Mother of two and Dubai Eye 103.8fm presenter Helen Farmer, shares the tricks and resources that are helping her out.
1. Reading Eggs
Sometimes you just need to throw some technology at the problem, and while we’re all feeling a bit overwhelmed with distance learning, if you want the kids to be busy (and quiet) while you do work or chores without the guilt, this could be the answer. They have a free month trial, is suitable for ages 2 and up, and covers both reading and maths, with games, quizzes and lessons. Updates on your child’s progress are emailed on a regular basis.
2. Pack a lunchbox
Routine is really important, and that definitely extends to food. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll be asking for snacks CONSTANTLY, so make up snack boxes and use their regular lunchbox to control portions.
3. Stretch it out
Cosmic Kids Yoga has been brilliant for us. The YouTube channel has loads of teacher-led sessions, themed by books (like The Gruffalo) and movies (Frozen is a favourite). They’ll keep your kids moving, introduce them to poses, and chill them out.
4. Dance party
Turn off the lights, turn up the music and have a few dance parties every day as breaks. Take turns in choosing the tunes.
5. Get outside
Whether it’s a garden, balcony or just an open window, fresh air makes everything better, plus vitamin D is great for immunity. Change up work stations by sitting outside, do PE lessons out there, and have meals alfresco whenever possible.
6. Get away from each other
Do make sure you all have some alone time wherever possible, even if it’s just a long shower, quick nap or taking yourself off to another room. The app Insight Timer has free guided meditations if you need to take a moment.
7. Support small businesses
Restaurants around Dubai need your support right now, so please do order in food on occasion if you can afford it. Turn it into an event – pizza and family movie, or food from a country your children are studying at school, and try to order from them directly whenever possible.
8. Communicate with each other
Working parents are having a hard time explaining to kids that while they’re home, it’s not playtime all the time. A schedule that everyone can follow (use a whiteboard and pictures if needed) or signs like a closed-door means you’re not available, while an open door says it’s okay for them to come in, should help with boundaries.
9. Stay in touch
You’re going to be missing your friends, as are they. Send videos to their schoolmates, use Zoom to video chat with grandparents and get them to write, which you can photograph and share.
10. Be realistic
No-one is expecting you to be a superstar teacher, parent, and employee. We’re in unprecedented times, so just do what you can, and remember that done is better than perfect. If you’re anxious your kids will pick up on it, so try to stay calm and carry on. And expect screen time to be higher than usual!
P.s. Helen is also hosting daily live storytelling for kids on her Instagram page at 9am – @themothershipdxb.
Don’t forget to follow our social channels and #PrivileeDiaries to see how the Privilee team are keeping busy too!
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