Because of our remote-learning programs — CHC Connect during the school year and our optional Summer Learning for the months of June, July and August — CHC students have outstanding opportunities for continual academic growth. Yet we know it can be challenging to keep students motivated and focused while they’re at home, especially the younger they are.
Having some structure and predictability about the day is a key for success in learning at home. This is a suggested routine that can be adapted easily according to a CHC student’s age and a family’s needs.
Breakfast and washing breakfast dishes. Remember: food prep, cooking and cleaning are important skills that also instill good habits and invite conversations about having a healthy diet and clean, organized kitchen. Never mind that many children would love a sink full of water and bubbles in which to wash dishes for a while.
Get dressed and ready for the day.
Morning Bible story and prayer. This might be a very special time to discuss some favorite stories or highlight qualities found in people mentioned in the Bible. We like to remind our students about times of perseverance through unique challenges. For older students, consider moving through the Bible in a systematic way, such as by book or theme. Also take a look at Cherry Hills Community Church’s online journey through the Bible. You will find a reading plan and daily video summaries. You’ll also find stories (for morning or bedtime) for children up to Grade 4, bible stories for Grade 5-8 students, and bible stories for students in Grades 9-12.
Table time. Set up a learning station in your home so your child can complete CHC’s Summer Learning Program’s “20 Activities for 20 days.” Consider using a timer and setting it according to your child’s level of ability. Once the activity is complete, spend a little time with your student as a reward. Perhaps put together a puzzle, or play another favorite game together. Young children also enjoy — and learn from — sorting (socks!), pegboards and picking up small items with tweezers. For older students, consider having them use “table time” to focus on math exercises and summer reading. We have supplied suggested plans for completing our Summer Learning Program in Canvas. You also can find an array of online learning in the remote learning section of our blog. To reward your child’s efforts, take a photo and put it on the refrigerator, or make sure they know you’re sharing their good work in an email or text with someone they love.
Outdoor play break. Time outside in the yard or nearby park will be so important. If the weather is decent, set up some special outdoor activities, such as a sand box with items hidden in it to discover. Pull out your summer yard games, or set up your volleyball net. Run in the sprinkler! Practice ball or racket sports. Complete a series of timed exercises, or see how quickly your student can run a mile.
Snack. Have your child help make the snack and serve you! Spread the peanut butter on the celery sticks. Dish up the yogurt in a bowl, and sprinkle with the blueberries. Count out 20 goldfish crackers into 3 baggies. You see where we’re going with this — and the older your child is, we’re betting the better you snack is going to be.
Indoor play break or table time. For younger children, it might be helpful to alternate toys to keep these breaks novel and fun. As you consider activities, think about something you loved to do as a child, and teach it to them. Older children may appreciate having a more academically focused assignment that challenges them to learn something entirely new — such as a second language or how government works by viewing public meetings and other talks from prominent elected leaders on C-Span.org.
Lunchtime. Again, lunch preparation can be a great way to involve a child with a new responsibility. Perhaps you want to pack a picnic basket on some days and take lunch outside. Maybe you want to throw a quilt on the living room floor and have an indoor picnic.
Bunk time – Even the most exciting summer camps build in a rest time during the day. Call it what you wish, but consider having handy favorite books, a diary or coloring books. Or play quiet music. Everyone gets a set amount of time to take a quiet, restful break.