Who would have thought that term 2 was going to commence under these circumstances? It is a time of new learning for all of us and each of us is coping in different ways.
Some people are enjoying the slowing down of life, the lack of urgency to go here there and everywhere. Some people are trying to come to terms with altered futures with many people being laid off or on reduced incomes. Some people have already lost their livelihoods and are contemplating a future with limited income from the government, but with mortgages and bills that still need paying.
We have all read the uplifting poems and sayings doing the rounds on social media and in the beginning we needed some positivity. However, more and more is being shared that acknowledges the different levels of stress that each person is under during lockdown. This morning I read an article (not sure if it was fake news as I am reading anything and everything at the moment!) that outlined how some people may come out of lockdown exhibiting all the signs of PTSD. Whether or not this is correct, it is important for us to not judge how others are coping, but understand that we all react to stress in different ways.
This brings me to the point. School started yesterday and children did their schoolwork under totally different conditions. Just as parents exhibit different responses to stress, so too will children. Some will take it all in their stride and at the other end of the spectrum, some will completely meltdown in one way or another. So please, do not cause further stress to your child and yourself by getting into an argument / discussion / shouting match about their schoolwork.
Please go easy on yourself as well. We know you’re not teachers, we don’t expect you to be an expert. All we want you to do is set the conditions for your children to be able to access their learning tasks, have a space set up and offer lots of encouragement and praise for the work they are doing. And if they are digging their toes in, then turn on TV2 + 1 and let them watch the education channel, or let them read their book, or let them construct something, or let them do some baking or some drawing. Every single thing the children are doing at the moment involves them learning something new. It may not look like conventional learning but it is still learning.
I have been asked whether parents are expected to keep their child doing their learning tasks from 9am – 3pm with a morning tea break and a lunch break. Goodness me – no!
You decide your own timetable, one that suits you and your children. Break up the day with a walk or some vigorous outdoor activity (PE). Do some sort of art or craft activity (visual art). Do a hunt around outdoors and look at how many insects they can uncover and draw diagrams of the insects and their habitats (science). Give them some bits and pieces so they can construct something – make it a task ie make a bridge or a sky scraper (technology). There are many, many on line options for children to watch / participate in. Have a look at the VAS Facebook page where parents have been posting lots of great ideas.
Please, take care of yourselves and your family. Do not stress about their schooling. Do what you can secure in the knowledge that your children are learning many new things at the moment.
Carla White, year 6 teacher is leaving VAS on 28 April to take up her new position at a private school. We thank Carla for her energy and enthusiasm, she has been a great person and teacher to have in our school and we wish her all the best. Mrs Kelly Juers, who currently works part time at VAS, will take over from the 28th, whether on line or in person!