I just clicked off my “Zoom” meeting with 33 elementary studio Eagles and their wonderful guide. We gathered at 8:30am sharp, just like every day. And, just like every day, there was laughter, sincerity and excitement. Though we are apart physically, we are together in spirit.
This feeling of human connection is deep at Acton and solidifies my belief that distance learning only works well when it is rooted in authentic human relationship. For me, the beauty of technology is not that it lets us learn alone but that it keeps us together.
With that in mind, a large part of our work right now is to keep our relationships strong and our spirits optimistic. While it can be incredibly stressful for parents to work at home while their children also are working from home, there are some inner shifts we can make to help. I hope my “Three C’s” help you maneuver through this challenging time:
- Community. Acton is first and foremost a community of humans – living together with gusto through the ups and downs of life. We will keep the community alive each day through our scheduled online discussions. Parents can help by encouraging their children to reach out to friends and have a video chat, organize a squad meeting through email, or reach out to see if anyone needs feedback or is stuck and needs support. Our children are stunningly tech savvy. Can you think of five people your child could reach out to today?
- Curiosity. I believe curiosity and delight are correlated. Set up a place in your home where you can continually post “things I’m curious about.” Have family members add questions or ideas throughout the days and then explore the answers together. Even when you are stuck at home, if you begin to see your daily life with curious eyes, you’ll get to feel bursts of delight that come with discovery and wonderment. Example: Who invented door hinges? Do all the door hinges in your house look the same? Can you design a new door hinge? (When you are curious, even the most mundane object can lead into an exciting quest to learn more. You can send your children on many mini-quests during the day while you get your own work done.)
- Chuckle. Humor is an under-rated character trait. What if we focused a bit more on laughter in this time of quarantine? What games make you laugh? What movie could you watch together just to laugh? Laughter is healing, bonding and even curiosity-stoking which in turn brings more delight. When was the last time you told your children a great joke? Does playing charades make you laugh?
I’m full of gratitude to the heroic families I get to be connected with each day. Godspeed to you all.