Many parents are wondering how to get through the coming weeks at home with their children. This is new territory for all of us, especially as “social distancing” becomes the new normal and virtual working and learning spaces replace the real thing.
Our newsletter will be an important tool to centralise communications with the school community. I am, like you, becoming numb with a constant bombardment of updates from everywhere. The School Board and P&C understand strongly that streamlined clear information should be sent out once a week and the newsletter will be sent out each Friday. It will include good news stories as well as updates and relevant links that may assist parents.
Your child’s work packages will be sent from the class teacher.
I realise that this time at home can feel overwhelming and is far from a typical home-schooling experience.
Importantly today we are sending out our At Home Learning Guidelines and a letter to you which outlines the next term. Parents are seeking clarity and direction and hopefully this information will answer some of the questions:
There are no expectations from the school and parents will not be judged about completing work. It is what best suits individual families and we understand many families are juggling work commitments.
Families must prioritise the health and wellbeing of their children and other relatives. We will consider their circumstances when we communicate with them. We will endeavour not to place families under additional stress by our expectations of student learning. It is recognised, however, that continuity of learning may assist with student wellbeing.
It’s OK to suspend the learning program and just enjoy the day as a family.
The school will still be open to cater for students of essential workers (unless it is closed by the Chief Health Officer for a short period of time.)
Year levels will send home weekly updates and materials. Ongoing arrangements and communications will be streamlined by teachers. Again, there are no expectations or pass or fail.
The positive news from the Mackesey family is that my boys are Chefs and I am drowning in honey with twice cooked pork belly and Osso Bucco on the menu last week. Heather and I have stepped up our fitness regime to avoid a blowout and the family dog Hamish, is the happiest I have ever seen him.
Look after yourselves and I may see you walking around Lake Monger. Dale Mackesey
COLLECTION OF HOME LEARNING MATERIALS
We will notify parents (via the Liaison Parents) on Monday about details for collection of Hardcopy Learning Packages which will be available on Tuesday.
These may be provided because some parents do not have the capacity to print OR the teacher has prepared a whole class set of materials (this will not apply to all year levels).
If you would like a truly accurate assessment of how home schooling is working out in our house, you should probably speak to our neighbours, who hear me shouting, our dog, who goes for more walks than she ever has before and our garbo, who takes away the empty bottles. Failing that (clearly the dog would provide some challenges), I’ll do my best to chronicle my experience so far.
It’s a roller coaster of a ride, attempting to teach a year 10, year 8 and year 5 from home, with little to no teaching experience of my own. My part time job ended last week, so time isn’t an issue. But having a family of 5 in one house 24 / 7 is. I thought the kids would be more thrilled when we announced our plans, but 2 of the 3 were angry and upset at us. More for the social restrictions than their loss of learning potential, let’s be honest.
On day 1, I had one child inside, studying Japanese, another outside studying maths and the 3rd in her room, screaming that she hated me and was returning to school the following day. By day 3, all three of my “students” were refusing to greet me with “Good morning Mummy”, in a sing-song voice, my year 10 was boosting my year 5’s score on Mathletics and my year 5 was attempting to do my year 10’s HASS homework on the GDP of underdeveloped countries. It was clear I had lost control.
We began with a “fluid”, relaxed model of home schooling, but that soon showed its cracks, as I was overwhelmed with emails and updates from two schools, not to mention all the extra “time-fillers” that were being emailed or posted on Facebook or recommended by friends. Now, the kids work off a daily timetable, so we all know what subjects they need to cover each day and there is a list of extra activities if they are / I am looking for extra things to fill their time. That’s working much better for us and it means the kids can work more independently. Most days we work through the morning, have a long lunch before another hour or two. But if that doesn’t work, we try to work with everyone’s mood.
Some days I feel great and very zen. We have lively conversations, play a fun game, get lots of school work done and I feel organised and on top of things. But on others I feel frustrated. Frustrated at achieving little outside home schooling. Frustrated at the blurring boundaries between parent and teacher and my children’s refusal to accept the new role that has been thrust upon me. Frustrated that my husband’s idea of home schooling is so different to mine. And frustrated at hearing a seemingly endless “Mum? Mum? Mum? Mum? Mum? Mum? Mum? Mum? Mum? Muuuuuuuuummmmm??????”. Some days there are tears, tantrums and a desperate desire to run out of the house. And that’s just me.
But I’m (slowly) learning when to let go. Put on an audiobook, head to the park for a game of frisbee. Do something as a “circuit breaker” to reset things. I’m also trying to think of “out of the box” versions of learning – partly to make things more fun, partly to appease my guilt at not being a better “teacher”. I attempt to use cooking as a maths / science lesson for example. Although that only works if the kids don’t realise what I’m doing!! Sometimes we facetime grandparents and involve them in school work – reading or school projects. Sometimes the kids help each other. When I start to panic about the kids “falling behind”, I have to remind myself that we are all in this together. Kids will adapt and the system will have to adapt and allow for this “unchartered” period of home schooling.
I also remind myself of the good stuff. There have to be some silver linings in this dark, crazy, cloud. Having fewer time pressures is one. I’m also loving having more time together as a family and reconnecting with the kids. Becoming a gun at year 10 maths isn’t all bad either.
Ziggies have been supplying our Booklist requirements for the past few years. They also supply most stationery items, games and toys so if you are looking to purchase any items please check their website for online purchasing https://www.ziggies.net.au/
From the P&C
HOT CROSS BUNS
The Hot Cross Bun Fundraiser is still going ahead! There is still a little time left before orders close.
Order by 9.00am Monday 6 April and collect the buns from the Undercover area on Thursday 9 April from 8.15am (social distancing and good hygiene will be implemented).
Place your order on QKr OR complete the attached form (Including Payment Details) and email it to email@example.com
ANZAC COMMEMORATIONS 2020
Due to the current essential health and safety restrictions, the Friends of ANZAC Cottage Inc has had to think “outside the box” to ensure that this very special day does not go unnoticed and that the community has an opportunity to pay its respects, albeit in a very different way to other years.
To this end the Friends of ANZAC Cottage Inc has developed some initiatives, Family ANZAC Activities and An ANZAC Sunset.