Be kind to yourself - a letter to parents
Our lives are changing in unexpected ways and we are all adapting the best that we can. We are spending more time at home and all of the extras like going to the playground, having a barbecue with friends or even catching up with our extended family has basically stopped. Our normal support networks have become virtual, zoom and telephone based and we have things to consider that we have probably never thought about before; work, education, health and much more is not as it used to be and many of you have embarked on the journey of supporting your child's learning at home as well.
Being a parent is a full time job (and you probably have another job or two as well) so we suggest that you are kind to yourself as you embark on this journey and take it one day at a time. The kindergarten will be on hand to support you (more info about this later) and your child can be your guide. You've done it before and you can do it again. As a parent you have watched your child learn to smile, learn to roll, learn to crawl, walk, and laugh and most of this learning has taken place in your own home. As early childhood educators we know that you are the most important 'teacher' in your child's life. Your child will watch and learn from you every day whether you like it or not!
Learning is often thought to be a natural process but it is different for each child and requires different encouragement, skills, support, tools, ideas and each child has their own motivations, strengths and challenges. Planning for learning is a deliberate act but there are many roads to travel down and it is not a case of racing down a highway to a known destination. Learning will take you on many adventures; through windy roads with surprises around each corner, or, on a slow trek through tough terrain with unexpected obstacles. On this incredible journey that we call learning there will be moments to cherish and beautiful views to be remembered.
We know that every family is different; as well as your kindergarten aged child you may have more younger or older children who are required to do online learning and need your support. You may be caring for your parents or looking after elderly neighbours as well as managing paid work. Within this finding a rhythm in your day that enables you to connect with your child is the most important thing. We encourage you to find time in the day to play, to create, to move, to build, to eat, to relax, to move, to inquire and to find time for books. Our pages link you to our Grove ideas and to external links that have been checked out by us. Content will be continually added, some in the holidays and more in Term 2 to continue to support your learning at home during these physical distancing times.
Stay strong, stay safe and stay healthy.