LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: Educational Playdates

. August 21, 2020.

I spent weeks agonizing over the decision of whether to send our kids to in-person, hybrid school or to attempt online learning. With only weeks to decide, there were too many questions left unanswered, too few details, and too many risks and unknowns. It felt like a lose-lose situation.
While I had many concerns, one that repeatedly surfaced was the need for socialization. My kids (7 and 5) have each other, but they need and enjoy spending time with peers.
And that was one hurdle I felt I could address. I contacted my friends with children approximately the same ages and worked out a schedule for educational playdates. We meet with only one family at a time and space the meetings apart 5-7 days. We stay outside as the weather allows.

Socially Distanced Pool Date Over the Summer
Pulling from our own cultures and educational backgrounds, each parent teaches a mini-lesson that lasts 10-20 minutes–yoga, reading, writing, Arabic, American Sign Language (ASL), baking, art–and then we allow the kids to play while the parents sit and chat.
We decided to make the best of an awful situation, utilizing small groups and pooling our resources to teach our children the things we wished they could learn in school. These educational playdates give the kids, AND us, time to socialize. Socialization is good for the mental health of our children and parents, as well, while teaching and working from home, also crave human connection. 

What are you doing for schooling for your children during this unprecedented time? How are you handling everything? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts on our website, Facebook, or Instagram: @toledoareaparent.

In it together,
Erin Schoen Marsh
Toledo Parent Assignment Editor 

What working + teaching looks like