These are strange times. The sudden conversion from a school environment to distance learning has thrown families a HUGE curveball, and it’s something we all are continuing to deal with. On the other hand, things have remained relatively unchanged when it comes to learning at Yellow Parachute Academy. Because of the structure of our school (online learning, surrounded by the support of Learning Coaches who assist students in building life-long learning habits) it has been business as usual and our students continue to thrive.

After having pulled back the curtain (think The Wizard of Oz) and seeing your kids working through distance learning for the past two months, you are more aware than ever of your student’s successes and struggles. While perhaps you’re shocked at your student’s tendency for distraction while they’re doing their school work, what you’re seeing isn’t exactly an indicator of ability… it’s them trying to reconcile their new learning environment, new delivery method of lessons and perhaps even adjusting to seeing you as their new learning leader/instructor/taskmaster.

I understand the struggle. My daughter is what I’ll call “maintaining” with distance learning. She’s resisting this new setup because she misses her teacher and classmates. And I get it; we are all being forced to do something we didn’t sign up for. Even though I’m an experienced educator, when placed in the role of teacher in my own home, it’s testing the relationship between me and my kiddo. Because of our struggles, I’ve called on outside help to lift both her spirits in mine in the role of “study buddy.”

At this point we’re starting to think of what school will look like in the fall. We are making plans for the “what if” we don’t return to a more normal, traditional school day and learning environment.

If your kid is at the struggling/devastated end of spectrum – or if your kid hasn’t been happier in years – in terms of how they’re dealing with distance learning, chances are you’re already noodling about how to use this new-found information to make a change in school environment for the 2020-2021 school year.

As you’re contemplating, take a step back and assess the needs of your family. Keep in mind what your child’s ideal learning environment is. As you’re thinking and asking yourself “what do I do next” and/or “what will school look like in the fall,” here are some options to consider:

  • Homeschooling – Doing it on your own.
  • Find a high school student to work with your student. Sometimes, as I’ve experienced, having someone who isn’t a parent, but more of a friend, assisting your student with their homework is easier than having Mom or Dad do it.
  • Hire a tutor/Learning Coach to provide supplemental instruction and help for your learner.
  • Wait and see what learning will look like for your student this fall at their school.

If ever there’s a time to try something new, or explore something you’ve been afraid to do, THE TIME IS NOW. Give yourself the opportunity to step out and mix things up. Don’t fall into the pattern of “because we’ve always done it this way…” but rather give yourself the opportunity to redefine exactly what you want for your children’s learning and to think outside the box for how to achieve it. What if….???

If you’re looking into options, and Yellow Parachute Academy is something you’re interested in, I’d love to be part of the “what if??” conversation. You know where to find me.

Be well!

Cara Thorpe
Founder & Visionary
Yellow Parachute Learning Partners