In this episode, I share some very tangible pack leadership tips to help you with virtual learning and beyond. All good leaders know you have to have a plan. Crossing your fingers and just hoping for the best usually doesn’t work out too well for any of us.
Therefore, it’s important to figure out your plan for the school day that’ll help your kids be successful. Next, you’ll need to effectively communicate the plan.
And finally, following through with the plan and following through when the plan isn’t followed with appropriate consequences is critical.
If you’d like to receive the handout with these tips and more to support you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Home School Tips Handout” in the subject line and we’ll send it over to you!
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About Randi Rubenstein
Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.
She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.
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My name is Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts gro the conversations in your home, flood your life.
You don’t need to Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 27. Well, hi guys. I am excited for this week’s podcast, because I’m going to be kind of piggybacking on last week’s episode. And it’s all about homeschooling for those of us who are reluctant homeschoolers, who were sort of forced into this position because of the 20, 20 pandemic. But even if you’re not listening to this in real time, you I’m sure there’s a lot of helpful tips in terms of like how to set your kids up for success during their school year, whether there with you during the day or whether they’re not.
1 (1m 1s):
Because as we all know in this day and age, kids are given so much freaking homework and, and so we have to have a way to manage that as well. So even if you’re not homeschooling your kids, full-time, if you’re listening to this in real time during the pandemic, this is going to be a very applicable to you. But if you’re listening to it, not in real time, there’s also going to be some great nuggets. So enjoy. Okay. So what I want to talk about is I really want to talk about some very tangible tips and tools for helping your kids to have a successful school year.
1 (1m 42s):
And of course, I have to start it off with a story that has nothing to do with it, but all tied together. So, okay. So my story that I thought about is when my Alec, who is now 22, when he was little, I never cooked dinner like in his first three years of life. Okay. So my narrative, my story was that I wasn’t a cooker. Okay. I never, I didn’t help my mom. I didn’t hang around in the kitchen. I didn’t help my Nan, which was what I call my grandma, who I grew up with. And she, when my mom went back to work, when I was pretty young, my grandmother would come over and pretty much cooked dinner for us every single night.
1 (2m 23s):
Like, wouldn’t that be nice. Can you tell, I mean, it, literally, every mom, its like the bane of our existence, my mom was so spoiled. She had her mom living around the corner and she would literally come over every single day. Well, my mom was at work and make it and hang out in the afternoon and make us dinner. And then we would all sit down. My mom got to like come home from dinner, come home from work and stir a few things. And for the most part dinner was done. So my mum had a good anyway. So they would be, they would cook dinner, mostly my Nan and I’m I just showed up when it was time for dinner, my brother was the helper.
1 (3m 3s):
Like he was the creative person. He was the one who was in there helping. He loved helping. I wanted nothing to do with it. So my story was just not into domestic things like cooking. I just, I couldn’t be bothered. So for the first three years of Alex life, I would say we went out most nights of the week. Like I didn’t even think about it. And I was also young. I had him at 27 and, and it wasn’t like a whole planned thing. Like I got married and then six months later I was like, what? I’m pregnant? Huh? So I became a mom at 27 and, and I wasn’t like, I was young.
1 (3m 47s):
I was a young 27. I was not. I mean, I really, I just, I didn’t, I didn’t think about things. I just kind of went through the motions. So, so really for the first three years of his life, we went out, it was always stressful. He made a mess. Like I remember, Oh my gosh. Like it was just like underneath that high chair, just like just a shitty would throw it on the ground. I he would make a mess. I felt like we had to eat really fast. I would get into gestion. We always got home later than we intended. And so we were always behind the eight ball in terms of getting ready for bed.
1 (4m 28s):
He never went to bed as early as I had planned. And so it was always turning into like, you know, a shit show at the end of the night. And he would just wasn’t getting the sleep his body needed. And he w I didn’t know this at the time, but, you know, he came out kind of moody and crying and he was just a highly sensitive kid from the get go. So he really required that sleep. And he was just like, not getting the sleep that he needed. So it was stressful. And I wasn’t ever present during bedtime. I just wanted him to, I wanted to get him down so I could binge watch or closet smoke or do whatever I needed to do to decompress from the stressful night.
1 (5m 12s):
And it didn’t, it didn’t even is so weird even say it now, but like, it didn’t even Dawn on me that it wasn’t working. I was just too caught up in going through the motions and just sort of living in complacency. Like I didn’t even know to it. I didn’t even know it could be different. I just, I didn’t even think about it. I was just young and I was just like learning how to be a mom. And, and just, yeah, I just wasn’t thinking I D I wasn’t conscious that’s the truth of the matter. And if at the time somebody had talked to me about being conscious, like that would have annoyed me. I was just so not there at, and in fact, I have to say it, like when people, a lot of times will I really work hard on, in my judgment of other people, my judgment of myself.
1 (5m 59s):
And, and one of the things I always think is, and I’ve even said to people is I try not to judge because if I’m capable of changing, as much as I’ve changed over the years, like, I sort of feel like anyone it is capable. But if I think back about, you know, 27 year old me, I know I really just, I didn’t even know to, I didn’t even know about it, the conscious it wasn’t on my radar. So I can’t remember the exact moment when I decided to make a shift and learn how to actually make dinner and to get it on the table. Well, but I know that there had to be some pivotal moment. Cause that’s just the way I roll. Like, I always say, like, there’s always a, a rock bottom or some kind of a moment where, where things get real.
1 (6m 46s):
And all of a sudden I’m like, okay, this is terrible. We are not doing this anymore because that’s just the way I am. If you all just heard a snore, it, my son, Alex, a D a French bulldog, Cheryl, it is eight month old puppy. Who’s laying next to me sleeping as I record this podcast. So, so yeah, well, I can’t remember the exact moment you all, but I know that there was one and something changed. Like I learned, I was like, okay, we gotta do this differently. So I learn the Pack leadership skills and to get dinner on the table and our, our nights became a smoother. And, and, and what I’ve said over the years is I know how to get dinner on the table for my family.
1 (7m 31s):
I’m a functional cook. I don’t love it. I know how to do it. ’cause it was just, it was like, you know, low and behold, there will be like for other people around six o’clock who would show up and have eyes on me to feed them. And when we didn’t have a plan in place, it was just super stressful. And so I just sucked it up and figured it out. And I have a bunch of different systems and methods and ways, and I picked some things up and I marinate things and I batch cook, and I just make it happen. Usually as efficiently as I can make it happen.
1 (8m 12s):
I don’t have a love for cooking, but it just sort of figured it out as like the path of least resistance. And, and I really attribute that to me, looking at the needs of my family and just sort of stepping into Pack Leadership and doing what I needed to do to make the family run as smoothly as possible. And so, so once I learned how to do that, y’all like Mike, the guilt we’re duction for me was last. Like, I, I mean, it was huge. There were so like I had, I had guilt every night when things were stressful and then I couldn’t wait to get my kid to bed and get away from him.
1 (8m 54s):
And, you know, I would do whatever I would need to do to decompress. Like I would lay my head down at night and I didn’t feel great about myself. It didn’t feel like the family I’d always dreamed of you, you know, it didn’t feel good in any way, shape or form. And so once I figured it out, like I didn’t dread the evenings in is as much, any more. I looked forward to it. And ultimately what happened was there was just more connection all around. Like there was this ripple effect that happened. And, and so once I improve this one area and I felt more in control and I wasn’t just like letting life happen to me, I was, I was, I was showing up in Leadership.
1 (9m 39s):
I was determining how I wanted our experience to go. And that felt super empowering and amazing. And so then it just was like, it just sort of affected all these other areas of by life as well, and things changed dramatically. And I really think that MI sort of just sucking it up and figuring out what that they’re going to show up hungry, or I might as well just, just bite it, bite the bullet and feed them. I really think that that is a lesson we can apply to this time of COVID and reluctant homeschooling, where many of us find ourselves and, and just seeing it differently and learning how to step into that, that leadership that Pack Leadership Tips is going to help our family run more smoothly.
1 (10m 30s):
Okay. So Pack Leadership is what I refer to when I talk about being a positive leader, an assertive leader, a leader who helps those in your care feel safe in the world. Okay. And what do you all good leaders? No. They know that you have to have a plan. You have to communicate the plan ahead of time and a non-relevant time, not in the heat of the moment, and they know you have to follow through on the plan. So any good educator knows that to foster engagement so that real learning can happen. There has to be some fun, some playfulness and some spontaneity built in.
1 (11m 14s):
Okay. And when you do this with School, you’re going to have the Pack leadership framework to apply to many other areas of your life, like meals and bed times and vacations. And we get to do vacations again. And it’s similar to what I did when it came to dinner. Like I had to figure out how to have a plan. This involves some research. I’m a non-traditional person, I’m a non systematic person. So what was my research? What did I do? I watched the cooking network, like all of a sudden that’s when I’m faced with a challenge, I usually do go into research mode, but its not, you know, it’s never going to be boring.
1 (11m 54s):
It’s always going to be on my terms. And I’ve always loved to watch TV. I could like Les my bed and watch cooking shows. And, and I started like watching cooking shows and then printing out recipes or getting recipes from people. And I created like a little book of some recipes. Then you got to communicate the plan. Like, so that was my planning. Right. Then you have to actually communicate it. So what did I do? I have to do to determine what were the dinner time rules. And I have to teach those rules and communicate them ahead of time. And it was forever evolving and this is the same way when it comes to school, you may start the school year off where y’all are doing virtual learning for the first six weeks and then it may move to a hybrid format.
1 (12m 41s):
And you may find that as you get to know the kids, teachers and the, you know, in there, they’re getting to know about what the workload looks like. Like it might be evolving and changing and that’s okay. Like for us, when it came to dinner, we were like, we had, did figure out from where to sit, like who set and who cleared the table, what the plan was for how that happened, respectful table manners. Like what, what do you say when, when you don’t care for something that’s being served or like the dessert rules? I remember like I started in there and it was usually like, I would, I would modify whatever our plan was, whatever our rules we’re based on the problems that came up.
1 (13m 29s):
Okay. So that’s what a good leader does. A good leader knows that you’re going to set a plan. You’re going to communicate that plan, but then you also have to be flexible because things are going to come up and when something comes up and it’s a problem over and over again, then you have to modify the rules. And like I remember at one point we were, I started noticing that my kids have always been dessert, obsessed and I’m. And so we’ve had a rule of, you have to eat the food that makes you grow before you eat the food. That just tastes good. And it, it wasn’t like a three by five bye. It was just like reasonable. You know, you have to taste things, you had to eat something that, that actually makes your body Grohe. That isn’t just the stuff that just tastes good and it doesn’t serve any purpose.
1 (14m 11s):
And then in terms of helping you grow, if that was kinda of the way we explain to him and, and so one kid would have, you know, Eaton what they felt was as a sufficient amount that for their body to grow. And then they’d start talking about dessert and then another kid wouldn’t be finished eating. And then they’d start thinking about desserts. Then they weren’t hungry for their dinner anymore. And so it became a problem. So we had a rule that you had to wait until every single member of the family was completely finished eating for before. Even the, you know, the dessert discussion can happen before anyone started mentioning anything that has to do with the dessert. And if you brought dessert up before every single family member was done, eating, then dessert was off the table for everyone that night.
1 (14m 54s):
Now it became our rules. So we were always modifying the rules. And then, you know, you got to follow through on the plan. So You, so you spell it. You, you find out, you figure it out in your research, what your plan is, how you communicate the plan and then you have to follow through on the plan. And what does that involve involves boundaries and enforcing consequences for when the plan is adhered to so like in my family, it might be no desert. It might be a kid going to bed hungry. It might be being sent away from the table to your calm down spot or setting the table for the rest of the week, because there was a consequence for certain behavior that wasn’t according to the plan or it wasn’t according to the rules.
1 (15m 35s):
And that involves, you know, setting boundaries and enforcing consequences. I know easier said than done a lot of times learning how to be an effective Pack leader. What I have found, especially with many women is there’s more to the equation and learning how to do that. Okay. And this level of Pack Leadership like, it, it, it allowed my family, like it took us a stressful time. Dinner every night was like the bane of my existence. It was stressful. But once I figured out our plan, and then we just started following the plan and following through on the plant on the plan, which did involve setting boundaries and enforcing consequences.
1 (16m 18s):
Like my family ended up enjoying family meals together for now. It’s been like two decades. And I would say dinner at home, not out at a restaurant, but at home is still Alex favorite thing to do when it comes to visit from college. And he usually ask me the dinner plan between like two of them four every day, because he likes to know what to expect like that he looks forward to having dinners a family because it turned into a really positive time for us rather than a stressful time. So with the right Pack Leadership, this time of virtual school can leave a lasting impression on your kid’s. So what if this was a time where you all learn to work and your kids learned to work smarter, not harder?
1 (17m 3s):
What if it’s a time to break free of tech addiction and with the right Pack Leadership what is it? This is their time to learn an instrument or to think outside the box or to find more PRODUCTIVE ways to entertain themselves that they’ve known in the past. None of this is gonna happen without you on board as the positive Pack leader. So here’s some, here’s my three top Tips number one is plan your space. I could look for ways to translate, to transform your current space in the one that will be conducive to you guys, working together as a family, right?
1 (17m 43s):
So it’s going to be a light. It’s like one big space where people can work, where there can be a, for quiet activities where there is an arts and craft area. Like you’ll have headphones, earbuds, art supplies, books, maybe a little mini trampoline for brain breaks. There’s a reason why classroom’s in early childhood have centers. So you want to set up some centers and it doesn’t have to be pretty. You guys it’s just, it make it functional, just like my dinner, but it wasn’t, I didn’t know it was him making gourmet meals. You know, I’m picking up mashed potatoes from whole foods. So, so it doesn’t have to be beautiful, just make it functional.
1 (18m 25s):
So you guys can work together and nobody’s coming over to your house anyway. So it’s not like it needs to look company ready. So when you set up those centers, you know, you know, your kids are gonna feel more connected and more cooperative. If you learn to co-exist together and in these spaces, when they can see you, when you all are, have this plan and its been set and there is a space and they knew what to expect and there is rules on the wall and, and we’ve gone over it and there’s boundaries and there’s consequences. And you lean in to the suckage of when you have to enforce those consequences. So they know that like you mean business and you’re truly an effective Pack leader.
1 (19m 6s):
Like you’re going to be able to get your work done. Like you don’t have to escape your kids to get your stuff done, your work, or maybe even your work out done, they’re doing a zoom class. Then you’re doing a yoga video or, you know, doing some stretches are doing some exercise. And then they, next thing you know, they want to join you doing that. Like you’ll learn to co-exist together and ultimately this can help you guys feel even more connected. We also have a resource that spells out all these tips. And one thing on the resource is the three it’s like the homeschool, helpful hips, helpful tips for homeschooling is the three hour simple solution.
1 (19m 52s):
So what they, what, what, what most people who have been doing the homeschool thing for a while will tell you is that it’s pretty much three hours, three hours is your simple solution. So you need three hours to really accomplish what they need to accomplish during the day. And, and so you spell that out. Like what three hours is everyone feeling? The freshest? Is it from nine to 12 or is it split up? You know, but if it’s from nine to 12, like really spell it out. So our one, any essential academics is our one. So language arts, math, et cetera. There’s a reason why usually those subjects are scheduled in a traditional classroom settings in the morning.
1 (20m 39s):
Cause it’s usually when the brain is the freshest, our two books in all forms, read alouds, individual reading, audio books. And our three is games, documentaries, podcasts, online learning. Remember like this is our time. I mean, I, I, my, I have kind of an addiction to learning. And in this day and age, like there’s so many cool resources that I think our way more interesting than a lot of traditional classroom settings, like show your kids, Ted talks. I mean, YouTube alone, you could pretty much learn anything that you want too on YouTube. I’d been watching this documentary series all about the Roosevelts.
1 (21m 23s):
Like that would be an amazing, that would be an amazing part of a kid’s curriculum. I mean the, the, I didn’t know all the details of the Roosevelt family and I mean the two presidents. So, so then the next tip is begin the day, begin and end the day with a ritual like rituals, help humans to feel safe in the world. It also is a way to set intentions and then measure success, which really solidifies learning. Okay. And, and so Y so something as simple as you can do is you can begin the day with a five minute writing activity, like have a ritual where every day you have a five minute writing as an activity where you can provide structure, you can set goals, you could have kids write out goals for the day and you can do it verbally.
1 (22m 17s):
You know, if your kid’s or a resistant one Day to writing it out, This do it verbally. M you can do it verbally, or you could have a marker bored. You can write this stuff up, like don’t stand on ceremony, make it fun, do it together for kids for a younger, you need to do it verbally. You need to do it together and you can write it. You can ask them to illustrate it, let the kids pick what order they want to do things in. Right? So they can also like you can set out where y’all start the day with a writing activity and set a goal. And then you can say, what subject do you want to work on first, today? Do you want to do math first? Do you want to do language first? You want to do spelling first?
1 (22m 57s):
What works for you? Okay. So that empowers them to get to be part of it. And then the ending day ritual is like super growth mindset. Okay. Gave a few, y’all have heard that Podcast I made about growth versus fixed mindset. So you’re really by setting an end ritual of the day where you really have them look sort of measure what they accomplished that day. And this is going to help foster independent thinking and, and really, and it really helps to build their critical thinking. So some good things that you can ask for the end of the day, a ritual, it can be, what did I learn today that helped me or will help me in the future?
1 (23m 46s):
What was the biggest challenge I face today? And why? In what ways did the challenge benefit me? Where did I show a great attitude today? What am I most grateful for today? You could include all of those. You could just include one a day. You can do it however you want to do it. And each of those questions is really structured to help your child reflect and go inside so they can find the answers. This is so powerful you guys. So if they, if they do this, this really is going to help build their critical thinking skills. And this is something that they will take with them in life. And now listen, and if you don’t want to have to think about this every day, you could just print it out on a Google doc on a worksheet and, and just print out a bunch of them.
1 (24m 35s):
You could have a marker board with these prompts and they go up to the marker board and they fill it in each day. And, and then the next morning, when you started the beginning of ritual, you can kind of reflect, and you can say like, yesterday, look, it was such a successful day. What kind of day are we going to have today? So then it’s like building upon itself in growing. So, you know, just know that the world is really our oyster right now. Like we can do whatever we want. And an, and, and what I want to really encourage you guys to do is just to be flexible, just to follow your child’s lead and know that if they’re having a rough day or they’re having trouble getting on that zoom call or completing an assignment, there’s always a reason.
1 (25m 24s):
There’s always a reason. And when we show up with this, Pack, Leadership where we’ve got a plan. We communicate the planet a non-relevant time. We bring some creativity and some playfulness, and we are connecting. We’re learning how to truly co-exist together and sort of get back to a simpler time with our kids. It also doesn’t mean that we have to put all our stuff on the back burner. Like you’re fostering independent thinking skills with your kids. You’re also letting them know like I’m right here. And I got stuff to do to I’ve got work to get done too. I’ve got a workout to get done too.
1 (26m 7s):
I’ve got dinner to plan to what, you know, you can include them. And the whole dinner planning process, the shopping process, like allow them to get to be a valuable family member. There are so many different ways we can use this time to truly become a more connected family. So just like my family with the dinner thing, that was such a stressful thing back in the day. And it ended up turning into something that I think really helped my family to become a very cohesive and Mmm. And grow as a family. So what if we used, what have we used that example to kind of guide us in, in these times and use this time for that as well.
1 (26m 52s):
So that’s what I’ve got for you. We do have a remote learning from home. Tips Handout, that’s what it’s called officially that we have in our private member Mastermind member content library. And if you would like it, we would be happy to send it to you. Just email us at info at Randi Rubenstein dot com info at Randi Rubenstein dot com and let us know, like put it in the subject, learning from Home Tips Handout or learning from home. And, and we’ll get back with you and we’ll shoot over a copy of that. Okay guys, hope you have a great great week. And until next
0 (27m 34s):
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