Mrs. Wieland's Updates
May 8, 2020
Happy Friday Everyone!
Stay on Track
We are just two weeks away from the end of the school year and what a ride we have all been on. While we do not have the answers we are so desperately wanting in regards to when we can get back to normal, we are all united in our efforts to help today's youth succeed academically and beyond. In these remaining days, keep in mind that it is still important to stay on track. Five things that are very helpful to seeing this happen are: keep a routine and/or a planner, use printed resources sometimes, fill knowledge gaps, be patient with yourself, and limit distractions.
Keep a Routine and/or a Planner
While doctors believe that having a daily routine is key to maintaining your mental health, it may seem less so, when all your days feel/look the same. Families can avoid the monotony by utilizing a planner or even a journal. For the tech savvy, electronic calendars may take the place of a handwritten planner or journal but encourage penning some thoughts from time to time. Sprinkling in exercise and video calls with friends are also of benefit. Mindfulness videos can also be the start to your routine and added to a planner. There are many to choose from and there are numerous apps to assist in this.
Use Printed Resources Sometimes
We are very proud of how both our students and our faculty have transitioned to virtual instruction but that does not necessarily mean students should rely solely on virtual means to study and complete work. If your student is a hands-on learner, work with them to find the right balance to be successful. This could be making hard copies of select materials that are easily manipulated with highlighters and make for less strain on the eyes like computer screens can cause. Handwritten flashcards of main ideas or key concepts also promotes retention and is an additional strategy that should not be forgotten.
Fill Knowledge Gaps
The abrupt closure of schools caused varying levels of emotional stress and will continue to do so even after it is over. Your student(s) may have a partial understanding of some course content or did not absorb it as well as they could have. Outside of their assigned coursework, they can fill these knowledge gaps by asking questions to their teachers and reinforcing material by watching YouTube videos from subject matter experts. These videos can address specific skill gaps and are already utilized by some of our teachers as added or optional resources because studies have shown subject material presented from different/multiple angles furthers understanding and promotes deeper learning. Beyond the school year, consider enrolling in Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs) this summer, which are free online courses that are typically self-paced, which means no live instructor, and have many attendees. Similar to summer school offerings, they are also another excellent way to stay sharp to avoid the summer slide. Unfortunately, the summer slide will be of greater concern due to Covid-19 as we enter into the next school year.
Be Patient With Yourself
If restrictions on gatherings are lifted by the summer, take advantage of these opportunities safely. Doing so can help you feel as though you have had a typical summer break from school, which can put everyone in the right state-of-mind for next school year. In the meantime, if your housing situation allows it, try to spend some time outside each day as sunlight provides vitamin D, which is known to be critical to your health. Also, there has never been a better time to take up a hobby and finding one that can separate us from our current situation not only is good for us but to those around us.
We have all probably found new distractions that we never knew were possible while at home and with the last day of school growing closer it will certainly be an added distraction to students. Whether or not there are siblings in the house, video games, social media, news, and food are constantly competing with our concentration. Try and limit them all by setting and maintaining boundaries. Find a space that you are the most productive in and stick to it. Set a timer on your gaming system or device to limit access. Consider downloading an app that allows only reputable news sources to be read at certain times of the day. (Which will also help with worry.) While technology can be our greatest weakness, we can turn it into our ally. Whatever methods you choose, find intrinsic ways to stick with it.
We hope that some of these suggestions help in the remaining days and know that we are here to help.
As always, thank you for choosing Columbus Catholic Schools.