Springtime Sheltering at STS

Thoughts from our Managing Editor and new Homeschool Administrator Traci Johnson.

Hello STS customers and friends:

Like many of you, STS employees are sheltering in place at home with our families while we deal with the Covid-19 virus. In my case, I’m an editor and a brand new homeschool administrator for a 6, 11, and 15 year old.  Here are a few of the things that are helping me juggle work and school right now.

  • Create a brand new schedule. I am 4 weeks into the work/school juggling act. In the beginning I had a grand ideas of the kids waking up at seven-thirty and being done with their work by noon. All that got me was three grumpy kids. So we adjusted. My kids have their weekend bedtimes unless they have an early meeting with a teacher.  We also allow them to linger in their pjs in the morning.  They are much happier and it gives me time to focus (alone) on my work in the morning.
  • Create some accountability (and make it fun).  Our district has an online grading system where parents can view grades and assignments. I also have my kids keep an informal log of what they did each day. If they make it through the week without me hounding them about assignments, they get a reward. My kids like Chipotle and Starbucks so they get to place an order weekly.
  • Go outside. We live in the Chicago area and last week was our first 80 degree day. I told my 6 year old to read outside and then she spent the rest of the day happily playing in the yard.  All of us walk, ride a bike or ride a scooter outdoors every day. Because we’re stuck inside most of the time, that outside time has become a welcome release.
  • Find some help online. My older kids have regimented school assignments and meeting times, but my little one has tons of free time. Finding websites that offer her something to do has been a godsend. Attractions like the Shedd Aquarium offer virtual tours. My daughter has also done virtual safaris with the Cincinnati zoo. Some zoos even offer live feeding sessions on Facebook. Scholastic.com also has free learning resources for all grade levels that include books and videos.
  • Have fun. The Corona virus is awful and sheltering in place is not how any of us planned to spend the spring. But I’ve found that it is important to plan some fun for your family. We’ve done movie nights, game nights, lip sync challenges, formal dinners. Anything to break up the monotony of quarantine. We don’t do this every day – parents are not camp counselors and kids do want some alone time. But we will never spend this much time together again so we want our kids to have some good memories of this tough time.
  • It’s OK if you’re struggling. Actor Drew Barrymore said on the Today show that Corona parenting is not good days and bad days. It’s good hours and bad hours. That rang true for me. This is hard. Kids get bored. Parents and teachers are stretched thin. We’re all new at this quarantine thing. Last week my youngest daughter had movie day and watched Trolls all afternoon. Every day will not be equally productive.

So while the world is a lot quieter these days, all of us at STS are working hard at home. Call us if you need us. We’re still answering the phones and happy to assist you however we can.

Traci Johnson
Managing Editor
Scholastic Testing Service, Inc.
1.800.642.6787
www.ststesting.com

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