By: Satish Nagarajan
Enhance Your Child’s Productivity While They’re Home
What a tumultuous few weeks it has been, with everything resembling normal life, as we once knew it, being turned upside down. Physical School buildings no more, Office Spaces no more, Kids Playtime no more, Events and Celebrations no more, Social Gatherings no more, Travelling and Vacations no more. Man, from being a social creature, has been asked to retreat to the depths of social withdrawal. The mantra of the current times we live in, aptly called, “Social Distancing”. Life has a new “Normal”, and that seems to be a far cry from what we have had.
Nowhere has this huge shift been more pronounced than in our kids’ lives and their yearning to connect, play, thrive and learn with others. On the other hand, kids are also the most resilient of all and the way they can adapt to new situations and circumstances is unparalleled. As a proud parent to 2 girls (a tween and a teen), I am constantly amazed at life lessons they give me in how to deal with stressful situations by keeping it simple. From Simple Art, Poetry, Cooking, Learning a new skill, or anything similar, kids have an intuitive way of nourishing their souls, something we could do well to learn.
As parents who look to adapt and provide the best alternative learning and environment for your child, let’s look at some quick ways you could enhance your child’s productivity.
Four Tips to Ensure Your Child Can Do Their Best
1 – A Strawman Schedule
“A ship without a rudder is like a person without a goal”
Sometimes we see our kids staring into their gadget screens the whole day with “TikTok”, “CandyCrush”, “Pokemon Go” among others. It is so easy for kids to simply assume that this is their “Bonus” vacation, with schools temporarily shut down and not all of them coming back online. I have had one too many discussions with students and my kids alike on this. As parents, while we do not want to prevent children from enjoying the moment and stifle their creativity, there definitely is a need to design a generic structure for the day. The best plans are ones that take into account your child’s specific interests, passion areas (Eg: Art versus Physical Activity/ Sports versus Academics) as well as ones that are made in consultation with them. Because in the end, they have to buy into this schedule completely and follow it to the tee if it’s going to work.
It could be as simple as a specific waking up time, a time for play, a time for food, a time for learning activities, a time to come together as a family, etc. Each of us may decide to do it very differently, but we can make it productive for our kids only if we have this generic compass.
2 – Focused Learning Approach
“Pick a Choice and Avoid Analysis-Paralysis”
In today’s online world, access to limitless information is at your fingertips. Kids and Parents are often bombarded with a lot more information and learning tools than what they need or can handle. From IXLs, to Khan Academies to Adventure Academy to Google Classrooms, we have it all. But more information leads to more dissonance and inaction rather than productive use of time (“Analysis Paralysis”)
Parents can play a vital role in picking a supplemental learning tool that is right for your child and have them stick with it. It could be your neighborhood tutor providing online education OR any of the Learning Portals that have self-study paths. The preferred approach should also depend on the specific age, maturity of your child and whether your child can work independently, is a self-starter OR needs a little bit of guidance and mentoring along the way. Your schoolteachers, tutors or other parents could provide valuable input for this. But, as parents, you know your child the best and it would be important for you to make that choice for your child.
3 – Productive WorkSpaces
Some of the basics, but oftentimes the most overlooked of points. The questions we could ask for Productive Workspaces are, does my child have an ergonomically designed workspace (right posture, right angle, lesser body strain)? Does my child feel included (not cut-off or aloof) with the rest of my family when sitting at his/ her place of study? Is the place quiet and conducive to some focused studying? Are the lighting and angles right? Does it have bright open windows/ doors to look out into (minimizes Cabin Fever)? Can I easily keep an eye out for my child when he/ she may need some help?
If your answers to all of them are Yes, you have probably done a great job in finding a workspace that can enhance your child’s quality of work.
4 – Switch Off, Enjoy Family Time and Be With Nature
“Enjoy the simpler pleasures of life”
Take a long walk, go biking, enjoy a splendid Nature trail, or anything else that brings you closer to nature and your family. There cannot be a bigger de-stresser and productivity multiplier than this. If there has been any one silver lining to all the Social Distancing and lockdowns brought about by COVID19, it has been that we have more time on our hands to value what we should the most.
Not running a race, away from the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced life and disconnected from many other things, we have a great chance to discover more of our inner peace and harmony. There has never been a better time in our lives to do that!
Discover the Simple Things in Life Are Best
At times like these, we are called upon to dig deep within ourselves, discover that life comes down to very simple things and persevere one day at a time.
In the end, however this unfortunate COVID19 situation pans out and whatever we do to fight it, WE, as a collective ONE human race, will adapt, will prevail, will discover the best in us and WE WILL become a better force for good. And our kids would help lead the way!
About the author: Satish Nagarajan, Owner of Mathnasium of Commack
For more fun conversations from us watch this space https://www.mathnasium.com/commack/news and for more on our Fun, Math Learning Solution (Mathnasium @Home) read more at https://www.mathnasium.com/at-home/commack