|Posted by tarastoyland on August 5, 2020 at 12:20 AM|
I had such plans for this upcoming school year. I knew all my kids were returning, two of them were in their last year before kindergarten and I was looking forward to all the fun that brings. I would only have 2 really young ones that needed two naps a day, the rest were old enough to do lessons every day. I was planning out my themes in my mind, I knew I wanted to do super heroes and winter/ice, I was thinknig transportation maybe too. Spring of 2020 I started the colors unit that I love so much. We had done the color red, blue was our next week. But we never got to blue. I haven't seen my kids since March 16 for most of them, one stayed the rest of that week but on March 20 the governor of IL shut down all daycares.
I've been doing a toy loaning program with the daycare kids. Online teaching is not appropriate for my age group, and worksheets go against my core beliefs. My beliefs are play is how you learn. By the third week of sheltering at home I was BORED. I thought of how bored the kids must be too so I came up with the idea of a bin of toys delivered to their houses. They could play with them as they wanted, then return them when they are bored. One of my parents wanted to order Scholastic books because the library was closed. That gave me the idea to enclose books too. The first bin was right before Easter so I gave each kid an Easter Basket in the toy bin. Soon I switched to themed bins. I have found this to be a great way to stay connected with my daycare families. When shelter in place was eased I visited with some of them, outside, safely. I have also FaceTime'd with some, written messages back and forth and talked to them from 6 feet away as I delivered toys. I do miss those hugs though.
Now school is starting. I was a ball of worry and stress for most of July. The cases were going up, yet schools were saying they were going to do in person for at least some of the time. I did not see that going well and did not like the risk it brought to my daycare since I have mostly teachers. Luckily all the area districts are switching to online models.
Which brings me to my main thoughts on this - the whole world is going through this. EVERY kid in every country will be behind after this year. And that's ok. It will not kill them, but the virus could kill them or someone they know. I'd take a year or two behind over having to deal with a death any day. Kids I thought were coming back this school year won't be now. I am not going to enroll new families because I don't know how they are with following virus safety measures. All my current families are being great about it. But with such a small group there won't be as much group learning. So I will be concentrating on one on one skill development this year. At least until spring. I hope next summer I can do an intense skill development camp and get all the kids who are missing out on preschool this year up to par before next school year. I miss my hugs and cuddles and really want to see all my littles soon!