So we've been home for 2 weeks with the children so far.  We've not lost our sanity yet.  We are searching with the teachers and other parents how to handle it best.


In all the advice we got bombarded with, there is one constant. Create a routine, work in a scheme,  offering structure, etc... I didn't give a shit the first days when Jan was still abroad but once we were all settling with the 4 of us at home, I tried to introduce it to the children.

Beertje doesn't pay attention at all, except for asking how much longer before cookies time or soccer. Yes he will know the fun things on the board. 

Kabouter understands the entire situation better and he also understand that we need to work now and then. I try to actively involve him each morning to choose the activities: red colored clothespins means mom and dad need to work undisturbed (if possible) and with green clothespins we can dedicate more time to them. He gets the choice of some activities to do at different moments.

In reality Jan and my work schedules seem more unpredictable with calls coming in, meetings running overtime and urgent tasks coming in.  Secondly I learn that you can tell 2 children that now they are supposed to do drawings for 30 or 60 minutes but if you don't do it with them, they probably lose motivation and attention after a short while and they resort to other things. So in reality both have watched a lot of Netflix cartoons already.   Oh well...

Our daily small outdoor / sport moment in the neighbourhood


Quite quickly Kabouter received some more work books at home and gets a daily triple "must do" assignment at home: 2 math exercises, a reading exercise and another language one.   Additionally he gets 3-5 optional assignments ranging from doing a youtube kids yoga session to making pictures or a drawing (and mail them to the teacher), do multiple educational games on an educational platform on the computer etc.  (eg text-image memory games, splitting sum exercises, clapping coordination games, ...). We are urged not to do more than the daily tasks, not to run without and get them bored.

He doesn't learn anything new but practises known lessons so it goes rather smoothly.  It takes about 30' max for the mandatory tasks and similar or a bit more for the optional things.

Jan has set up also a couple of digital class meetings with the other children and Kabouter's teachers.  The first moments were total chaos but now they are all getting the hang of it and the teacher is taking charge and talks to all of them individually and they get a chance to tell something or answer a question or ... You can feel that all children and the teacher are very relieved to see each other from time to time and get a chance to talk. The teachers are also very open to receive emails and pictures of the tasks etc. 


Beertje is still in preschool and doesn't get any homework as result. His teacher does send tips and tricks and suggestions for activities regularly.  Once she sent a challenge which we embraced with a lot of enthusiasm.

Now she's experimenting with weekly individual video calls with each child and she also sends a lot more movies from herself to which they respond well (eg reading a story or ...).

After the successful experience with the class calls, we've also hosted a meeting with Beertje's class but we're here still in the learning phase.  It's less easy with 3-4 year olds than with 6-7 year olds.  Still I feel it's important for them to see their friends. I think Beertje is actually having a harder time in this situation than Kabouter. So we try to also phone some of his friends now and then to compensate.

I actually hope that all these activities continue in the "Easter vacation" since our reality won't change: we'll still be in isolation at home and we'll still try to juggle that with work and the children will still need to be entertained and miss their friends.


Anne said…
Ik heb jarenlang thuis gewerkt toen de kinderen klein waren. Niet full-time hoor. Maar in ieder geval, wat ik merkte: als ik echt niet gestoord wilde werken, werkte ik met een koptelefoon op. Dat was een duidelijke afspraak: als mama de koptelefoon op heeft, dan laat je haar met rust. En na een tijd werkte dat echt wel goed. (het heeft een beetje van de hond van Pavlov eigenlijk)
Kris10 said…
Goed bezig! Ik ben blij dat het schoolwerk hier beperkt blijft tot 'leer uw kleuter zijn eigen jas aandoen'. Maar Felix speelt wel heel flink alleen of met zijn nichtje.

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