Recently, a superintendent of a highly rated school system in the mid-Atlantic area of the country spoke to a local chamber of commerce. During those remarks, he shared a very candid statement about the impact of the pandemic on education. He said, “We are going to be recovering from this for the next several years.” Those words hung in the air for a few moments. It is fair to say that most, if not all, hearing them found that statement to be not only true but also one that has set the stage for what parents and educators will be facing.
So let’s take a step back and look at this. The pandemic experience has reshaped many aspects of life in the U.S. How we work, commute (or not commute), shop, interact, travel, even where we choose to live. Yes…it has been stressful. But it has also brought about new mindsets, new ways of seeing challenges as well as more innovative ways in meeting them.
Within the world of education, much of the same can be said. Terms such as in-class, hybrid, virtual, homeschool, school coops now populate the lexicon. This has compelled parents to look more closely at and explore options that they feel best fit their family. Such scrutiny is what is needed to meet the aforementioned recovery challenge identified by the superintendent. It can indeed be scary as well as rewarding.
So…what can you do as a parent to engage this recovery for your student? First, it is key to remember that growth does not come without struggle. Do not allow your child to get caught up on how hard a task or project may be. Hard is good. You know this to be true. It stretches the mind and the body.
Second, keep your children socially engaged. This will mean getting them out of the house, off the screens, and spending time with peers in ways that are safe while enabling them to experience relational connections. God created each of us as a relational creature. We need to connect with others. Our kids need to connect with others.
Third, be sure that your child can get their emotions out. They are experiencing something that will have a long-term effect on them…and you. God put emotions in us as a barometer on how we are feeling. He also gave us a mind and free will so we can harness them when we need to.
Lastly get on your knees with your child and let him/her hear you thank God for them. For all that He has provided. Yes…thankfulness is a cornerstone in the foundation of a meaningful life.