Feeling the strain from school closure and having to be your child’s teacher at home? Here’s how you can boost your parent-child relationship and learning with a simple 10-minute reset…
This is part of our series at [Learn at Home] During Covid-19 School Closure
Invest in “banking time”
School closure is a challenging time for parents who need to work from home, supervise home learning and do housework.
Quite often, I wish I could clone myself to manage my 3 active boys!
While being kept at home for weeks or months…
At the point of writing, we’ve been home for 71 days and counting…
As the potential for parent-child conflict increases during this Covid-19 pandemic, consider investing in “banking time”.
This is a simple way backed by decades of research.
Banking Time, developed by Bob Pianta, dean of the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, prescribes that for 10 minutes, three times a week or so, a parent invites their child to spend time in an activity of the child’s choosing.
Just slot 10 minutes for this into your routine. Probably during your child’s free play time.
These 10 minutes can potentially help you save many 10 minutes in the days ahead.
During this time, let your child lead the activity while you take a back seat.
In simple words, your child chooses the play while you join in and follow along.
During these 10 minutes, just relax and be present…
No need to direct the play in any way.
No need to ask engaging questions.
No need to say encouraging praise.
No need to teach.
Yes, let that set in for a second… No need to teach anything.
By not teaching in these 10 minutes, you can strengthen your relationship with your child. Then the next time you need to teach him something, he’s more open to learning from you, so it’s more effective.
In case you’re wondering what to do during Banking Time, you may:
1. Observe and copy: watch your child, listen to what he’s saying, copy what he does
2. Narrate and repeat: state what he’s doing, answer his questions, play along
3. Label his emotional state: state the feelings he seems to be experiencing
4. Say specific messages to show that your relationship is important: For example, “I’m here to help.”
As we continue to homeschool, I certainly enjoy Banking Time because it’s so easy, relaxing and effective.
Have a try to see how it goes.
You may read more about Banking Time by University of Virginia at
Here’s another insightful write-up by Harvard Graduate School of Education at
For all learn-at-home resources related to Covid-19 school closure, go to our series at:
[Learn at Home] During Covid-19 School Closure