05 Feb Back to School at Dorie’s Promise, the 2021 Edition
After a much-needed break, our kids and teachers are back to school! 🏫 Distance learning, homeschooling, preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school—we have it all this year!
Back to school, Back to Distance Learning
Midway through last summer, we finally figured out how to make distance learning work at Dorie’s Promise. School was a carefully orchestrated balance of kids being on Zoom at the right times, everyone completing homework when not in a class, and our teachers dreaming up ways to make learning fun.
We successfully completed the 2020 school year! And then, we enjoyed a long break.
After learning a lot in 2020, we’re back to school in 2021 with 3 full-time teachers, new ideas, reconfigured classrooms, and excitement about the year ahead.
About half of our children are enrolled in local schools again this year. They’re picking up right where they left off a few months ago. For the foreseeable future, local schools will be teaching via distance learning. But, this year we know what to expect and we’re ready.
Changes for the 2021 School Year
One of our biggest surprises last year was that some of our children needed a break from the traditional school setting. Although classes via Zoom were not ideal, quite a few loved being home and did significantly better with help from our teachers and Special Mothers.
This year, we’re also homeschooling about half of our children. Who would have guessed?!
These kids are saying goodbye to distance learning. Instead, they’re trading Zoom calls for textbooks and more time with our teachers. Homeschooling is not an easy switch for us to make for so many children, but our teachers are ready for the challenge. In fact, they’re excited to see how much everyone learns this year.
How We Make It Work
Without our entire staff working together, the combination of distance learning and homeschooling would be overwhelming. Behind the scenes, everyone has a part in making our home run smoothly.
During a typical week: Our social worker coordinates everyone’s school schedules and creates a master schedule for the week—Zoom class times, extra activity times, homeschooling times, tutoring times, etc. Once complete, the master schedule guides our Special Mothers each day as they help everyone be on-time for each activity. Getting everyone ready on-time is no small task, but they do a fantastic job!
So far, our system is working well.
We’re Back to School and Excited
If the decorations in our classrooms are any indication, this is going to be a great year. Our teachers are excited to help our children learn in new ways this year. Our staff feels more confident and comfortable with our new schedule. And our kids were off school just long enough to start getting bored and need something new to do.
Until schools reopen in-person, we’ll keep enjoying the secret benefits of distance learning too. No more early more alarm clocks, long commutes, or lunchboxes to pack! None of us miss being up at sunrise to get ready for a long ride to school.