BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Living through a pandemic is hard enough, but parenting and teaching children as they learn from home this school year presents a new set of challenges.
“I'm kind of feeling all the different emotions, she’s going back to school but she’s been home with us. You’re kind of nervous, you don’t know what’s gonna happen,” said Andrew Kuczkowski, father to Ryan Kuczkowski.
But local author and speech language pathologist Jo Ann Gramlich says this is a moment of opportunity for parents.
"They can have those meaningful conversations, that sense of closeness. The majority of learning is taking place for these little ones during the routine," said Gramlich.
Gramlich writes about these learning moments in her new books, "Talk, Play and Read with Me, Mommy" and "Talk, Play and Read with Me, Daddy".
“It simply takes neuroscience brain studies and puts it in a simple message for parents and caregivers,” said Gramlich.
The books are full of tips and activities that can teach you how to teach your child. Gramlich recommends turning your daily routine into learning moments, for example using their toys to demonstrate things like how to wear a mask.
"They’re learning how to use language, they’re expressing their wants and needs, all these readiness skills that they will have for when they go to school,” said Gramlich.
She also recommends using visual schedules, letting children play an active role in what happens throughout the day. Gramlich recognizes that this might not be easy and suggests parents roll with the punches and keeps things positive.
The Kuczkowski's have taken these tips and started implementing them. They say it's changed their family dynamic for the better.
“I work retail so my hours are all over the place. So when this happened it did allow for more time. We read books and go on adventures through the story. It helps her use her imagination, helps her learn words and grammar,” said Kuczkowski.