As parents, there is so much on our plates these days. We’re hands-on parenting 24-7. We’re working from home. We’re helping our kiddos with distance learning. We’re trying to keep our cool with the loved ones in our household whom we’re constantly with. We’re trying to connect in much different ways than ever before with the people that aren’t in our household.

My husband and I have a blended family; we have four kids at four different levels at four different schools…and we’re doing okay. Admittedly, distance learning has actually been fairly seamless at our house. The kids are working independently, assignments are getting turned in, tests are being taken, and they’re maintaining communication with teachers and classmates.

All is well, and we’re getting by…which is what I had thought was all I wanted (and needed!) with all that we’re all managing. But I’m worried. I’m worried about next year. I’m worried about my 8th grader who is completing her first year of Spanish and has had a more difficult time than usual. She’s getting by, but will she be ready to jump into Spanish 2 and excel? Will she be ready for the transition to the high school, where her next day of in-person school will be? Will my 2nd grader be reading at the level she should be, where we left off? Will all 4 of my children be ready to thrive, not just survive? I want them prepared for next year, when they enter the classroom again and have to pick up where this year should have left off.

Even though next school year seems like it’s years away, we have time now to build the background for next year’s success. We’re taking stock of the strengths and weaknesses in our kids’ work habits and knowledge base… Having the kids figure out who they are as students, and who they want to be, to prepare for what’s to come. We’re also keeping in mind there are opportunities for summer enrichment to make sure they’ve got a strong start to next year.

So, we’re working on it. We’re working on making this school year be the best it can be—best-preparing our kiddos for a successful return to school in the fall—as we would during a “normal” school year, so that they can enter the upcoming school year with as much confidence as possible.

There are days when it doesn’t seem like things will ever be back to normal. It’s making me feel much better to know that we’ll be ready when they are!

Jenny McKeand
Yellow Parachute Student Connector, Learning Coach & Mom

Yellow Parachute Learning Partners