Keys To Successful Schooling At Home, Key #3: Wardrobe and Props
School is now at home for many of us. But we all know that "going" to school gives us a chance, physically and mentally, to set school apart from home. That's why I’m continuing to use the language of a stage-play; I want you to help both you and your child establish school as something that requires a different set of tools, language, and focus from your home routines, even though it’s happening in your home.
You probably already realize that your posture affects your attitude. If I said, "Strike a Power Pose" you'd do something different than when you pose for a selfie, right?
The way you dress does something similar. Can you imagine an actor in Downton Abbey wearing a ponytail and a poodle skirt? No matter what lines she had, she'd have a hard time getting into the part. And you act differently when you’re in your pj’s than you do in a dress and heels, or jeans and a T-shirt . That’s just a fact.
For this reason, Key #3 is to adjust the wardrobe to fit the role of "student". School is for students, and helping your child dress as a student will help him or her be more studious.
I don’t want you or your child to be uncomfortable, nor am I suggesting it's not possible to be attentive, etc., while wearing pj's, but they're not really appropriate for work or school; you need to take it up a couple of notches to encourage a scholarly attitude--dress the part!
Going through the routine of washing up, combing hair, brushing teeth, and putting on clean clothes for the day will help your child "put on" a sense of purpose and focus as well. You might be surprised at what it does for them—in fact, if you haven’t been doing it yourself, I highly recommend it! It will help you wake up and face the day with a greater sense of purpose.
The props in a play make a big difference in the actor’s ability to remember what he’s supposed to do and say, and school supplies provide the same kind of structure. If it fits in your budget, take your child shopping for a few new pencils, binders, notebooks, etc., and allow him or her to arrange things neatly and in order in the work area. As mentioned in a previous post, it's important for your child to be able to have easy access to all the materials he or she will be needing; encourage them to organize and arrange things accordingly.
After each day of work (it won’t likely be an entire day), be sure to require your child to arrange things neatly in preparation for the next day. Let that area and those materials be ONLY for school, if possible; you want a clear difference between work and play. You may even want your child to change into play-clothes when they're done.
Just for the heck of it, and if it fits in your budget, buy your child(ren) a few new “school” clothes. This will, again, set school apart as something special and important, and they will love it!
Next, Key #4: Director
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