Firstly I would like to start this post and say that I hope everyone is feeling well and that everyone is following the HSE guidelines of handwashing and social distancing. We will have St. Aengus NS open as soon as we are told by the HSE. Schools and principals are not getting any special information on when this might be and we too are learning on a daily basis from different media sources. We are only in week one of this ever-evolving situation.
There is concern out there as to what to do in this crisis as regards your child’s education. I want everyone to see this from the school’s perspective and hopefully, this will ease any unwanted stress at this time.
Firstly, you are your child’s primary educator (as written in the education act) and teachers only take over the role temporarily when they come to school. It is completely up to you how you want to fill your child’s day. If that is playing on the trampoline, cycling a bike, watching T.V. or baking, you should not feel worried or stressed at this time. This is all learning. So much of a child’s learning experiences come incidentally/accidentally off their family unit.
This is unprecedented and there is no way anyone could have prepared for such an event. With little or no notice, we were forced to close and schools right around the country scrambled to get the children ready for something that no one had previous experience of. I, for one, am glad of the leadership in our country for closing the schools, not only for the children’s sake but for everyone in their community.
Distance learning is something that is not really possible in primary schools. Every day class teachers/learning support teachers differentiate for the children in their class. The pace of the class is tailored for the needs of the classroom. In secondary schools pupils are streamed, something that doesn’t happen in primary schools. We understand that a lot of people are working from home and to be a full-time educator of your child is not feasible. The focus should be on making your child and your family feel safe and happy at this time.
What if I don’t do all the work sent home by the school? Don’t worry! You are doing enough. This was done as a last-minute exercise by the school, we had no clue it was coming and for how long it would last. The teachers did an amazing job and their time will be spent, when we get back to school (and this will happen) teaching your child and getting them back on track with our curriculum.
Look after yourself. Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health.
Should I be using the links on the website?
Master Kelly has put up some useful links on a padlet account on the main page of the website. This will be updated on a regular basis and the book companies are now beginning to put their books online for people to access for free. You are under no obligation to use them but they are there for you to access as you wish.
If we lived in a perfect homeschool world, every home could aspire to do these simple tasks.
- Set aside a period of the day where the mammy/daddy is the teacher. Or even flip it around so the children are the teachers.
- A little bit of reading, audiobook or drop everything and read.
- An active break. Hundreds of online resources.
- Some bit of practical maths. This could be cooking, learning to use the washing machine, dryer, estimating, etc.
- A bit of online research in a project of their choice. Get them to present it to you.
- Art. Use recycled materials, construction. All you need is some sticky tape and the robots, monsters, space ships will appear.
- Learn a song. Maureen and Ms. Connaughton will be itching to go with the singing club when school returns.
- Free play. Children learn so much from this activity, like social norms and new vocabulary.
- Tables and spelling. We know the importance of these in school and this is something you can tailor easily to your child’s needs with repetition and working at their own level.
- Buy a packet of stickers and make a progress chart for your child.
Again if you decide to do none of the above that is your decision and no one will judge you for it.
Finally, I will be updating the website when we have any new information.
Please take everything in perspective with this crisis. Your child’s health and safety and that of your loved ones take priority in this unprecedented situation. Stay safe and we cannot wait to reopen the doors to the great boys and girls of St. Aengus N.S. soon again.