The new 3 R’s, reading, running, & arithmetic

The pandemic is not yet behind us, and as parents we are all struggling to find the right messages and methods to help our children stay on course. Even with many children back in school, there are simply too many disruptions and challenges to enable schools to achieve pre-pandemic levels of learning.

Once schools truly get back to normal, children will likely catch up with their schoolwork over time. Here are the most important things parents can focus on to help children when they are at home and shorten their catch-up time in the future:

Reading, running, and ‘rithmatic.

Reading time at home is more important now than ever. Getting lost in books inspires children’s love of learning, some of which may have been lost over the past few years. Reading also gives children a chance to let their minds wander, which can reduce stress. Depending on the age of your children anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours a day is appropriate.

Running, or another active exercise that takes them away from screens multiple times a day is crucial in the best of times and even more critical in challenging times. Exercise improves overall mood and recharges children, as it does adults, to take on their upcoming chores and challenges. Even 15 minutes of active exercise every hour or so can make a big difference in how well your children perform during the day and how well they sleep at night.

Numbers are the language of mathematics. Typical days generate a lot of opportunities for parents to talk to children about numbers, dates, times, shopping items, and so on. Just be aware of these opportunities and when they arise, don’t flash past them, take a minute or two to talk to your children.

If your children’s days are consistently and persistently sprinkled with the new three R’s, it will help them get their school scores back up where they belong quickly once the pandemic is truly behind us.

– Professor Stork