Currently stuck at home due to Coronavirus. It’s so tough. I always work from home but now I have two new colleagues distracting me all day long. Son #1 will be four in May and son #2 turned 17 months yesterday. So busy we didn’t even remember to get his monthly picture. (Who am I kidding? I managed to get pic on his month birthday maybe 3 times so far in his life!)
One thing that has been good is some programs like ABC Mouse and Hooked on Phonics are either giving away access for free or for a reduced rate. ABC Mouse has been particularly fun for my son. In the program, he does learning activities to earn tickets that he can then use to buy new stuff for his hamster or aquarium. He is saving up to buy a dog and eventually wants a baby unicorn. It’s great to keep them motivated. I am not sure on the levels though, as we started at level 1, and now am at level 5, as it seems like he isn’t challenged. I have him doing pre-k, and as I said, he is almost 4. I may up him to kindergarten soon. I want some challenge. Also, he has figured out he can redo the puzzles or coloring sheets without doing any effort and get 3 tickets each time – clever little cheat.
Other items we have been doing to keep us busy include yoga on YouTube. I saw many, but he seems to respond most to Cosmic Yoga. The woman did one for spiderman poses and one for a farm. She has a Frozen one we will try eventually. Our local kids musician is doing daily FB live shows and the local aquarium has some distance learning. I am finding it really hard to remember the times on these things, so will start doing calendar reminders. I think zoos all over the country are offering some programs.
I ordered a ton of foam craft kits. I have some finger paints I am hoping both ages can do – just have to see how much is safe to ingest (yes, 17 month old is still putting everything in his mouth, super fun!). We made a bird feeder and an outdoor chalkboard. We have matched socks and I think may make some puppets with the left overs.
I have also tried to take this opportunity to teach basic life skills. I have been having my older son cook meals with me, clean up with me, decorate for Easter, etc. Anything that I do I try to find some part of it he can do. He is an excellent egg cracker and is now able to measure fluid accurately in a measuring cup. He understands how to boil pasta and eggs and has learned how to clean windows and bathrooms. Life skills that are super important.
I felt that having younger kids was harder, as I have to entertain them all day instead of them doing their own thing. Then I spoke to some mom friends, and boy was I wrong. The pressure of homework and homeschooling to school age children can be a lot. We are basically taking 3 or 4 jobs and meshing them into one and hoping we all survive – the teacher, the employee or employees if both parents are working from home, and the stay at home mom. The house still needs cleaned, the laundry needs done, the work needs done, the teaching, and so on. It’s awful. I am grateful afterall that I only have preschool age kids.
Would love to hear what you are doing to stay sane and any suggestions of children’s activities in the comments! Help a Mama out. We have to band together now more than ever.