A Note from Fay's Principal
For the last two weeks, my educator mind has been churning. I’ve thought through how we can provide your children not only continuous learning during the coronavirus pandemic, but also how we can provide your child with a sense of calm, normalcy, and joy during this uncertain time. Over the weekend, with academic plans solidified, my mind has wandered to my own family. I am thinking about my children’s learning and how we will entertain each other if we are home for an extended period. How will I work from home in a house full of people? Admittedly, this is much easier for me than many of you as my children are teenagers now and isolating themselves in their bedrooms is an everyday occurrence! Here are a few suggestions I hope will help during the time you are at home with your children.
Make a Daily Schedule
Children thrive with the structure of knowing what to expect each day. Consider starting your day with a walk or other physical activity as a family. Not only does this prime your child’s brain for learning and expend some energy, but it also ensures that your child has your undivided attention first thing in the morning. This may make them less likely to seek your attention later in the day when you need to attend to your work responsibilities. Look at the online time of your child’s class. Consider scheduling two academic sessions a day to complete schoolwork with activity and other entertainment in between. Planning a quiet time during which everyone has a little alone time each day could give family members a much-needed break from each other. Save the most beloved screen time for when you know you have meetings. Involving your children in household chores, gardening, and preparing meals will keep them busy and give them a sense of contribution to the household.
Think Beyond the Screen
Right now, all of us may need to loosen up our thoughtfully planned out family screen time parameters to entertain our children and get our work done: We should not feel bad about that! But there are so many other activities children can do to entertain themselves without online games and shows. Playing outside in the yard is an obvious one, but there are numerous creative activities they can do inside, too. Create an indoor obstacle course or fort, send letters to relatives, create a board game, and write a play to perform after dinner. Old standards like board and card games, hide and seek, and art projects can also keep children entertained for hours.
Balance Your Time
Balancing increased parenting responsibilities with work-at-home responsibilities will be challenging for many of us in the coming days. It will also provide opportunities to slow down our busy lives and allow for increased family time. Make sure you read to your child every day! Make time for yourself, exercise, lean on fellow parents for ideas, and check in on extended family through video conferencing.
All of us are charting new waters at home, school, and work right now. I know we will likely need to adjust how we are delivering content because that’s what successful learners do: We try something, reflect, evaluate, and iterate. After several days of holding school online, we will be asking for feedback about your child’s experience. In the meantime, please make sure you visit Zoom.com and follow the user-friendly directions to get your child set up for this new modality of learning. Know that Fay is a partner to you, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can help.
About the Author: This is Melissa’s first year as Fay’s principal, but as the mother of two teenagers and almost twenty years in education, she has been a part of many successful school years. When she’s not thinking about school, Melissa is currently sharpening her omelet making skills and beginning to amass a chicken-themed wardrobe. Stay tuned for more information from Melissa on Fay's new chicken coop!