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.
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!