What Now?

Whether your student has been attending school in person, virtually, or as part of a hybrid model, whatever novelty may have once existed has long ago worn off. 

And now, with winter here and a few months of time indoors upon us, it may be time for a conversation with your student to see what else can be added or done differently – to help motivate them to use this time to add a skill, adopt a new hobby, or find a way to help others. 

Some ideas…

What have they always wanted to learn or try out?

  • Watch cooking videos and commit to preparing a family meal once a week. Maybe organize the family recipes into an online cookbook to share
  • Learn calligraphy, origami folding, jewelry-making or how to draw/paint
  • Investigate woodworking, learn to play the guitar, learn to juggle

What skill do they want to improve? 

  • Launch a book club with friends to improve vocabulary and reading fluency
  • Start a family contest to see who can donate the most rice to third world countries on https://freerice.com/categories, improving math, geography, and vocabulary along the way
  • Improve foreign language skills – work up to watching a movie in Spanish, etc.
  • Meet with an academic coach weekly to improve organization and time management skills

What have they never had time to dive into? 

  • Training for a 5k race using an indoor bike or treadmill
  • Researching the family tree
  • Planning the next family vacation
  • Making greeting cards that may turn into a side business  

Who could use help?

  • Helping an elderly neighbor with groceries or shoveling snow
  • Becoming a pen pal to an older person who lives alone or is in a nursing home 
  • Tutoring (remotely) a younger child in a subject of interest
  • Finding a volunteer activity here: https://www.volunteermatch.org/

Overall, the most important thing is to set up a time to talk to your teen and encourage something new. This will help make the winter a more positive experience and give them something to be proud of once we are through all this. 

As for me, I may try juggling, as I am the only one in our family of five who doesn’t possess that skill! 

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