Have your children settled into a home schooling routine yet?  From many reports, this is an uneven and bumpy road.  Some schools are providing an entire day of schoolwork, and parents are struggling to keep track of passwords and schedules, manage device use and sharing within the family, and track their children’s progress, while trying to do their own work.  Some schools are only offering an hour or two of online instruction for the day,  and parents are struggling to fill the rest of the day with something other than video games, worrying about whether their children are keeping up with their grade level, while trying to do their own work. Schools are reporting their inability to reach some students, and other districts haven’t even starting tracking.  School districts, including New York City, Washington, D.C.  and Las Vegas, are now forbidding the use of Zoom for remote learning due to their concerns about its security, forcing teachers and students to hastily figure out how to manage switching platforms. This pandemic has made it clear that we are a nation that was not ready or prepared for remote learning.

We at GCP will continue to pass along materials and resources to help, and we know that even with them this is a tough assignment.   Parents, be sure to give yourselves an A for effort, and when you start worrying about whether you are doing enough, just stop, take a deep breath, and exhale out those worries.  Remind yourself that this too shall pass, you can only do the best you can do.

Here are some of the latest resources:

  1.  Internet access:  Connectivity is key for successful remote learning.  Looking for low-cost internet service or devices?   Go to EveryoneOn and plug in your zip code to find the best offers in your area.
  2. Educational TV:  PBS is airing educational programming throughout the day. Check your local public television station for the schedule. Amazon has lifted the paywall on its AmazonPrime service for over 40 children’s shows. You can see the list of free children’s programming here.
  3. Public Library Websites : Check your local public library’s website–many have lots of helpful resources.  The Queens Public Library website is chock full of great reading and other learning resources, including a list of audiobooks (including the Harry Potter series) available for instant downloading.

One more thing, to make you smile:  New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, announced this week that The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy have been deemed essential workers, so they will be free to carry out their duties even during the pandemic.   Be sure to let your children know!  (You can assure them that even if other world leaders don’t make the announcement, this will be the case worldwide.)