Introduce rituals to homeschooling
noun [ C/U ]
A set of actions or words performed in a regular way, often as part of a religious ceremony. A ritual is also any act done regularly, usually without thinking about it.
According to an article from the Scientific American editorial*, anthropologists have documented cross-cultural rituals worldwide for centuries; however, recent studies show the importance of the psychological impact that modern rituals have on our feelings and behaviours.
Nowadays, people perform all type of rituals that go from grieving to problem-solving. We also do other practices to feel ready to start our day, like singing in the shower, smelling our coffee cup, smiling in the mirror. All of them symbolic behaviours that mentally prepare us for an event, and for them to work, we have to include them in our routines and firmly believe in their power.
Surely, without knowing, you already use the secret power of rituals. The bedtime reading, bath tube playing, pre-meals praying if you are religious, or maybe after-meal walks are "at home" family rituals that keep your family life in motion. You know that you always have to do those activities in the right order to maintain the balance in your day.
The global pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways. Daily, we deal with massive alterations to our routines, and so do children. Work and school-related activities have dramatically changed. Giving back some of their importance, and creating a ritual around them may heal this disruption.
If you want your children having a successful study day, use your imagination and work with them to make home-schooling more pleasant and engaging.
To include rituals to their new school routine, you can, for example, press the area in the middle of their foreheads between their eyebrows to increase focus and let them know why you do it, help the belief in the power of this simple action.
Begin your "ceremony" by preparing the space for their at-home-learning sessions. Arrange their computer in the right position for them to be comfortably sitting. Decorate their 'space' with things they like, such as their favourite toy, a frame with a photo or a board with pictures or pieces of work they have made by themselves. Do it, even if you have to remove all those things back to their place at the end of the school day.
Children need variety, so help them by making their breaks unique. Have ready the snack they like the most and their favourite mug for their drinks, have handy a good book or magazine they like to read to reduce screen time for a little while. To keep them fit and active, choose a 10-minute exercise routine they can do instead of slouching on the sofa.
Putting order to their activities and giving meaning to their everyday tasks with a ritual will bring self-confidence and the values kids need to integrate into their routine. Not to mention that you will be building a strong foundation for them to get good habits in adulthood.
"We not only nurture our sacred relationships through ritual,
but we are nurtured by them as well.
In ritual, we move, and we are moved".
Alison Leigh Lilly
Kids Pilates in Action
If you want to get a copy of a 10-minute routine Pilates for kids send me a message.
*Scientific American, 2013. Why rituals work [online]