26 Mar Lesson 9: Community Service
If you have been following this blog series, you may have the following kind of day unfolding. At some point in the morning you make a schedule for the day with your kiddos. You decide on a mantra to get you through the hard parts. Across the day your child is helping organize the photos, might take some time to make a book of their own, reads on their own, does some inventory or list making for you, spends some independent time on a project of their choosing and then you end the day with some stories together.
In reality, there is probably more yelling and screen time involved, and some work refusal and some packets or whatever. Thats all fine. I think what we want to keep our eyes on is the general emotional health of your child, and their engagement in any kind of activity that we could call learning. I think a lot of the work refusal and frustration make sense, school is a place and a concept. Think about how much harder it might be for you to work at home. Little ones especially don’t have a lot of cognitive flexibility, they do school work at school, trying to do it at home is a mindbender and a half.
Again, the goal of these daily practices is that they don’t involve a lot of your energy, the materials are low-fi, and they keep the skills your child have honed. Not that any of us have time to read, but if you do, Alison Gopnik’s The Gardener and The Carpenter might be worth your time right now.
Okay, last big daily practice for you to embed in your day: community service. The academic work involved in this is going to be list making, possibly some research, time allotments, etc. This can be like the project work in that you help set your child up with a plan to do some good for the world. Good for the world could mean a positive sign on your apartment door. It could be a “no-touch” lemonade stand, you set it up and leave a space for people to put money and then you donate the money, it could be a letter campaign. It could be reading a book to a younger sibling. It could be family based, do some extra chores, host a sing along. Figure out choices with your child and unleash them on the world (Whether it be the world of your home/apartment or larger). Remember, social distancing is a community service, so it doesn’t have to be anything huge.
Tomorrow is the last day of these, and then I am going to rethink how best to support people out in the world. Feel free to share your own thoughts on how I might help you moving forward.