Friday, 27 March 2020 01:47

Family Isolation

Nowhere in the words ‘family isolation’ or ‘home lockdown’ do I read the words school or academics. What I read are the two most important words a child needs, ‘family’ and ‘home’. Children need a safe space to process all their feelings and thoughts right now. During this time children pick up on everything, they notice the slightest changes in mood and routine. They will be learning how to react in stressful situations by observing you and they will be learning about navigating family relationships by noticing what is valued and important.

All our MICCC parents can simply continue being the amazing parents they are. Lower any expectations you are putting on yourself about home schooling or balancing working from home with children around. Lower your expectations on your children too. No child is going to learn successfully when feeling stressed or worried so let’s focus on letting them play out what is going on for them. 

Routines are key to making sure children's needs are met in a predictable way (and adult needs too). So set times for healthy meals, water breaks, include routine moments for fresh air, relaxing, breathing, exercising/dancing, and quality time just being together (cuddling, reading etc). 

All the academic learning is already in your child’s life... 

  • Every time they go outside SCIENCE is all around them in the garden, dirt, sand and sky
  • When you cook, prepare a meal or set the table with your child MATHS is everywhere
  • All construction play turns your child into an engineer and problem solver
  • Children are ARTISTS always finding ways to express themselves, so provide them with tools in their play like chalk, paintbrushes, music, dress ups, dolls, kitchen utensils, recycled materials etc.

We know how difficult it can be to keep children entertained or engaged long enough for you to fill your own wellbeing bucket and get your ‘jobs’ done. I have prepared some links and resources to help support our MICCC families, with the help of our MICCC educators. The idea behind this is not to ‘make’ your child learn while they are not at MICCC. It is about maintaining our connection with your child and family.  We will include some of our routine songs and experiences and post video links of our educators singing and reading. We will include recordings of our daily Acknowledgement of Country, that is unique to each room. Some fun scavenger hunt activities that you can adapt to your own family home and situation. Some wellbeing strategies and curriculum specific stories and experiences for our preschool group. All of these experiences will only be a few minutes long because children this age need time to play and be with loved ones.

You may notice that I am using the word experience and not activities. This is because the learning happens continuously through their connection with people, objects and the environment (the questions and thoughts that arise before/during/after). You may hear these verbally or you might see the concepts being explored in your child’s play later.

It is vitally important to take care of yourself as parents first. In the haste to make sure our children are ok, we often neglect our own needs. Now is the time to let go of rules and expectations, simply breathe and just be. We will get through this together. Please remember that isolation doesn’t mean loneliness, everyone in your life is only a phone call away. Organise a video chat with family/friends, my daughter facetimes her cousins just to bark/talk to their puppy. There are always support links too, like the many options for all family members on the SA Health: Mental Health COVID 19 support page https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/about+covid-19/help+and+advice/mental+health+support

 OLLIE LAUDER - MICCC EDUCATIONAL LEADER

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