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Get physical while remote learning

How do we teach kids to deal with the world in real time not on screens?

How do we teach kids to deal with the world in real time not on screens

Back-to-School in the Hudson Valley during the Covid-19 pandemic is unlike anything any family has ever experienced. For the most part, kids are learning either partially or totally online, spending more hours than ever sedentary, facing a screen, with parents, or caregivers – not to mention numerous possible distractions – nearby. 

More than one parent has woefully told me, “I’ve spent so much energy these last few years trying to get my kids off screens! And now that’s the only way they can go to school!” Indeed, the sense of frustration over yet another spoiled plan is understandable, especially when it pertains to how one is raising a child, preparing them for a world where presumably they will be interacting more with humans in real time, not screens; they’ll need social skills, physical stamina, etc. School as we knew it pre-pandemic provided all of these things.

It’s important to realize the outdoors is still there. The area where your children once walked to and from the bus, or to the doors of the school, or where they romped on the playground during recess. That place awaits them – and you – still.

By now, most Hudson Valley kids have settled into school routines of sign in, log on, put on headphones, focus on the flickering image and the disembodied voice. The initial chaos is subsiding. You and your kids have figured everything out, when classes are happening, what to expect, and what is expected. You’ve got everything down except how to refresh from all that tech.

This is the time to inject some scheduled physical activity into the mix, especially as the autumn colors are vibrant, and the temperatures are still mild. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 60 minutes of activity a day, but Dr. Cicely White, chief of pediatrics for Kaiser Permanente in Spokane, WA, says that hour of time need not happen all at once.

“Shorter breaks throughout the day help you regroup, refocus when you’re losing that attention span,” she says, suggesting breaking it up into smaller, more achievable segments.

Dr. White also suggests slightly competitive challenges for family recess, including: dance party, an obstacle course, a timed scavenger hunt, or a simple family walk. She emphasizes that you don’t need a lot of space, a gym membership, or expensive equipment.

The perfect antidote to “Zoom gloom” awaits you, right outside your door. Thanks to the Spokesman for sharing this information.

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