SUIMA: Helping your child cope with at home isolation

Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy Ute Language Guide, Shawna Steffler gives a Ute language lesson in Toddler Room 3.
Photo Credit: SUIMA

From the Eagle’s Nest

With SUIMA being closed during this time due to COVID-19, here are recommendations about how to help your child cope with so much time isolated at home.

Be honest and factual. Children deserve clear, accurate information at their level. Reassure them, but you also don’t want to hide anything. Be calm. Avoid talking to your child in a spirit of anxiety. Answer questions honestly.

Teach preventive measures. Use the Montessori method of modeling and then encourage your child to practice these things:

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wash your hands!
  • Give those around you their space.
  • Routines are important. Help your child get out of bed, have breakfast, take time to read or do schoolwork that has been sent home, have lunch, etc.
  • Establish screen time guidelines. Going to online academic programs such as FRECKLE, LEXIA, ABCmouse, and abcya can be worked into the daily routine, but limit other types of online program such as Minecraft, Fortnite, etc.
  • Take time to build your Ute Language skills together, by accessing lessons on the SUIMA website.
  • Have your child help with household chores. Have your child decide what chores they can do and help them make a chart to keep track of what was accomplished.
  • Keep up on academic skills, but also have fun. Playing cards or dice can be a way to review math skills. Cooking offers opportunities to work with fractions.
  • Make time for reading and writing. Children can read to a sibling, read directions to a board game, or read to you. They can even write a letter to the school principal (hint, hint – she will write back!)
  • Have fun! Build a fort. Have an indoor picnic. Take a walk. Create playlists. Have a dance party in the kitchen. Write funny tweets about how hard this is.

In a world where children often feel over-scheduled and overwhelmed, try to frame this time as a break from the stresses and pressures children face. Offering children opportunities to go outside or experience unstructured play are valuable opportunities.

“Play,” Montessori argues, “is the work of the child.”

SUIMA Events and Activities: SUIMA is closed until further notice. Be safe. Be Healthy!

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