Everyone wants their child to have a fair chance at being successful. From choosing the best schools, to hiring a tutor; there are plenty of resources available to ensure a child’s academic success. Even as a busy nursing student, now nurse, my children’s educational journey has been one I’ve been extremely active in. What I have learned is that many of us parents/guardians deal with the same challenges no matter the varying demographics.
When it was announced that the United States officially declared a pandemic in March 2020, I thought that virtual school would be so much fun for my family. I used to be the big sister that loved playing school with her siblings to help them with homework. Now, I get to do it with my own kids! What I did not take into consideration was the fact that it would be difficult for an 11 and 17 year old to suddenly not see their friends every day.
I did frequent check-ins to see how they were holding up emotionally. I suggested Zoom calls, but they were too cool for that. I offered grace where it was due, set reasonable goals, and defined clear expectations. “I understand that this is extremely hard, but we will get through this together. I am here for you and available whenever you need me. Although, this is a different platform, my rules are the same. There is no excuse for missing assignments or poor performance.” I was firm, but fair.
One of the positives I saw right away with this new transition was improved focus. There were no class comedians demanding attention. No outfit competitions, school crushes or cliques. Whenever my children became distracted, I would redirect them back to their school work. Since they were already on their computers for an entire day of instruction, I limited their personal electronic use. I encouraged taking frequent breaks. They had to get up and stretch between classes, or do a quick exercise. I also added electives: Home-economics, art, music, and a student newsletter they created. I really tried to make what was an extremely stressful time in our country, feel safe and enjoyable in our home.