There is no doubt that we are in a season of rough seas ahead of us, and how we navigate through them all depends on our perspective.
Friends, we are in unprecendented times; people are losing loved ones; losing jobs; we are quarantined in our houses away from loved ones and friends; dealing with our own health issues. Our children are having to move to a virtual learning model instead of being in school learning from their teachers, students will not have graduation ceremonies or go to proms.
It’s completely unfair! But we can only control the things we can control, so during this time of crisis we all need to learn how to shift our mindset!
We need to ask ourselves “at this time of confusion, frustration and dispair, can I look at this time from a different perspective” and the answer is YES!
Believe me, when we first were told on March 10, 2020 that school was closed for the “remainder of the week”, I think we all thought well that’s good because we were being cautious! But then when we learned it would be closed for “3 weeks” and we were going to do enrichment activities for school, then I started to panic. Yes reality set in that my son and husband were going to be home with me for 3 WEEKS, and I needed to come up with activities to keep my son busy! Yes the school did give us a list of ideas, but I can’t talk about The Cold War!
Then when we learned that our school will be closed until May 4th and now we don’t think we will be going back to school for the remainder of the academic year, then the reality truly set in. We are very much in a crisis situtation. People rushed to the stores…toilet paper, Lysol, canned goods and soap started disappearing from store shelves, and the threat of someone in our house catching COVID-19 was on my mind day and night. But there was something else on my mind… my son’s education. The thought of him regressing. The very thought of him losing all the progress he has made over the last 7 months had me angry…frustrated…sad!!
We now had to “figure out a new routine“. We had to come up with a schedule of what life would look like until May 4th at home! I created a designated area for my son to work, with school rules and our schedule for his work.
When it came to staying busy during this time, we did alot of “enrichment activities“. I loved going to Acadia National Park virtually, and learning about dolphins we even watched Dolphin Tale one night. I also loved the way all the zoos, and marine centers have live Facebook events. We are learning so much.
But his IEP goals (Math and Reading) was constantly on my mind. As the days merged into one, I realized that everyone, every child, every family, every school is in the same situation. No one really knows what to do or how to keep everything going during this crisis.
We keep busy with walks by ourselves because of social distancing, walking our dogs and playing basketball.
After jumping on several webinars, to figure out what is going to happen with my son’s education, I realized that we were not that bad off. Families of children with disabilities, we have a roadmap a plan….THE IEP!
And then I started to shift my perspective. I started seeing all the good that was coming from this crisis. My family being home and spending more time together.. the memories we are making.
I realized that I am not “the teacher” that I am a parent who cares about their child’s education and will do the best that I can to help him “maintain” what he learned. That I get to see a better picture into my son’s education … the IEP plan, to see if things are working!
I realized that it’s not going to be perfect and to give myself grace. That when things feel like a struggle, to check in with myself and ask:
- “what do I need right now?”
- “what do my children need right now?”
- “what does my family need right now?”
and me grateful for the time I have with my family, making great memories while being an active participant in my son’s education.