Coping with kids during COVID-19 sequestration will take some creativity

March 24, 2020

This is an unsettling time and many households are struggling with what to do regarding educating their child.  The district gave links to grade appropriate materials and a schedule.

PBS and KQED are offering more educational programs to supplement remote learning as well. I recommend the KQED article as it explains how distance learning will work and ideas on how to support your child at this time.

But the scheduling of it all is where I feel challenged.  

During this time I can’t help but wonder about our anxious students, who are more emotionally impacted with this unsettling time, and further stressed by the suggested schedules full of expectations. 

May I offer an alternative?

Have you heard of unschooling?  It is a child centered style of learning that forms around the child’s interest. Weed’em and Reap is a great place to reach a deeper understanding and resources

It was easier to do when we could plan to go someplace as part of the learning was planning the trip.  But there are many lessons you can do right at home from cooking, gardening, redesigning a bedroom… all great ways to further an education in meaningful ways that will keep with your child through their life.   There are many more life skills acquired along the way than any remote classroom can offer as well.

Imagine starting a garden, and all the learning that comes with it.  Problem solving for what plants you consider, if you will start from seed or seedling, where you will plot it or place or pots, how is the soil for healthy growing, etc.. There is a lot of life in a garden, insects that are good because they help you get rid of those that feed on your plants.  If you have a yard, there are plenty of local subterranean creatures there to assist you: worms, centipedes, and salamanders. Older students can consider the importance of the chemistry of the soil, the consistency for drainage, making a study of where in the garden or potting options there are at least eight hours of sunlight, and best ways to keep pest free gardens.

There are also wonderfully imaginative ways to create a garden space, history has the hanging gardens of Babylon.  I am very fond of this modern spherical option

Though gardening is therapeutic for most it may not suit all the anxious ones.  Journaling is a wonderful way to cope. For those that hate writing, Google Chrome (it’s free!) has a voice to text option, most computers/phones have cameras so they can video journal. Personally, I am fond of the old fashioned diary with little lock and key. Introduce the idea, support the options that fit your child the best, and let that be a safe space for them you will respect the privacy of.  And most importantly, talk about your own struggle with these changes and how you are finding your ways to muddle through.

We will get through this and back to a more familiar normal.

Be well!

Kristen Brown

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