If you have children and live in the southern states, then you are getting ready for back to school already. I have heard things about different counties here in Georgia that talk about children going to school virtually from August 17th-September 8th. After that there would be different phases of children returning to school. For example lower grade children return to school 4 hours a day for 2 days each week.Then progressively add on more grades and opposite days of the week. Other counties have decided that the entire first semester will be exclusively online. I understand the concerns that plague us all: Will the schools be sanitizing and disinfecting regularly? Are they going to be able to practice social distancing? Will they provide electronic devices for the children on days they are not in the school? Are they going to ensure that the children have access to the internet while not at school? The list goes on.
When it comes to online learning: Will they have LIVE instruction for our children? Will it be interactive with the entire class? Just to name a few. With all of the questions we have I do know this, we as parents, will be able to spend more time with our children to make sure that they are prepared for whatever the new normal will be for the semester. We can use this time to make the shift for our children somewhat comfortable. How?
Here are 3 things that I am doing for my children:
Back to School Shopping. Although our children are not returning to school in person, I still find it important that they have adequate supplies. Regardless of the learning being online there are still some supplies that will always be needed. For example pencils, paper, and notebooks are always essential for note taking and just working out problems. It may even be advantageous for us to purchase headphones and an audio recorder. My personal situation at home includes 3 children of all different school levels, High School, Middle School and Elementary. Our living quarters are pretty close and with everyone in school at the same time, headphones are going to be necessary. New clothes are also on the list for my children. Why? Because they will be on camera most of the time and let's face it, getting new clothes just makes you feel good! Our children have been sheltered in place for months now and although we as parents try to do everything possible to make this situation normal, it is NOT normal! If we buy our children new clothes it will boost up their self-esteem and make them feel confident while on camera with their other classmates.
Purchasing a Portable Desk. Being able to sit at a desk while learning is essential to develop good posture and promote neat writing. I know that penmanship is not at the top of the list for teachers and students in this day and age, but I am determined to teach my children to have legible handwriting. I also understand that some children don't perform too well sitting in the same place day in and day out while learning, that's why their desk will be portable. They can sit inside or outside, in the living room or dining room and wherever else we can "change the scenery" during instruction time. It may not seem like much but I hope to perfect our routine as we go along.
Physical Activities. Whether the schools come up with a physical plan or not, I will make sure that my children get up and move throughout the day. We will jumprope, run, play tennis, basketball, stretch, dance and whatever else their heart desires to keep our blood pumping in action. Since our home has now become our everything, I don't want it to be a gloomy place of nothing but learning and instruction. I want us to really use our imaginations to make the best of this situation that we all are faced with.
I hope that you find these tips to be helpful and I would love for you to share your tips and plans for returning to school with me. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.