The blog title is from Keith Gaynor’s presentation at the Positive Mental Health event at METNS. We are only in Day 6 of school closure, beginning to see what kind of distance learning activities might suit primary age children, beginning to see what activities/timetable might become our family routine.

Are you as parents/guardians minding yourselves and giving yourselves time? If your young children are running about like mad things – do know, they do that at school too! If your older children are saying they have all the work done and are slouching and saying they’re bored – do know, they do that at school too! Children simply cannot have the Learning Activities sheet completed to a satisfactory standard! What activities will your child choose for tomorrow, Thursday, Friday? How are they faring with setting up a timetable? Are they totally dependent on you as parents? When will they assess themselves as ready to learn independently? How will they assess themselves in the numeracy and literacy and project work they choose to do? How will they reward themselves? Are they demonstrating a positive attitude as is expected every day from teachers when at school?

Class plans from individual teachers will be emailed through Aladdin on Friday 27th March 2020 at 10:00am. Today’s blog is mainly links and ideas about how to look after ourselves during this time of uncertainty and change.

Brené Brown has some words of wisdom to share:

“… a note to parents.

I get how hard this is. In the podcast, I talk about hiding from my family in a tuba. It’s overwhelming. Some of us are very ready for virtual school to start up and some of us are scared. However weird the experience may be, we need to partner with teachers to try to make this work. LOTS and lots of grace.

There’s a growing movement of “We’re opting out of homeschooling or participating in the online stuff.” That’s your call. But here’s one thing I would say: Watch screen time. Limitless screen time during an emergency that’s going to last for weeks is not reducing anxiety. It’s throwing gasoline on it. Let them read or do nothing.

Whether we’re onboard for online or we’re opting out, we should all do our kids a huge favor right now and let them experience boredom.

But, we must be ready. Boredom will be an FFT for a lot of our children who have TikTok, memes, and games at the ready, 24 hours a day.

Just as we can come out of our skin during hard first times, they will too. It will take hours of complaining about feeling like they’re dying before they settle into that strange place that’s rarely visited by today’s children – their imagination. We don’t need to entertain them, we need to model vulnerability for them and support them in this FFT.

Boredom is sacred. We shouldn’t deny our children this holy experience.

As we all try to put one foot in front of the other, my team and I are committed to getting relevant content to you via the podcast, social posts, and the blog. Sometimes serious, sometimes not serious at all. We need it all right now!

Once we’re on the other side of this pandemic, we’ll release podcast episodes every Wednesday. Right now, we’re dropping bonus episodes – some COVID-19 related and some not. Please join us!”

We close our blog  thinking of the many families who are facing financial challenges through loss of income during this crisis. We hope that as the DSP community has always done, we can be supportive over demanding times now and in the days ahead.