For families with school-aged children and for those involved in education, the terms school closure, remote learning, Google Classroom and Zoom likely increase your blood pressure and accelerate your heart rate. In the 62-year history of the school where I work, 2020 marked the first time when students were not permitted to come to school: they left for March break and came back on September 8. As 2021 began, families in Ontario once again found their school-aged children at home, after what was intended to be a two-week Christmas break. In future years, parents may not agree to any scheduled school breaks, if they keep being extended by weeks and months!
As a school principal and a dad, I offer the following simple truths. They were true before the pandemic; they will be true after the pandemic, and they may be especially important during:
Read to your children. It is good for them. And it’s actually good for you.
Play games with your children.
Create something. Paint a mural. Make a craft. Knit. Build a birdhouse.
Listen to music.
Go outside. Find some hiking trails in your area and enjoy the world around you.
Perhaps most importantly, turn off the screens from time to time. Technology has created all sorts of great connections through the pandemic, but it is important to put them aside and immerse ourselves in the non-virtual world. Your children will thank you for it . . . someday.
Principal, Beacon Christian School
Do you feel encouraged, or maybe not so alone? You can find more uplifting words in this series here.