetahs so far)
- Dush Avatar (learning about the different avatars of Lord Vishnu over each session)
- Ramayan stories
- Mahabharat stories
- History of India
- Stories from the Independence Movement (like Salt March)
- Famous characters and personalities - Jhasi ki Rani, Tipu Sultan, Mahatma Gandhi, etc
- Math: Math made fun in daily life
- Learning to tell time on an analog clock
- Spelling bee
- Learning about continents and oceans
- Reading a book together online
- Trivia Quiz (many websites but here is one)
- Learning or practicing a language (in our case, we do Hindi and Thai)
- Learning about flags of the world - what do the colors represent, etc
- Reading and discussing poems and learning how recite them expressively
- Learning about a specific country (so far we have started with India and the USA)
- Reverse sharing time: The child teaches or presents something they want to talk about