When the break for the virus started our school decided at first to just give the students the first days off as Act of God days. My son’s grade school was made an effort to start posting on Facebook and reaching out to the students. Letting them know that they were missed. We do love my son’s teacher!
Here’s what happened our house though and how we are dealing….. My son loves things to be planned and stay the same. We try hard to make transitions easy for him, and when we found out that school was going to go to online school we did mention it to him. He wanted us to stick with his school schedule, plan out the day with activities and he gave us the schedule for the school day. The hard part was that the school had no plan yet, and they were fine with viewing the first few days as vacation. My life became signing up for free services and getting my son started on something for each of his subjects following exactly his schedule online. Over time we discussed and he agreed that without other students with questions and the time it takes he was able to work faster…. so we did finally work up so a little more flexible time schedule for our class times.
The school finally came online but has been sticking with mostly reading and math, leaving out social studies, science, and planned activities for everything else. Our day is structured enough we have even been adding in music and art on the appropriate days. Each morning we find activities that fit the subject and study that along with have a discussion about the topic. We’ve even included some fun experiments to go online, and we’ve added coding as a subject – that wasn’t included before. As time goes on, we are slowly able to modify our schedule, but making slow transitions makes life a little easier for my son.
So far I’ve been using Chalk to plan our day, Newsela and Commonlit to help find activities for reading – my son didn’t like the planned reading from school, activities to do with the revolutionary war and colonies for social studies, the universe for science, (we love BrainPOP videos too), we’ve added MangaHigh for more challenging math, and added Tynker for coding. We also did a round of StoriumEdu for Writing. – Fun but would have been better with more kids. We’ve also included Pe Activities, Legos for art, and other fun activities.
Through all this I’ve also dealt with hearing the words special needs parents dread of you are being too easy on him. This is because instead of him slacking off on school, he is doing more, following a regular day schedule and studying above his grade level. I do totally understand the parents that are just doing the minimum, the parents that are complaining they have too much going on, they are stressed and teaching their child with elementary school material that they don’t understand is too much to add…. but I think each parent should do what they can. Besides hearing from family and friends that me letting my son choose to follow his schedule (and do more than everyone else), I’ve heard that the asst. principal commented that ‘no one else is doing that’. Like it’s a bad thing that my child is excited about school and really wants to do schoolwork.
In all honesty it would make my life easier if my son would slack, letting me work on my teaching, helping other family also, not having to work so hard on planning my son’s schedule, but I’m not going to discourage him from wanting to learn and I’m also not going to stress him out more by throwing him off his schedule if he’s found what works for him.
What’s working for you?