I once wrote a post about creating a kids work station and allowing kids to have a space of their own to learn and create. I listed a tutorial on making a work caddy from soup cans, paint and ribbon. That was 2017. Now in March of 2020 our world is very different. As many Americans follow the lead from other countries we embark on a new frontier of homeschool/ distant or online learning; myself included.
Tomorrow begins un-chartered waters for the Dunn kids and their parents. Learning 4th grade and Kinder from afar and for their parents working full time and teaching Pre-K all under one roof.
Things I’m learning as we travel these new waters. First thing first, be kind to yourself, give yourself grace. The teachers don’t know how to do this either. Very few people come to this point in our lifetime with online teaching and learning as a skill in their wheelhouse of knowhow. Last week our school district took the time to gather themselves and create their plan, and I appreciate that. It took this mama about a week to go thru the stages of grief that my kids would not be able to hop on the school bus Monday morning. Here we are Sunday night a week later and I am feeling much better about the whole situation.
I have followed many friends on social media posting pictures of their grand set ups, schedules, routines, workouts and behavior charts. I’m sure I’ll get there too, but for now it overwhelms me. All of the suggestions for zoo tours, virtual hikes at the park, art classes, PE classes and challenges. etc. Honestly I’ve had to just log off at different points in the day; it’s too much. As our school district did; we too, as a family, took the week to sort ourselves out. We tried a few structured things each day. We practiced logging onto apps and websites in preparation of our new normal. I have learned that it is especially hard with a non-reader; sure he can do sight words but that doesn’t help logging in and getting set up on the computer or when we have reading time.
I’ve been working this week on creating our own schedule, routine and options. I intend to share them all over the coming weeks so my Pre-K students their families and my friends and follows can take what is useful to them. I broke them into categories:
- Studies -like the traditional Math and Language
- Electives – Spanish Cooking, Sewing or Music.
- Chores – You live here you have to help clean it
- Activities – Legos, Play dough or drawing with chalk.
- Recess – Bikes, soccer, hiking or tennis; get your butt outside while we still can!
- After school Programs – Religious Ed, Dance Classes and Scout programs.
- Free Choice- Facetime with friends, pen pal, mani/pedi.
Even if my kids don’t become #1 in their classes during this time of online learning I am okay with that. We are blessed and I am very thankful we have a house, with a backyard and food in our fridge… and toilet paper in the cabinet.
Good luck to all those moms, dads, caretakers and teachers out there. It will be an adventure like no other.
PS. My heart goes out to all your Seniors as your memories will differ from the ones you were lead to believe you’d get. Also sincere thank you to people working on the front line to help and fight this fight.