These are not my words. They came from the April 2020 " Stomp Out Bullying Newsletter", author unknown. We’re all in this together!
Schooling During a Crisis - We're All In This Together
Parents across the nation and the world have described one of their new roles during this pandemic as “Homeschooler.” After all, parents are helping youths complete schoolwork, manage online classes and e-learning, and checking over worksheets and school materials.
But this looks almost nothing like traditional Homeschooling - it is in fact Crisis Schooling. Homeschoolers have networks of support from charter schools, in-person classes, online classes, co-op groups, park days, field trips and more. Homeschool parents typically research for months or even years before choosing to homeschool. The most critical difference between homeschooling and what we are doing now - Crisis Schooling - is stressful and even trauma-inducing.
None of this is normal - not for any student. Without the predictable routine of school, sports, dance, clubs, music and in-person time with friends, our kids are feeling disconnected and an enormous loss. Their familiar way of life was gone in an instant.
Kids and teens are grieving right now. Our advice? Honor that grief process.
For Kids and Teens:
DO NOT EXPECT: Youths to fall into a new routine without missing a step, to accept current times as normal, to move their entire lives indoors and online cheerily and capably.
DO EXPECT: Youths of all ages to act out, not want to get out of bed, not have words to express their inner turmoil, to have mood swings.
We are guessing after all, that you can relate. Parents are also grieving and experiencing loss, too. Insecurity and instability abound. All of Society is suddenly operating under unprecedented conditions. Many are losing jobs, are afraid to go out for basic necessities, are worried about loved ones near and far. Our advice: Be easy on yourself, too.
DO NOT EXPECT: That you will be a perfect “Homeschool” parent, that you will be cheery and productive at all times, that your family will emerge having not only completed assignments but also having learned a new language, peacefully completed a family project or became a master coder.
DO EXPECT: That it will be hard. Some days will be rocky for everyone. Emotions may take a roller coaster based on the news of the day or on the fact that there are ants on the counter. Expect anything.
Crisis Schooling is just one small piece of Crisis Living - which we are all enduring. When it comes to that schoolwork, get it done and then have fun - or better yet, find the most enjoyable ways to help your child learn. Read, listen to stories, bake, garden, play games… hands-on learning and time together can not only build the mind but the mental state too. And if it is one of those days where that seems too hard… perhaps your best today will be to cuddle up with your kids and just be together.