By Meryl Johnson

Children are the priority.  Change is the reality.  Collaboration is the strategy.  Judith Billings,   Washington State Superintendent

Keeping up with a child’s education during this pandemic crisis is an unnerving prospect that can exacerbate the challenges families are already facing. So, what can parents/caregivers do to alleviate some of the stress of learning from home?  How can doing school at home be made more effective and more tolerable for students, regardless of the resources families can access?

For the first three points, I went directly to Cleveland teachers:

1) Teachers become frantic when they can’t locate their students. They need your current phone numbers and emails. If those contacts change, please notify the secretary at your child’s/children’s school (s) as soon as possible. Secretaries will be available in all CMSD school buildings every day from 8 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 4 pm.

2) Please make sure your children are completing their assignments, and doing them with as much quality as possible. Teachers are asking that you monitor regularly to make sure a serious effort is being made on all assignments.

3) Ask for help. Be honest and open with your child’s/children’s teachers. Share your needs. Communicate everything, no matter how small it may seem. From a teacher: “We can help so much better if we know what’s going on.” Also, you can dial 211 at any time, 24/7, for assistance.

Here are some additional suggestions:

4)  Help your child establish and stick to a daily routine. Treat school days like regular school.  Have him/her/them get up at the same time every day, put on clothes, and eat breakfast.

5) Encourage physical activity and exercise. Whether it’s using breaks to walk the dog, to stretch, or to do jumping jacks—any movement helps. And, it also boosts the brain’s ability to function.

6) Take care of yourself. To have the energy and patience needed to take care of your children, do your best to take care of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. Even 10 to 15  minutes of  “not now” time during the day can be helpful.

It’s been said that success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. We will all come out stronger from this experience, as we learn to adapt to a challenge that is being faced all over the world.

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