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Search for solutions as schools resume

Just thinking ...
Search for solutions as schools resume Search for solutions as schools resume
Curley Esterdley

School is starting, and it is always an exciting time of the year.

This year, however, is a whole different ballgame. Students have been away from school for almost six months, an extremely long break. Many schools in our area are starting this week or next week. With the new record spread of COVID-19 and a higher rate of children contracting the virus, it’s a tough decision for parents to make whether or not to send their child(ren) to school. As an ex-teacher, parent and grandparent, I’m not so sure what I would do. It’s a tough decision to make.

Students definitely benefit from in-person instruction and need the socialization with their peers. It is extremely important in the education of children. But, at the same time, we need to keep our teachers and children safe.

I believe the younger the student, the tougher it will be for the teacher and students to follow the guidelines. Younger students are “touchy” people; it’s just their nature. They are still learning personal space and when lining up stand right next to each other. They have been taught to share, so they share their crayons, scissors, glue sticks, pencils, erasers, etc. They also still put stuff in their mouth, like a glue stick as Chapstick, chewing paper, biting on pencils, to mention a few. Hand washing consists of putting soap on their hand and rinsing it right off. Believe me, I know from 18 years of going to the rest room before lunch.

Wearing a mask? That will be hard to enforce, too. Support the teachers and educate your child on the importance of following guidelines. Practice with them. If you have a child in the age range of Pre-K to third or fourth grade, practice with them on social distancing, touching, wearing a mask, washing hands and not putting things in their mouth. Older children just need to practice being very mindful of their self and surroundings.

If you feel uncomfortable sending your child to school, or if it comes down to closing schools again, have you considered micro-schooling?

Micro-schooling is like that of the one-room schoolhouse, where the class size is a small group of mixed ages. It can be an hour or two, five days a week or a couple hours two to three days a week. It can be eLearning classes from the children’s main school or preschool for basic skills to enter kindergarten. The parents provide the classroom at their home. They can also invite another family or relatives to join the classroom, keeping the group size to no more than five to seven. For preschool-aged children, it would be about three to five children. Classrooms can be made in a basement or garage. All you need is a table and chairs, laptop or tablet, internet, school supplies and a teacher. Parents can alternate being the teacher or you can hire one. This is ideal for those parents working from home and don’t have the time or patience to help. As a teacher, I definitely know that it is very hard to teach your own child. I found it hard myself. If you need a teacher to micro-school, contact me at [email protected]

Lastly, your attitude through all of this affects everyone around you. Please try your hardest to be patient with whatever your school decides to do. Be a team player for your teachers and your children. Don’t find the faults; find the solutions.