This current COVID-19 pandemic is history in the making. We will always remember these times. Remember when my parents were my new teacher. Remember when we stayed at home together for weeks. Remember when we only saw our friends on video. Remember when we couldn't go to school.
Nova Scotia has announced School closures in Nova Scotia will be extended to May 19th and will be reassessed at that time. Take note that all students on track to passing will continue to pass. Students that are not on track to passing have been notified and it has been stated in their report cards there were distributed on Monday, April 20th. All learning accomplished will prepare students for their future learning and result in less struggles in the future.
Everyone at LSK misses their students. We miss seeing their faces, hearing their excitement, stories and laughs. I am most grateful to be able to see our students faces and their excitement to see their teachers and peers through video meetings. To see the joy and excitement in their faces make these difficult times more pleasurable.
We understand that these times are also difficult for parents and our youth. There is no right or wrong way to encourage your childr/ren to continue their learning journeys. Our staff are working diligently to assist our parents and students and to provide engaging learning activities. If completing all of the work assignments is too much at this time, keep in mind that one activity is progress towards learning new strategies and skills to prepare your child for their future learning opportunities. Working with your child on learning activities strengthens your relationship bond, provides for communication and spreads the message that education, strengthening skills, is important for their life long journey.
As a parent, you may be overwhelmed by the Covid Closures and all of the resources and tips you are getting on Social Media. Mental health should be a priority for successful learning to be accomplished. Here are some tips to help to create positive learning and to be successful at home:
Always make learning positive and enjoyable - As teachers we use a "sandwich" approach to encourage the development of skills. The sandwich approach is to begin by recognizing something students are doing well, then to provide a suggestion and end with something positive for encouragement to continue. The opportunity to work with your child/ren on learning activities will provide you the chance to strengthen the bond you have with your child/ren. Children will enjoy the extra attention and support you can provide. You are also demonstrating that learning everyday is important for continuous self improvement.
Set up a learning space - It can be difficult to work from home. Some ways to help you be successful is to set a dedicated workspace in your home away from distractions. This can be your kitchen table or somewhere else that you feel suits your family best.
Set a schedule for learning time. If that schedule does not work, be flexible and change it to best suit you. This could be a scheduled morning time and afternoon time, or all at once. Depending on the age of your child/ren, as a family you can create the scheduled learning together that best works for all. When you are going through big changes, it's helpful to stick to your normal routine. Do your homework every day, get some fresh air and exercise, and have regular mealtimes and bedtimes. These can benefit you and your child/ren.
Children work well for rewards. Depending on the age of a student, they may not always see the lifelong benefits of learning new strategies and skills. Create a reward approach that works best for your family. Rewards do not have to be material items or require money. Rewards could be use of technology, having their favourite meal or spending quality time with parents. Together, you could develop a list of rewards they prefer.
Less is More - During these difficult times, do not feel that you have to complete all of the suggested learning activities. Each learning activity you attempt is an accomplishment for your child. Teaching your child to positively express their feelings and performing life skills is also an accomplishment to prepare your child for their life journey. Reading, cooking, measuring items around the house, counting, finding patterns, reading a clock, are just some life skills that will prepare your child. All learning activities accomplished will result in less struggles for the next school year.
Use Siblings to your advantage - Be honest with your older children. They are a great age to be able to understand others feelings and empathize with them. Say, " I am trying my best, but I'm feeling overwhelmed. I feel you would be great at helping me with _______." Asking for older siblings to help with learning will also help them to develop leadership skills. Sometimes a different persons approach can result in more success.
Children's worlds have been flipped upside down, as has yours. Hug them tighter after the tantrum and be sure to take time to thank and forgive yourself. You are doing your best as a parent. Remember to take a deep breath and everyday work toward progress, not perfection. You got this! We are always here to help and support you in any way, even if you just need to vent.
Stay safe, mentally and physically.