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28 Days of Mindfulness

DAY 24

Part 2: How to maintain a positive mindset while homeschooling

Emphasizing exploration, curiosity and fun has transformed this family’s homeschooling experience.

Mindful movement, interactive games, positive feedback and family time have featured prominently in Magda Boulay’s homeschooling plan for her two boys, aged 8 and 9.

On Day 19, Magda, an Oakland, California-based physical therapist and STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor, shared her strategies for keeping on top of her boys’ school schedules and her own self-care.

Now with a routine in place, she’s sharing her takeaways on how she and her family are maintaining a positive mindset and what she’s gained from this experience.

“This time has taught me many things. I am learning resilience. I am learning to be more patient. I am learning to do my best, stay adaptable, and also to find the joy and the positives that can come out of a hard situation. I believe hard times make people stronger. The key is to take things in stride, keep positive, and do your best. Practice is the new perfect for me,” she says.

Here are some ways she’s sparking a fun and lighthearted atmosphere at home.

Positive feedback

In this time of uncertainty, everyone needs a bit of a morale boost. “It can be difficult to keep my boys on task at times. They are very energetic and active. I do my best to be patient. I try to give them a lot of extra positive feedback and encouragement, and I make sure to point out their hard work and improvement. Since my boys have been at home, my youngest, who needs a bit more one-on-one assistance with his schoolwork, has made great strides,” she says.

Don't stop moving

“I have definitely been encouraging mindful movement with my boys and even my husband! Because we are stuck inside our house for long periods of time, I have been leading P.E. (Physical Education) classes with them for at least 15 to 30 minutes, or longer, depending on the day,” Magda says.

She ordered two new mats right before their quarantine began, so the boys each have their own spot to do Pilates beside her. They also love playing with her small props.

“I have done a combination of Pilates Matwork, which I love, as well as a bit of calisthenics to get their heart rates up.”

Bend the rules

While Magda prefers for her kids to get physical play, she’s eased up a bit on her electronic and screen time restrictions, especially when her and her husband’s work demands require the kids to be occupied.

Magda explains a strategy she uses sometimes. “I allow them some extra movie time if they agree to write a few sentences about what they liked about it. I help my youngest with his spelling, and my oldest boy gets feedback on the content of his story. They both love this trade. It gives them a bit of a reward, but it also requires them to put some effort in and work on their spelling and writing in the process. I have done other little things like this to increase their motivation to work on hard tasks.”

Go easy on yourself – and the kids

“This pandemic has put a dent in my business. I find myself, along with the rest of the world, in a situation that I did not plan. I try to make sure to take a step back and breathe when I start to get down. Pilates helps with this a lot. I like to take things day-by-day and week-by-week, since we don’t know how long these constraints will be in place. I try to be as productive as possible, but I also remember to tell myself that I am only one person, and then I try to make the best of each day.”

When things get a little stressful, Magda tries to find the ‘light’ in the situation, she says.

“Make time to have fun and laugh. It will make everyone feel better.”

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28 days of mindfulness activity book

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