We are certainly in uncharted territory with the outbreak of COVID-19. New terms like social distancing and self isolation make our family, professional, and social lives come together in ways in which they may never have before.
Recently, under the direction of the Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, our government announced Island schools would be closed until at least April 6. Soon after, talk of parents’ responsibility to homeschool became a hot topic of discussion on various social media platforms. As a result, I see many parents feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.
Most of us parents are not teachers. And if we are, being home is a whole new world! Many of the messages floating around have parents wondering how they are going to manage everything during this crisis. Terra Doucette, Principal of Eliot River Elementary School, said it best in her letter to her school community:
“You do not need to try to recreate school at home. You know your kids best. Do what works best for your family and your kids over the next few weeks. It’s a stressful time; you may be stressed and your kids may be stressed. They may be exposed to misinformation on social media, or overwhelmed by what they are seeing on TV. Arguing with them about getting work done is not going to help anyone.”
Don’t stress – keep things fun
In our household we are taking things as they come. We recognize that we are not on vacation. We are not home because it is a choice. We are staying home to save lives and we are taking that responsibility seriously.
While we are home, we have decided to use this time to focus on helping our children learn important life skills that we have often felt too busy to work on. Things like doing chores, cooking, cleaning, some self directed art and science, mental math, music, and getting outside as a family. These times are trying enough. We are not going to put more needless pressure on ourselves and on our children.
Please remember, our children may not remember what they learned during this pandemic, but they sure will remember how they felt. Let’s not fight, let’s not argue. Instead, let’s find the learning opportunities in everything we need to do anyway and to remember to do so with love. When things get to be a little too much and you need a break…take it! We are all in this together!
Our challenge to you
Gracie, Hunter and I want to introduce daily challenges to everyone as a fun way to learn together. They will be different everyday and will completely depend on what we have around the house. We will try to keep it to things most people have. You can watch what we do here: https://www.facebook.com/KarlaBernardMLA/
If you are interested in taking the challenges we throw out, share your results with us on social media or please email me at [email protected].
A Mom just doing the best she can!
Karla Bernard, MLA (Charlottetown-Victoria Park), is the Official Opposition Critic for Education