Parents right across the globe have been flung so suddenly into a world they never imagined they would need to embrace, and control. Here we are though…doing the best we can to provide our children with an effective learning environment. It’s not homeschool as such, however it is learning from home while under quarantine.
Still, how on earth do we actually embrace quarantine learning, and create positive outcomes, when some of us are looking at our children’s learning materials cross-eyed with no clue what it all means? It looks difficult, painful, and overwhelming. I know that as a University graduate, I am looking at my sons year 7 work just like that. In my experience so far, I have found 7 ways to embrace quarantine learning, beginning with an effective way to begin creating positive outcomes for my son. I hope they help you too.
1. Get to Know the Curriculum
The good news is, you are not expected to replace your athletes teachers. Schools and teachers know how hard this is going to be on a lot of us, and they are online ready and waiting to help anyone who needs it. My first suggestion is to look right through the curriculum, find what typical study methods are used, suggested home learning timetables and scheduling, and the learning materials your athlete is receiving.
I have found after looking ahead through my sons materials, that I had a much better grasp on them, as opposed to doing it as we go. Get to know the ins and outs of the curriculum, and you will begin to feel much more positive about this crazy situation, and helping your athlete academically as best you can.
2. Set up Effective Messaging Systems
Thankfully with today’s technology, we are able to set up effective messaging systems that will enable us to have real-time communication, and help, from teachers and coaches. I suggest if you don’t have any systems in place yet, that you check with the school where they are hanging out. Many schools now have Facebook messenger, hangouts, or WhatsApp to stay in contact with parents and other teachers. Have a look on your social platforms, and call the school to find out where you can receive real-time help. You can email teachers and coaches, however, instant messaging is much more efficient, and effective.
3. Create Virtual Hangouts
If you have never heard of streaming rooms such as Zoom before, you probably have now. Many people and businesses are using these rooms to hangout, study, meditate, have business meetings, and learn online. The fact that we are able to still communicate and have that human connection with each other, is going to play a very big role in coping with the pandemic and the isolation that comes with it. Most of these rooms have free plans and are quite easy to set up.
Begin creating a virtual hangout room for your athlete, and have them invite any friends they have to hangout or study. It’s a great way to give them a break from their usual routine, and give them that human connection a teenager needs.
4. Be Realistic
As mentioned earlier in this blog, you are not meant to replace your athletes teacher. You are not their teacher, and the majority of you possibly already have a job, or little ones running around. You must be realistic. Create a schedule that fits both yours, and your athletes needs. You need to create a schedule that enables you to supervise your athlete’s study, work from home, take care of the family, and don’t forget, self-care. Don’t try to squeeze 18 hours into an 8-hour day. You will very soon burn out and possibly lose your marbles. Make your schedule realistic for you, your athlete, and your family. Do what you can with what you have. Be realistic, and try to have some fun.
5. Health and Fitness
Naturally it’s important that we are helping our athletes maintain their health and fitness. It’s also important that you are taking care of, and maintaining your own health and fitness. Therefore, it only makes sense that you help each other out. Starting with a good night of deep regenerative sleep, you can both get in the kitchen together and make that important high-value nutritional breakfast. What a great way to teach your athlete to cook and maintain a healthy meal plan.
Exercise can be quite boring when you are by yourself. Take this opportunity to get involved in your athletes training regime, be their training partner to help keep them motivated. Have friendly competitions and family bootcamps. Please do make sure your athlete is drinking plenty of water. It can be easy to grab a cordial or soft drink, and forget to keep an adequate water intake. Hydration is important to keep focus and concentration levels where they need to be.
A suggestion I have that has worked for my son and I, is to get outside together and create a sustainable garden your athlete can be responsible for. It get’s them outside soaking up some vitamin D, teaches them an important life skill, and gives them responsibility, and essentially, independence.
6. Learn, Grow, & Create
Take all the positives you can from this. It’s an opportunity for you and your athlete to learn, grow and create together. A great learning experience has presented itself to you. First, help your athlete to find and gather all of the required resources they will need. This will save time and unnecessary disruptions. Create a list in a document to store all resources, tools, and links for easy access. Again, this will save time. Your athlete won’t pull their hair out with anxiety when they can’t find something they need.
A great activity to do together that is fun and educational, is to create a running story or documentary. You can highlight the challenges and rewards of this experience. It will be great to look back on, could be used for a school project, or become a huge blockbuster. You just never know. You could write a book and have a best seller. The options are endless.
Reading is the best way to ensure your athlete still understands words, rather than just emojis. If you are concerned about your athlete’s literacy levels, start reading together and have them write a mini book report at the completion of each book. It doesn’t have to be much, a paragraph will do. This is a great way to gauge their understanding of the book, and reading and writing levels. Doing this exercise will give your athlete time away from all the screen time that comes with learning at home. You could get the whole family involved and have a book club family meeting at the end of each week.
A Word of Advice
I strongly suggest you don’t spend too much time on the same thing. Our brain needs variety in order to keep alert and awake. If we spend too much time on one thing, it can become overwhelming and create feelings of anxiety and stress. Have a variety of activities planned each day, and stick to the schedule. If your athlete is showing signs of stress or struggle, pull them from what they are doing, have them go for a walk, and re-group. My son likes to jump in the shower when he is feeling overwhelmed. It helps him create calm, think straight, and feel fresh.
Yes, of course i’m going to visit mindset. It’s just as important that we are keeping healthy upstairs, as well as physically. Mindset is the mechanics that carries us through to success. You can get creative and put together an affirmations book. Either create one for your athlete, or have them put a new one in a book each morning. Starting the day with positive affirmations is an extremely effective way to create positive outcomes. I also suggest getting those vision boards together. Make sure your athlete can visualise every morning and night, the dreams they are working so hard to accomplish.
Give your athlete something they can work toward each day and each week. Reward them for their hard work. Celebrate all wins big and small. If they have something exciting to work toward, their motivation, confidence and positivity levels will improve. There are a lot of online sales right now during this pandemic, so perhaps an online shopping trip, or weekend off doing the dishes. You could offer a big reward on the other side of the pandemic for keeping up the hard work, staying focused, and continuing to strive for success.
While being thrown into a world of chaos and uncertainty, we can rest assured there are ways to create as many positive outcomes as we can. We have got to stick together, take the pressure off ourselves, and relax. No one has ever experienced what is happening, we are all going through it together, therefore, no one is expecting you to perform miracles and be a super hero. Just do the best you can. The important thing is that you keep a realistic and healthy routine including relaxation, exercise, and healthy eating and living. Most important of all, is that you give yourself grace. Please, give yourself grace. I give you permission.
If you have an athlete who is about to embark on a journey toward college sports success, I would love for you to join my sporting community of parents and elite athletes who are all on the same journey. We have all the tips, tools, and resources you need to make the transition from high school to college a smooth and successful one, and you will find we are the best support network on the planet, for you, your athlete, and your family. Come on over and join us at ‘College Bound Athletes’ by following this link http://www.facebook.com/groups/PEAinternational
My brand new FREE masterclass, The Competitors Edge Masterclass: Your Ultimate Guide To Sports Scholarship Success, is due to kick off on the 11th May 2020 @ 10 AM AEST. I am giving you the A-Z of sports scholarship success, and after 5 days, you will be locked and loaded with everything you need to go forth and help your athlete achieve their ultimate dream of college sports success. Spots are limited so I can keep it personal. If you would like to register, you can secure your spot here https://peainternational.clickfunnels.com/page-templatesckqcve83
In the lead up to the Masterclass I have decided to open up a few spots on my calendar for free consultation calls over the next 8 days. If you would like to book a call, simply follow the link and it will take you directly to my calendar where you can book a time that best suits you https://peainternational.com/free-consultation-call/.
Coming up Next
My next blog post will take you through all of the positive outcomes that can be a result of homeschooling. There are many positives we can take from this if we stick to a plan, and we stick together. Have a great week. Yours in sport, Brooke Hamilton.