The current global situation brought upon by virus, COVID-19, requires drastic measures from governments and individuals, such as staying at home and remaining in mandatory quarantines. These new conditions have altered our routines and lifestyles dramatically, but at Edu1st, we believe that adversity is the best opportunity to look at things from a different perspective and find new ways to grow and do things better. With this in mind, we have launched a new program called “Prek 2 Go”, with the aim of keeping up your child’s learning and development, and with the intention of providing that support and assistance that parents, who are currently subject to immense internal and external pressures, really need right now.
Our main objective is to continue to stimulate holistic learning for everyone, from our collaborators to our Edu1st students and families, to the community in general. We want to provide an avenue for children to continue socializing, learning, and having fun with their friends and teachers, and helping you adapt to the current challenges by providing a helpful map for the day to day.
This program includes: lists of age-suitable activities; live activities through the web; online discussions and specialized seminars for parents; virtual support chats (to help you recognize and take advantage of available resources); private Facebook groups; classes that enrich our model such as Yoga, Physical Education and Music; among others.
We understand that it might be difficult to achieve balance during the current scenario. We are exposed to a great deal of information, both very positive and very negative, which can lead to stress and emotional conflicts. But you are not alone! In this webinar, we offer three essential tips to turn your necessary stay-at-home situation into a pleasant and stimulating learning experience.
1. Examine your self-awareness:
Before making external goals or objectives visible, it is essential to look at ourselves internally first. We must begin with a process of examining where we stand , a vital step in the search of a point of inner equilibrium. Each person plays an important role within his or her family, community and society. Do we know where we stand with each of these groups? Let’s start, for example, by asking ourselves about our interactions with our children, about the way we are communicating with them, and about the obstacles that might be hindering those interactions. What are the uncertainties, fears, needs, levels of fatigue, and difficulties that keep us from achieving our goals as parents? And what are the internal and external advantages present at the moment that could help us fulfill those goals? This attitude of self-acknowledgement and introspection is essential in the process of turning our fears and challenges into opportunities, and the present state of things is the perfect moment to sit back, breathe, and look inside ourselves.
Right now, each of us has the chance to examine ourselves consciously and accept the challenge and freedom to release what we feel. We all have the right to give ourselves permission to pause and express our worries and fears, but to do that we must first confront the challenge of transparently naming those fears. Our children can also take part in their own process of introspection with us, as this is an unprecedented occasion to really spend time with our families and get to know each other better.
2. Search for a purpose:
We believe that this quarantine is also an invitation to thoroughly rethink and analyze many small and repetitive actions that might, through the above-mentioned introspection, reveal themselves to not be allowing us to find an optimal relationship with others or a balance within ourselves. It is important to look at the things we do that might be stressing us or putting us at odds with our children or spouse and asking ourselves if this is something we want or something we need. Do we really need the house to be tidy all the time, or do we just want it to be?
Often, our “wants” are a response to an unfulfilled need, but that doesn’t mean that the want and the need are the same thing. When we identify the “need” behind the “want”, we identify the purpose of why we are doing things. This is an important lesson for our children to understand, and what better time is there for us to learn it together? Our kids might “want” to go outside and play with their friends, but if we search for the need behind that want, we might find that what they really need is the ability to move around, explore, and have fun. By identifying that need, we identify the purpose behind our child’s wants, and we can now discuss with them new ways to fulfill that want.
The disposition and ability to find the need, and thus the purpose, behind our wants are tools that will help our children confront situations of difficulty and crisis throughout their lives. And they might help our family dynamics and ourselves as well.
3.Define routines, schedules and limits:
At this point, let’s divest ourselves of the premise of maintaining a perfect routine, of fulfilling and compartmentalizing every single minute, as this vision of discipline, based on overly rigorous parameters, is not conducive to our children’s growth. It’s important for children to have free time and playtime in which they have a level of autonomy, freedom and self-regulation. Yet, it is also important to establish parameters that allow children to feel safe and offer a certain level of predictability in their day-to-day lives. Accordingly, now more than ever, parents are faced with the challenge of finding a balance between allowing for the necessary freedoms and providing the necessary structure. At Edu1st Preschools, we believe that there are five fundamental pillars that parents should respect and maintain.
- Wake Up Time
- Breakfast Time
- Lunch Time
- Nap Time
- Bed Time
These five pillars must be constants that give children structure during these slightly strange days. For the remaining free times, Edu1st has arranged age-appropriate activities that parents can initiate with their children to help them explore and learn during playtime. That list of activities can be found in the “Prek 2 Go” groups.
Remember to not get too stressed or become too hard on yourself. Don’t overload your child or impose a routine on them during playtime, either. Ask them how they feel about the activities, examine the situation, and, most importantly, enjoy your time with your child. Feel free to ask us for advice or support if you feel you need help adapting to the current situation. We are a team, and we are here to help you.