“Zoom school” is in session in both our homes, although the programs and schedules are very different for our six school-aged kids, grades two through eleven. In this week’s episode we check in about how remote learning is going for our elementary, middle, and high schoolers, giving an honest assessment of the areas that are going better than expected (or worse…or just about the same). We also pool our experience to share some strategies for keeping kids motivated and engaged, and recommend some purchases to set up your home as a learning environment.
My kids–starting second, fifth, and seventh grades this fall–are all learning from home right now. And while I’m in love with some of the cute home learning workspaces I’ve seen shared online, we just moved into this house in July and I don’t even have it decorated from a baseline yet, let alone a refresh for my kids’ distance learning.
So instead of cute decor, my focus has been on pure function. We’ve seen how a few small purchases can make a BIG difference in kids’ ability to sit, focus, and attempt to learn in this crazy environment. Here are a few things we’ve learned so far:
Back-to-school season usually means a refreshing change of schedule and, for many parents, fewer hours with kids in the house. This year, the way we use our homes for school, work, and leisure look very different–but that doesn’t mean we can’t harness some of that familiar fall energy and tackle clutter in a new way for a new reality. Join Sarah and longtime listener/community member Mandy Yang for a look at how the Konmari method of decluttering can serve us as we set up our homes for one of the stranger seasons in memory. We talk about repurposing items you already own, how to help kids part with their “treasures,” and why the Konmari method is so often misunderstood.
After listening to moms around the country share their feelings about schools re-opening (or not), Meagan and Sarah continue the discussion we started last week by looking at the challenges facing families this fall. We touch on the core drivers of school decision-making–academics, childcare, kids’ social-emotional health, and community health–and talk through the pros and cons of some of the likely learning scenarios on the table for kids. Just like last week, this is an inclusive conversation meant to bring encouragement and understanding, no matter where you are in your school decision for Fall 2020.
That feeling when summer has all but killed your morning mojo and you’re BEGGING for a fresh start? Yep, we’re there. Sarah’s kids are newly back in school and Meagan’s are gearing up, so this episode is all about resetting our mornings. We talk about what has worked in the past, what needs a reset this year or will be changing completely, and offer our best tips for getting out the door on time, feeding yourself and your kids, and how to fit exercise in with it all. (Kidding. We haven’t figured that part out yet, but we have much to say about the challenge!)
Sarah has a new middle schooler and needs all the tips, which Meagan is happy to share. And many of you are launching new kinders or early elementary kids this year, something the two of us have done a combined eight times (!!). In Episode 221 Sarah leads a pep talk with tips for parents with kids starting elementary school and Meagan takes a turn with advice about middle and high school.