Just what are we going back to?
Earlier this month, About Islam polled readers and asked their back-to-school thoughts. Some parents were adamant that attending in-person school was, “Essential for children to get their education.”
Others prefer to err on the side of caution with one parent responding, “It seems very risky to me as proposed right now.” While another suggested, “I think they should wait a little longer.”
Laura El Alam, writer and mother of five in Massachusetts, USA, shares, “I was SO excited about putting my three youngest children on that yellow school bus this fall. I had it all planned out in my mind.
I would wave delightedly from the corner as the bus rolled away, taking them all to school for six full hours, five days a week. It was going to be epic. True, I would probably shed a few tears as my baby waved from the bus window on her way to Kindergarten, but the tears would have been a mixture of love, sadness, and joy. I was ready for this next step. She is ready, too. […] And then COVID happened.”
Still other parents are contemplating the pros and cons of homeschooling. One parent explained that the Covid-19 pandemic, “Has made me seriously think homeschooling is a valid solution,” while another parent earnestly argues, “I think people should continue to homeschool indefinitely.”
But not all families have the luxury, resources, and abilities to homeschool their children while also balancing work, physical fitness, and mental health! For many parents, both public and private educational institutions serve as part-time childcare in addition to teaching essential educational, life, and social skills.
This year has proven how unpredictable life can get. So as we face the new academic year with so much uncertainty, here are five things to keep in mind.
1 – Have a “Plan A” and a “Plan B”
Being able to change course and stay flexible is a gift. It’s great if you have calendars, color-coded bullet journals, and well-organized schooling plans to keep you and your kids on track. But it’s also vital to consider alternate goals.
Planning alternatives—or even worst-case scenarios—will help you more gracefully pivot as things progress this year.
Modeling this kind of flexibility also helps your children recognize that other possibilities exist (reducing stress) and prepare for what will happen in each type of situation.
2 – Work out all the “What If’s”
This technique is helpful if you don’t allow yourself to wallow in anxiety-fueled apocalyptic outcomes. Understanding where things might lead helps you take critical actions now to set you up for greater success down the road.
For example, although your kids are headed back to in-person classes this fall, they may need to switch back to distance learning or homeschooling if circumstances change. You can prepare for that possibility by making lists of resources and other needed infrastructure improvements (like creating enticing home-office spaces) so you’ll be able to quickly adapt.
The important thing here is to not focus only on all the ways things can go wrong, but to also imagine all the different ways things can go right, even despite setbacks.
3 – Set a deadline, decide, and make moves!
Don’t linger on the fence. Once you’ve weighed all the options, decide and set out on your course. Gather the resources you’ll need to succeed.
Consider who you can enlist in your networks to help you on your journey. Are there local homeschooling communities you can join to support you in your journey? Can you enlist the help of tutors?
How can you structure your schedules for the maximum benefit of everyone in the family? What crucial (and supplementary) supplies do you need to hit your goals? Can you expand your own parenting (or teaching) skill-set via distance learning? No matter what direction you choose, be sure to set off and start walking it!Pages: 1 2