The ‘traditional’ way of preparing for the new school year will not play a significant role in getting ready for THIS year. Get ready we must. How we do that successfully for our children, ourselves and our families will take some figuring out.
So here is strategy #1.
Begin now to implement a home schedule that can blend seamlessly into the start of school. Traditionally, there is a ‘last of summer’ flurry of activity and then a dramatic change in schedule. Without a clear idea of when or what it will look like you should take the opportunity to gradually implement changes now that will more effortlessly blend into the fall.
You may want to:
● Establish parameters around meals, leisure activities and sleep time that can flex easily into a complex schedule.
● Structure free time now so that taking away preferred activities is not ‘because of school’
● Create ‘classroom space’ , with your child’s input, that is functional and fits your child’s and your needs. A rolling cart, with supplies, that can be put into a closet at the end of the ‘school day’ helps to separate home from school.
● Make an extra meal whenever possible to stock the freezer
● Enlist a support network
Strategy #2 CREATING A SUPPORT NETWORK FOR REMOTE LEARNING
To paraphrase a terrific children’s book. School this year is looking kind of CLOUDY WITH A WHOLE LOT OF CHAOS. Now is the time to do what all schools have been doing since closing their doors for the 2019 -2020 year.
Plan, Plan, Revise and Plan again.
The first part of the plan is to get together with your neighbors and strategize. If you are fortunate enough to live in a setting that has several children of school age, you have a terrific support network built in. A support network that includes you as one of several support people.
We are all familiar with the tagline - we are all in this together. Make that ‘Together’ work for you. At this point you have already experienced the remote learning concept. You know the pitfalls and needs. Act on them now.
So the challenge today is as follows:
1. Get in touch with other families on your street, or in close proximity, in your neighborhood to discuss what type of needs you have if children do not return to the brick and mortar school.
2. Listen and list - make no judgements.
3. Take your list and think about what type of support you can give. Be creative.
Here is a sample:
● Rotating parents to do read alouds on Zoom
● Having 1 or 2 other children in your home (socially distanced) during instruction on alternate days.
● Providing snacks/dinner for the ‘home classroom’ that day
● Set up a neighborhood lending library in your garage.
● Make Physical Education a neighborhood activity - obstacle course, jumping jack challenge, etc.
● Utilize zoom for study and book groups.
A note to schools. Instead of the usual way of making class rosters - group kids by location. Support the neighborhood by creating neighborhood classrooms.
What ideas do you have? Share them below in the comments.
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