Written by Rachel Benson, founder of Acton Academy Omaha, a learner-driven community built for the 21st Century where young heroes are inspired to find their calling that will change the world. Visit us at www.actonomaha.org.
What were we doing just two weeks ago? Kissing our children as we sent them off to school. Sipping coffee as we worked in our quiet offices. Folding laundry with just one toddler underfoot. Gradually, then suddenly, we realized that life would begin to look much different for the near and distant future.
Have you ever gone on a trip, trying so desperately to cram all of your normal toiletries into your carry-on bag? I know the feeling. When life changes so drastically, how can we expect to cram all that we are used to doing and MORE into the same 24 hours each day?
The truth is, we just can’t. Take a deep breath. Let’s renew our minds together.
This is a special time. Amidst all of the emails and expectations from your child’s school or maybe your own, I encourage you – let’s unpack our carry-on bags and reimagine what might actually fit in there for this season. You might be surprised.
If you’re anything like us, we lead a full life. At times, my husband and I have felt like ships passing in the night as we lead two full-time businesses plus other investments and leadership opportunities. Our children haven’t always gotten the best end of that stick – and our hearts have felt the impact. Family health has been our battle cry this year, and it’s been amazing to see our little family seedlings grow taller and stronger inside.
So what’s our focus during this family quarantine time? Spreading love to our children. Igniting their curiosity, cheering their bravery, giving time and support for their creativity. If you’re anything like us, chances are your children are thirsty for more these things – and for more of you.
After all, won’t a child armed with curiosity, creativity and courage, wrapped in the security of knowing they are loved, be able to learn all of the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in life?
Won’t they adopt an agile mindset, allowing them to persevere through difficulty with hope, creating their own paths and solutions?
As you sort through all of the thousands of resources out there for parents to use during this time, let’s stay focused on these core “subjects” that our culture rarely talks about. Let’s turn learning upside down. I’m confident you’ll find room for these in your carry-on bag!
Renew your mind and get ideas: As a parent myself, the richest resource I can offer to you is the short, inspirational story called Courage to Grow by Laura Sandefer. Inside it you will find inspiration for how to turn learning upside down for your children – even in your own home. In fact, the authors are giving the Kindle version away for a dollar this week to support families during this crisis.
Discover what makes them curious: Help your child find what they are curious to learn about in the world! At home, we even like to snuggle up on the couch and explore the questions our kids have together on YouTube! Operation Ouch! is one of our favorites!
Discover a love of reading: Children who love to read and learn will be equipped with the foundational mindset to search out all the rest they need to be successful. Help your child discover what books they love, and spend time each day enjoying them together! Kahn Academy Kids is a beautiful app that offers rich learning activities, in many subject areas, for FREE!
Unleash their creativity: Art 4 Kids Hub is a fun, self-directed way children can approach art and learning to draw! Our learners love it. It’s free if you view on YouTube or YouTube Kids.
Build every day: Whether your child loves building with magnet tiles, legos, or other STEM materials, building is such a great way to promote an agile mindset, as it requires perseverance and creativity!
Play games every day: Playing board games with a family member is very helpful for a child’s social development and will help them develop an agile, growth-based mindset.
Get active! Inside or outside, many fun options await! Cosmic Kids Yoga is a studio-favorite of ours! She weaves stories and fun in with yoga. This is also free if you view on YouTube.
Now, you see? Take a deep breath. You are more equipped than you think. So go! Get out there, snuggle up, and cultivate the beautiful little seedlings of greatness growing deep inside your child!
What a treasure, indeed!