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Register for kindergarten, or wait another year? Scrap the distance learning and opt into a homeschool program, or stick it out and hope campus opens in the fall? Stick with what your friends and neighbors are doing, or blaze your own trail when it comes to kids’ education? There is no end to the list of questions parents face when it comes to making school decisions – and many of them crop up around this time of year when applications and registrations come due. In Episode 298 of The Mom Hour, Meagan and Sarah offer seven guiding principles to consider when making any school decision, from preschool through high school. We can’t help you decide or tell you what to do, but today we’re here to validate the struggle and give you our experience.
“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:
With schools across the country increasingly moving in the direction of online-only attendance in the fall, many moms are asking: “How do we make this work?” While homeschool pods, cutting back hours at work and other creative solutions may be a temporary solution for some families, there are many others for whom these options are not on the table. And there’s no doubt that moms are unfairly shouldering the brunt of this crisis (as we are so often expected to do). In this month’s Voices interview, Meagan talks with Anne Halsall, co-founder and CPO of online child-care directory Winnie; listen as they dig into issues around work, parenting, and inequality that this pandemic has uncovered—and discuss some reassuring news about the safety and availability of licensed daycare to fill some of those gaps.
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.