Harley Pasternak’s Virtual School Tips and Tricks

On one hand, I love the fact that I get to hug my kids throughout the day. On the other hand, Zoom schooling is definitely challenging. Rather than focus on the challenges, I’d like to discuss the opportunities and upside of having the kids at home all day. First of all, you can use their breaks throughout the day to get them physically active in fun ways. GoNoodle has been a blessing. My daughter uses the app to dance herself silly multiple times throughout the day. She even makes me join her, and I look completely ridiculous.

Having them at home all day also means they get to have fun and nutritious meals, and not live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a lunchbox. Once a day we like to have smoothie parties. I lay out 6 to 10 ingredients on the counter, and the kids can choose whichever fruits, yogurt, nut butters, or any other healthy fun ingredients we can think of, to the smoothie jar. I then let them turn the blender on (under my supervision). They get to name their smoothie with some fun and original title. For example, last Monday my daughter made a chunky monkey smoothie with peanut butter, banana, zucchini, blueberries, milk, and strained yogurt. I even let her throw a few chocolate chips in because she was doing so well in her studies.

My son loves to “wrestle daddy” as his physical activity. He literally chases me around the house, then we wrestle for a few minutes, until daddy yells “time out” (so I can catch my breath). This goes on for about 15 minutes until it’s time for him to go back to his next class. Because they’re done with their day a little earlier than they would have been going to school, they sometimes come visit me at my office, and we play basketball, ball hockey, or badminton.

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I must admit that while COVID is nothing any of us ever wanted, I secretly love this quality time I’m able to spend with my kids.

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