If you’re a UMA student who is balancing school with being a parent, one of the biggest barriers to creating an environment in which you can successfully complete your own schoolwork may be helping your kids with theirs.
The school-life balance proves challenging when you want to give your child the attention they deserve — especially when it comes to their education.
Here are some tips for being both an involved parent academically while also being a student during a pandemic:
Establish a Schedule and Routine Meetings
In your courseroom, you have a Roadmap to guide you on your UMA assignments and deadlines. Create something similar for your kids. This guide can include when they attend class, when they study and when assignments are due.
Conduct each day as if the kids are attending school as usual and on their normal class schedules (even though they may just be heading to a laptop on the kitchen table). Each morning meet to go over the schedule for the day, as well as goals and expectations. Also include your timelines for UMA study. Remember to build in time for lunch and snack breaks, as well as recess.
Make it a Team Effort
Other parents are going through this too, so feel free to connect with them. Perhaps this includes creating a virtual parent support group or a weekly Zoom gathering. There will be parents who are more knowledgeable about specific K to 12 topics, than others. You will soon discover your go-to for grade school math, or high school essay writing and chemistry. Above all, these alliances will at least give you the peace of mind that you are not in this alone.
Create Learning Throughout the Day
For younger children, you can build education into daily activities. First, reach out to your child’s teacher for topics she will be covering. Then, find easy ways to multitask at getting chores done while also coaching your kid on schoolwork. For example, for a science topic, when cooking dinner discuss the temperature at which water boils. Perhaps when cleaning or organizing, quiz on the state capitals. You will discover plenty of opportunities to blend mundane household tasks with some fun school review.
Celebrate Wins and Accomplishments
Make it a regular practice each week to compliment your child for completing schoolwork during this pandemic. Keeping them proud and excited will make them more likely to keep on task. It also might help them feel less stressed about the whole situation. Be sure to also share your UMA wins from the week. Your child may have completed a science project with a good grade, while you may have successfully completed your weekly assignments, discussions and assessments.
Other helpful resources
Parenting During Coronavirus: Tips for Families with Kids
Tips for handling work and kids during COVID-19 isolation
Switch it up!
As a student, you may think that setting up a good learning environment extends only to the confines of where you use your computer or laptop. Branch out! To have a completely enriched learning environment, you should also find an outdoor space, or versions of it indoors. Getting in contact with grass, water, and soil can have a positive influence on your well-being.
Take a Barefoot Pass on the Grass
According to The Star, research has shown that stepping on to grass, soil, or sand can produce nearly instant changes. It can destress, clear the mind, reduce pain, improve sleep, and decrease muscle tension. So, head to a nearby park, flip off those flip flops and step into less stress.
Make Water Your Wellness
Ever wonder why you immediately start to feel relaxed and think more clearly when you look out over a body of water, like an ocean and its waves, a flowing river, or rainfall? Studies show that watching the rhythmic movement of water, and listening to its sounds, can have a meditative effect. Our brain waves become more peaceful and open to creative thoughts. If your next trip to the beach or lake is some months away, consider getting a little plug-in water fountain for your school desk, or even a fish tank. This might keep you connected with the mind-healing influence of water.
Grow Your Mental Strength
Gardening may seem like a lot of work, but it can pay off in terms of what it does for our brainpower. As humans, we’ve lived for centuries working outdoors and growing our own food to survive. Now there are generations who have lost a complete connection with the earth. Electronic device screens are our new base. Those who garden, or grow their own food, can attest to the inexplicable sense of feeling harmonious with something good when they “touch the earth.” Being outdoors, digging into the earth and coming across other living creatures like butterflies and worms, can awaken our brain in a very primordial way. It’s like we connect with where we came from and are reminded that we are part of something bigger. Gardening to grow vegetables to eat can also be very practical during the pandemic. We are certainly rethinking how often we go to the stores and how we can be more sustainable on our own.
UMA knows that many students juggle work and family life while going to school. That’s why we have a built-in support system. Our Learner Services Advisors are here for you. Call 888-216-0544. We encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns.
UMA Cares handles important student issues that may need to be addressed with special attention. UMA Cares takes all inquiries seriously and responds in a timely manner. Our mission is to provide a simple way for students to get answers for unresolved issues concerning their student experience. Visit UltimateMedical.edu/uma-cares/ to make your voice heard.
UMA Wellness Center
Stay tuned to the UMA Wellness Center for new blog posts! Wellness is incredibly important to your studies and your overall health. UMA is committed to providing you and your household with access to wellness resources. You and your household can use these resources to work toward your health and wellbeing!
UMA does not endorse any vendors, products, or services presented in the UMA Wellness Blog Series, and UMA bears no responsibility in any capacity as it relates to such vendors, products, or services. The information on wellness or related services is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional financial advice. Please contact the vendor or service provider for answers to questions regarding its content, products, or services.