“Engaging with our kids in ways that involve connection, curiosity and collaboration is a key to both play and helping the brain to grow well,” says psychiatrist Daniel Siegel, executive director of the Mindsight Institute and author of The Yes Brain, or how to cultivate courageous, resilient, and curious kids.
* * *As parents, navigating virtual learning and child-raising while piecing together ‘Life in the Time of Pandemic’ is a lot to tackle. Here’s how one working parent shifted gears, or unplugged, and tried some organic, hand-on learning– perfect for her son, a kinesthetic-tactile learner who’d been resisting the tech-heavy twist his life had taken. Writer Masada Siegel enlisted her child to teach her something. The result? Authentic, face-to-fact interaction and a relevant learning opportunity for all. Ms. Siegel’s son held a laundry folding class for his mom. “He really knew he what he was doing,” she shares. He showed her how to fold pajamas his way, and then walked Mom through his process for putting things away. “He was proud of his accomplishment,” writes Ms. Siegel, “and I was able to get everything folded.” Similar to WSA’s emphasis on bring arts into everything we do, integrating play into core knowledge curriculum creates an ongoing relationship between natural inclinations and academics. Think baking a pie to learn about measurements—accurate and delicious! From a CNN piece on ‘parenting during a pandemic’: “Almost everything can be turned into a game while also being educational. Baking is a way to teach math and chemistry by counting eggs, learning about measuring units and levels of heat. It is a win-win since everyone is happy with a sweet treat.” Furthermore, quality and relevant play time supports cognitive development, as well as emotional balance and sense of well-being. “Mix it up a little and embrace a different type of study, one that tackles work you already have at home but also can spark creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.” Organic learning during these times can augment engagement with all facets of a child’s world. “Whether it be baking or gardening, organizing or laundry, showing a young child how to participate in household activities can be a great stress reliever and can also help reduce your workload,” writes Ms. Siegel. “They are also life skills that your kid will utilize long after this pandemic is over. And amid the crisis, it might just be a way to make some lasting memories.” As always, we’re here for you! Learn more, ask more, and engage with us often at wilmingtonschoolofthearts.com. Tune into our ongoing Concert Series, book a photography session via the Front Porch Project, and Chalk your Walk with WSA! For more information on any and all things WSA, email email@example.com. Now enrolling K-2 for Fall 2020. ~ WSA