Excitement is running high. Kids are bouncing off the walls, eager to go trick-or-treating…or to greet trick or treaters…or to simply get on their costumes. They can’t wait to get to a party, or to light the pumpkins, or to meet their friends—whatever they have planned, they can’t wait for it. Most children are having trouble focusing.
Minor holidays are hard for virtual schooling kids and parents alike. They aren’t out of school—there’s no reason for that—but they aren’t focused, either. They want to be preparing for the holiday, or celebrating—and you want to celebrate right along with them! For Halloween, maybe you want to bake a special treat or two, or to spend a little bit of extra time on costumes. Maybe you’d prefer to be able to sit in the floor and play with your kids, or to take them outside and run off the excitement.
But you can’t…because it’s still a school day.
What’s a virtual schooling parent to do?
Prepare in advance. You know it’s coming. You know it’s going to create behavior problems. So prepare in advance: do a little bit of extra work earlier in the week so that you can relax a little bit when you get to the holiday itself.
Bribe. Remind your kids that they have to get through their work before they can do the fun stuff—and stick to it! If they get done early, don’t ask them to do extra—move on to the fun. If nothing else, you can send them outside and run them around in circles to work off some of the excited energy.
Plan according to the holiday as much as you can. Include some holiday-friendly goodies in your supplemental time. If your kids are older and not easily spooked, you can offer them a scary story or two. If they’re younger, maybe a fun pumpkin activity, or incorporating a craft into their day. Pumpkin playdough is usually a hit for all ages!
Enlist your teacher’s help. If your child has class connect sessions, their teacher will be the one to engage them for the better part of those sessions. If not, you can ask for suggestions about how to make the day flow more smoothly.
You can always make it up on the weekend. Remember, you have until Sunday to meet your attendance goals for the week. Sometimes, that deadline is there because you’re going to need it!