Children at home: an adaptable learning schedule
At a time when many citizens are trying to help others, teacher Natalie Debrecen offers parents a simple and accessible learning schedule. A weekly routine which, she believes, can make all the difference on the attitude of children and, by extension, on the general atmosphere of the household.
“I have a lot of friends who are parents, who are at home right now, and who are not sure how to set a day schedule for their children. I suggest a structure that is adaptable to different age groups and different levels of learning, she says, to explain this personal initiative. It’s my way of contributing to the cause. I have ten years of teaching experience and I feel I can help. I just want to give a tool to parents who feel the need, ”said Debrecen, who has been a kindergarten teacher for four years at a school in Granby.
“But I also have experience in early childhood and I taught in high school,” says the mother of a little girl.
The crux of the war in this period of isolation, she insists, is the establishment of a routine. Because it secures and reassures children, while giving them the feeling of being useful. “You can learn a routine if you follow the same hours of the day. ”
Roughly speaking, the schedule that Natalie Debrecen put on paper – in English and French – runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting with breakfast and getting dressed! Because setting goals is key.
The first activity of the morning for young people: reading a book or being told a story. They are then invited to summarize, by writing or drawing, what they have read or heard. It’s all a question of age, of course. The 5 year old child and the high school student will not apply the directives in the same way. However, in all cases, a 20-minute “recreation”, outdoors if possible, is advised.
“Children have to play outside and get some fresh air. ”
For older children, one hour can then be devoted to French through various exercises. “For the little ones, a game or free play,” adds Ms. Debrecen.
And if the attention of an older child diminishes, it is better to also give him a little free, but guided play, giving him the choice between two activities. “And we resume learning afterwards. ”
After an hour of dinner, another 60 minutes should be used for music or sports. The schedule calls for around 2 p.m. tutorials on YouTube or educational videos, ideally with the family. Science, history, special interests of the child, subjects of the morning book … Everything can be used to fuel knowledge, notes Ms. Debrecen. “We can find out about photosynthesis in spring, Easter, sugaring season. No need to look far, there is learning everywhere! This reminds us that making a birdhouse, walking in the forest, cooking or doing household chores with an adult are also lessons in themselves.
In short, the afternoon takes place more under the sign of creativity. All this leading to the long-awaited “candy”: being entitled to the tablet around 3 p.m.
What if parents have to keep working from home? What if they don’t have time to put these suggestions into action? “The parent does what he can!” If possible, we can delegate some responsibilities to the older ones, ask them to take care of the younger ones. Children like to be given responsibilities. ”
The important thing is to avoid young people being idle for too long. “When the children have too much free time, notes the lady, conflicts can arise and have negative effects on the whole family. A schedule means that they are less turbulent and that there is less discipline to do. Giving them goals promotes positive behavior. They feel empowered and learn at the same time. And I know from experience that it makes it possible to forge closer ties between children and parents. ”
As of Wednesday, Natalie Debrecen will send the document to anyone who requests it. All you have to do is let him know via his personal Facebook page.