Spending more time around the house during the pandemic? It’s an opportunity for parents and guardians to teach their children, writes Dr. Michael Ungar
With families spending more time at home due to the pandemic, there may be fewer social visits and trips may be postponed, but time at home is a good opportunity to teach your children how to do a few chores.
Having children help around the house not only gets everyday things done, but acts as opportunities for them to learn math, science, language arts, and social studies.
- Emptying a dishwasher and stacking plates of different sizes is an excellent opportunity to teach younger children about ratios.
- Sorting laundry is great for learning the concept of ‘sets,’ not to mention expanding vocabulary regarding colours.
- Preparing a shopping list and calculating the number of people in the household, what they eat, the number of days they need food and all the other aspects of food preparation is an opportunity to apply math concepts in the kitchen. Baking and measuring ingredients is also a way to learn everything from math to chemistry, as well as improve children’s literacy and vocabulary when following a recipe.
- For older children, learning politics and geography is as easy as watching the news and looking up online facts about other countries.
- Biochemistry – research the coronavirus pathogen.
- Social studies are as easy as calculating a child’s social network and mapping how it has changed.
- Civics can be taught by asking children to do a good deed for others like checking up on a senior or doing some outside work for them (when it can be done safely).
- Physical fitness and every aspect of health studies should be a breeze when everyone is discussing handwashing, mental health and the right amount of sleep to grow healthy brains. An exercise routine and downtime from being online is all part of a good schedule at home.
- To perfect language skills, reading together with little ones, or keeping a daily journal or online blog if a child is older, are great ways to get children reading and writing. So are letters and emails to extended family members when visits aren’t possible.
Be creative. There is no subject that can’t be taught in your home.
- Michael Ungar, Ph.D.,is a family therapist and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience. He is also the author of Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success.