When the Newness Wears Off… (September 8, 2020)

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. For those of you just going back to school, Welcome to a new school year! The year is full of exciting possibilities, learning, and discoveries!

We just went back to school, so why is she writing about the newness wearing off already? Because it will wear off and I’m hoping to give you some tools ahead of time so you won’t feel as lost as I once felt when it inevitably happens.

The kids don’t want to sit still what do I do? Let them move! Kids were made to wiggle and jiggle. Often times, they will pay their best attention if you allow them movement. You can accomplish this in a few different ways. I always had a small basket with “fidget toys” available for during school. They were small, quiet things to keep their hands busy while I was teaching. Things like: a fidget spinner, silly putty, squishy ball, pencil and paper. If I was teaching a subject like science of history, I asked them to draw along while I was teaching. This kept them engaged and listening and taught the beginnings of note taking–in picture form.

Schedule in breaks. For the younger and older students, giving them 10-15 minutes to get up and walk away is often the most beneficial tool you can use. If it is nice out, let them take their break in nature. Don’t be afraid of a time-out, they will return refocused and ready to tackle their next subject!

Change it up. If you have the ability to switch around your schedule, do it! If you teach math first every day, switch it to something more hands-on first. I don’t know how the schedule is for those of you doing remote learning through your public schools, hopefully you have some wiggle room in your daily schedule to switch it up if needed.

Don’t be afraid to not open your books for a day. I don’t mean totally skip school. There are many other ways for children to learn. I wish YouTube was around when my kids were little, there are so many videos available to watch. Magic School Bus, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Liberty’s Kids, Reading Rainbow–they are all fabulous “learning” shows. Best part, the kids think they are just watching TV!! Don’t forget to use your local public library. They have amazing resources available for free.

If you live in an area where the seasons are changing, take a nature walk and collect some treasures along the way. Let the kids make a piece of artwork with them when you return. Hit the kitchen and make a snack together. You are not only spending valuable time together, you are teaching them to cook–a valuable skill for when they are older.

The excitement and newness will eventually wear off, it happens to everyone. It is not a failure on your part, it is natural. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box for ways to spice up your school day!!

I would love to hear all your ideas on how to re-energize your school day.

~Tara


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