While BC looks to re-open the province, the BC Ministry of Education is starting to put a plan in effect for schools to begin delivering on-site education. While no decisions have been made as of yet, there have been announcements indicating that some schools may be open in some fashion in June, though in-person attendance is unlikely to be mandatory.
This means the home schooling and distance education that has been in place since March will likely continue for the remainder of the school year. Aside from missing the social interaction of school, most students appear to have adapted well to this new education delivery system. But how are the parents coping? Well, that’s a different story . . .
Based on comments made through a recent online poll conducted by Okanagan School District #23, many parents aren’t adapting as well as their students. But don’t worry! There are a few things you can do to survive the great COVID-19 Homeschooling Event of 2020:
1) Create a Routine, Not a Schedule
While schedules are a great way to make sure things are done in a timely fashion, they’ll be a hard thing to implement at home. With many parents working from a home office, there’s just no way of watching your student 24/7. A routine on the other hand gives a little more flexibility while still getting the work done. Set wake up times, give time for breakfast, start school work at a specific time and set a finish time. Make sure there’s room for breaks and lunch, and keep the routine going.
2) Encourage Visiting the Outdoors
Kids aren’t actually used to doing school work from 9am-2:30/3pm. There are natural breaks, transitions between classes, spare periods, etc. This is where breaks are essential as it gives them some downtime. Encourage them to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air, play a game, get some exercise. Anything to break up the day a little.
3) Communicate with the Teachers
Whether you’re a parent who takes part in school activities, like the PAC and fundraisers, or a parent who has little contact with the school outside of the norm, it’s important to contact teachers to let them know what is or is not working. This is just as new for the teachers as it is for you and your student(s), so communication is key.
4) Avoid Comparing to Other Parents/Schools
While you might be able to crib some great tips from other parents, you have to remember that different classes and schools will all have a different way of doing things. One parent in West Kelowna for example has three kids, all in different schools (1 elementary, 1 middle, and 1 in high school) and the learning styles and delivery are completely different. So try not to compare, just do whatever works best for you and your home life.
5) Make Sure There’s Downtime and Separation for Everyone
This is all very new and most families are not used to being together all the time, and more so, not used to educating while also working from home at the same time. It’s very important to give your students and yourself a break to catch your breath, get some separation, and recharge. Whether this is laying down boundaries for some alone time or just agreeing on different rooms for a set time period. It’s important for your own sanity to get some chill time to yourself.
6) If All Else Fails . . .
We happen to live in the wine capital of Canada. Don’t be afraid to open a bottle of merlot 😉