Staying at home and attending online classes has become a norm for kids at present. Parents are worried down the knees about the effectiveness of online schooling and the quality of education received in the process. But, are we forgetting their access to the ‘forever school’ at home?? The pandemic has forced kids to absorb all learning and upskilling through digital platforms. But to build strong observational learning, preparation for greater challenges of life, self-management, development of life skills, and active minds, it becomes necessary to ‘skill’ kids while at home, not through virtual classes but by real-life daily activities at home. Let us ponder on those 7 Essential Skills Your Kids can Learn While at Home.
There is no doubt on the capacity of a child to learn to talk, express, argue, discuss, plead, pacify, and reason, merely by communicating daily with parents and siblings. These all elements are crucial for a child to learn ‘when to talk and what’! The first-ever conversation starts with ‘Ma-Maa…’ or ‘Da-Daaa’ and it can grow to dinner table talks, bedtime stories, reasoning, and expressing or sharing feelings with family members. Talking daily with your kid can make a world of difference in their ability to communicate smartly.
The ‘No-Rush’ daytime schedule while at home gives the perfect excuse to take your own sweet time and train kids to manage and organize their room and activity space. Allow them to handle their cupboards and desk independently by running a ‘cleaning and organizing’ schedule once every week or twice a month. Where else can kids learn to organize? Making kids sort the vegetables, groceries from the shopping bag and arranging them as directed once, can be another effective way.
Fun-Tip! How about playing a secret Santa by hiding their favorite chocolate in the last grocery bag?
The working of money and handling of money is an important skill that plays a vital role in making kids learn to become self-sufficient and ‘money-wise in the future. Parents can allot a basic minimum pocket money every month and allow the kids to purchase their stationery and other necessities from that money.
Train them to keep a track record of the same. It is very important to make kids adapted to learn transacting in cash to realize the value of money. Also, this activity helps kids learning the difference between needs and wants.
Super-Tip! Reward them by allowing them to buy their wannabe toy/thing on their wishlist after a fixed period from their savings. It works!
CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
Critical Thinking Skills are a much-needed brain exercise as well as an important life skill for kids that teach them how to be resilient, problem management, and alternate thinking. The world of virtual learning has literally ‘fed’ tiny minds with loads of content and information. But to develop their minds, consciously critical thinking skills are a must. The pandemic time is the best time to train them on how to deal with grocery/daily needs shortages, lesser options of entertainment, and lack of in-person communication or play. Ask kids to solve minor issues like, “What if milk is not there at home? “ or “What if the phone is not charged?” or “What if you can’t go out to buy origami sheets?”
When kids are asked to come up with solutions, there are multiple benefits. First, they become resilient to failures and disappointments. Second, they understand the value of things. Third, but very important, they finally learn how to curate “Plan B”!
This is another important life skill kids need to learn right from a young age for complete self-reliance. A home is like a complete vocational school in itself and a practical lab to understand ‘how things work?’ It can start with basics like the design of a watering can, different types of kitchen spatulas and their use, what are the different repair tools and how they work, and so on. For middle-age groups, teaching about knife safety, chopping, doing laundry, repairing a broken pipe, or sewing a button can be taught in the form of interesting ‘offline fun projects’ during weekends.
Fun-Tip: Maintaining a picture scrapbook titled, ‘Things I can Do!’ pasting picture cutouts or doodling with date can create an amazing memoir and boost confidence. Parents can also give fun hand-made certificates to kids for completing learning a particular appliance.
It is a common practice to see the practice of the ‘Barter System’ between parents and kids. Kids are at times adamant about their wants which ends up in a long discussion and argument with parents. The trick is to teach them how to negotiate rationally and with valid reasoning rather than throwing emotional tantrums. Negotiating skills go a long way in making your kid emotionally strong and confident about their convincing and reasoning skills to get things done. Kids also learn to ‘trade’ and grasp the bottom line, ‘ to gain something, one has to lose something.’ Teaching about fairness and equality in all transactions trains kids to be positively judgemental and do things the right way!
What better time than the stay at home time to teach kids ‘conscious lifestyle’ and its importance. Emotional wellbeing, Self-Care, Relationship Management are critical elements of overall wellness which no school or virtual class will teach! Important wellness skills triggers that can be practiced with kids while at home:
- Doing arrangements and participating in celebrating festivals, special days at home by activities like setting the dinner table, making flower arrangements, making greeting cards, or planning a surprise. – Behavioral Science, Creativity, Emotional Wellbeing and Relationship Management
- Taking care of personal hygiene, daily physical play or activity at home, regulate sleep patterns, cooking meals for self – Creativity, Self-Connect and Awareness and Physical Wellness
- Talking on a regular basis to friends, distant family members, siblings; decluttering toys and clothes, and donating things, saving food for domestic helpers- Human Empathy and Social Wellness
Teaching kids these wellness skills are extremely important to make them better human beings, mentally strong and resilient, empathetic and caring, the art of stress management, self-love, and prevent future lifestyle disorders.