Sheltered Diaries: So Many Things Today

As more things are brought online by Dallas ISD and other area schools, and we all settle into this new (hopefully temporary) reality, things are getting, dare I say, easier.

But today was busy. Press conferences, new county reports, a crime story, and a school board meeting. And in between all of that, school, and even a parent-teacher meeting.

But I did hear at today’s school board meeting that many are worried about parents who may not be as tech-savvy as some, and whether that puts those children at a disadvantage.

Those concerns are real, and are something the district should take pains to address in the coming days – especially since this technology – Zoom classes, Google Classrooms, Class Dojo and similar programs all provide parents, teachers and students a way to easily ask questions and get answers – and every child should have it, and every family should know how to utilize it.

But I am curious about how everyone else is handling our newfound responsibilities? How are you giving yourself the pep talk you probably need so you can go out and give your child the pep talk that not only is this doable, we can all do it?

We’ve learned that having lots of breaks works for us. We’ve learned that our child is craving his school routine, so we’ve started waking up at the “right” time, showering, getting dressed, and following our schedule.

But we’ve also learned that he is craving the social interaction he got from school. Next week, he’ll be working with his math teacher twice a week for a half-hour or so, but we’re also starting to reach out to some of his friends’ parents to arrange for Facetime calls.

“I miss my friends,” he said today. “I wish I had a friend to play with.”

We’ve also decided that we all need to get out of this house, but we also need to be safe. Our solution? We’re going to get in our sanitized car, not get out of it, and check on grandma and grandpa from a safe distance (we’ll stay in the car and wave at them).

We’re taking more walks. We’re going to spend one day a week playing games and learning through those. We’re going to practice measuring and learn some basic chemistry by learning how to make soap.

But I think the social component will be the toughest. How do you provide that when we’re literally all to stay six feet away from each other?

If you have any safe ideas to provide social interaction in the age of social distancing, please share in the comments, or via the Preston Hollow or Park Cities Facebook pages, or through this link.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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