Creating community school
I want to get some suggestions and input.
The local public school system has announced they will be all online this fall. I have enough experience and background to create some school like weekly events for the kids on our street.
Thoughts, ideas, suggestions, what’s important?
What ages? Having done homeschool for three months in lockdown with my 4 year old I think the hardest thing to cover at home for that age group was social skills with peers and group interactive type activities – especially for only children/large age separation from siblings.
My friends with primary age children found it very hard to cover basic arithmatica andliteracy if their children had difficulties with the standard ‘read books and do worksheets’ teaching method. Most non-teachers just have no idea how to explain subtraction to a kinetic learner, for example. So maybe lots of fun math and literacy games (combined with running around outside to let off energy?)
High school? Maybe offer a drop in Q&A/group study session (under a tree is traditional) since kids were reporting having to wait days for answers to questions if they hit a roadblock to understanding a subject. You could drop hints about study skills/exam taking strategies/stress management during these sessions as well for those who seem receptive.
Thanks for the reply!!!
I’ve homeschooled. It is less about the academics, I guess what I am trying to flesh out is logistic and goals. Because ultimately some of my goal is to build a resilient neighborhood. I agree with you completely about the need for some socialization and maybe that is part of my goal.
There are about 20 houses on the street. We all moved in at the same time and we have about 10 K-6th grade kids and a few high schoolers. Then we also have a bunch of houses that are middle aged couples with maybe a college aged kid or two still at home. Some of those women are in the position to help me and I think the whole thing would be great at building community.
I have an outside space I can use, but if it rains or is cold we will have to cancel.
Do I try to do academics or should we just use the time for things like art and music? And then there is the whole Covid thing. It will be outside, six feet apart but it is still a gathering of people.
Thanks for “listening“
Wonderful idea! However, beware of taking too much responsibility. I would ask neighbors to also provide indoor and outdoor space so as to rotate the venue. Have liability waivers. I agree academic study is not the point, especially with mixed ages. Make it about games and stories and running around. Show clarity about what these activities will consist of. There are so many things you all could do! If I were a parent there I would love this. Set some standards about participant interaction based on non-violent communication ideas. This could be mainly by example and holding a clear intention, rather than by making overt rules. Great community-building plan! Also will help to hold an intention of always listening and being flexible. Then the intelligence of the whole group, adults and children, can emerge in amazing ways.
I’m not clear how social distancing will affect your plans.
I think it will be useful to have the option to video call for rainy days, and to share indoor crafts. (more on that below).
I homeschooled my 2 daughters from age 11 yrs to 14 – years before the pandemic. On the craft side I undertook cooking, sewing, knitting and cross-stitch, and in the spring we grew plants from collected seed. One daughter insisted on a reading “hour” every day. We made cushion covers to show off fancy machine stitches; sometimes we used craft kits. It was great fun and I still have some of the items they made.
It was really about trying new things: reading, watching and making sense of instructions, taking care with what you’re doing, and ultimately learning a new skill. Do any of your neighbours knit?
Yes, part of why I want to talk this out a bit is I am worried about taking on too much.
I also appreciate your comment on non-verbals communication. Some theater games might be a good activity to teach some of those skills to the kids too.
The school system is doing a bunch of stuff online. I think what I am trying to do is create a format for some real social interaction and a chance for the parents to get a bit of a break.
Thank you for your input because it is these suggestions and thoughts that are helping me really solidify what I am doing and what am I trying to achieve.