School closures offer parents a new opportunity

So, your kids’ school closed for the remainder of the year. No doubt you’re in quasi-panic mode ask yourself questions such as “how will I get my work done and ensure that my kid(s) don’t fall behind academically?” or “which online educational resources should I use?” or “will summer camps be closed too?” These and many others will pop up over the next few days and weeks as we all embrace our new roles as parent, worker (in whatever guise), and educator.

Learn the latest on school closures from across the nation from Education Week.

Although it may be difficult to accept at first, but what if we change our lens and look at these school closures as an opportunity? An opportunity to help our kids thrive by teaching them new skills. An opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level. An opportunity to help them understand the benefits of slowing down and being present. If we look at this challenging situation in a different way, there’s something truly inspiring about what lies ahead for both parents and kids.

A friend of mine and fellow parent, Jeremiah Owyang, posted the following note from an unknown source on Facebook. I found inspiration in it, and I hope you will too.

If they cancel the rest of the school year, students would miss 2.5 months of education. Many people are concerned about students falling behind because of this. Yes, they may fall behind when it comes to classroom education...

But what if...

What if instead of falling “behind", this group of kids are ADVANCED because of this?

What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing.

What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet.

What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?

What if this generation are the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well-run home?

What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less?

What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home.

What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?

What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?

What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?

What if they are AHEAD? 🙏🏼🏡♥️🏫
-unknown source

Know that you are not alone. It’s going to be a challenge, but we’re all going to get through this.

 

About the Author

Kelby has spent the last three-plus years leading the content strategy and editorial programming for Providence. His passion is finding the cultural insights that can be turned into relevant and helpful stories that will connect with people emotionally.

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