Pictured: Kristi and Wilton Albritton and their children Lydia and Christian are continuing their education at home in a variety of ways during the school closure period
For most families, Monday marked day one for online learning as the Seminole County School System shut down schools amid concerns during the Coronavirus crisis. That means homes have become the playground as well as the classroom, and parents, on top of juggling jobs, have also become the teachers’ assistants.
While some teachers and parents have posted online educational options and activities to give other families ideas on how to structure their day, most parents are saying sticking to a routine is going to be almost impossible with their already complicated schedules.
Kristi Albritton, mother of a first grader and a sixth grader, and a fifth grade teacher at Seminole County Elementary School commented, “As a parent, one of my biggest concerns has been keeping my children safe and keeping them from worrying about the Coronavirus. I have kept them away from everyone, including their grandparents. This wasn’t out of fear but out of concern for them, as well as others. Along with those concerns, and because I am a teacher, I have also tried to make sure they do not fall into a ‘slump’ being out of school for multiple weeks.”
As in most homes, education is important in the Albritton house, and she feels she has an obligation, not only to her own children, but also her students, to set an example.
“One of the first things I did was send out a message to parents letting them know some things their child could do at home to continue what we were doing in the classroom. Then, I switched to ‘mom’ mode and worked on forming a plan for education to continue in our house and trying to keep them in their regular routine as much as we can,” Albritton added.
Instead of allowing her children to play video games or watch videos the entire time they are out of school, Albritton is using the vast amount of technology available to all of us to access online activities, assignments and educational videos.
The Albrittons have set aside a time that they read from either the books they have at home or books found online at MyOn.com – a website offered free for everyone right now. They are also accessing educational websites like Scholastic, Brainpop, PBS Kids and other websites shared by Christian and Lydia Albritton’s teachers.
“Educational websites are offering a lot of free resources to keep students learning while they are out of school during this time,” Albritton noted
The Albritton family has also spent a lot of time outside this week in the Spring weather. Kristi’s husband, Wilton, is getting ready to start his crop season, so Christian has been able to help get equipment ready and Lydia has also been helping out when she could.
They have also exercised at home, practiced dance and gymnastic routines, practiced ball, enjoyed quality time together as a family, Facetimed with grandparents, and talked to friends through chats or video calls.
Albritton has kept in contact with her students and shares resources with them as they come available to her. “I have tried to answer any questions from parents in order to keep students learning at home,” she said.
The Albritton family is trying to follow the guidelines of the President’s plan, “15 Days to Slow the Spread” by staying out of public places, not going around groups of large people and just being more mindful of good hygiene practices.
Albritton added, “I have been blessed that I am able to stay home with my children while they are out. I know this is not a possibility for all parents. I also know we have to go out and buy groceries and things for our family. However, we have an obligation to each other to do our part to keep this virus contained as much as possible. This has been an adjustment to our lifestyle, but we will make it. We live in a great community where we always come together in a time of need. We trust and depend on God to help us in our time of need. We might not be physically together in school, work or church, but that doesn’t mean we don’t all have the same common goal: to get through this safely and overcome!”
The Seminole County community and all of Southwest Georgia made it through and has somewhat recovered from the devastation caused Hurricane Michael, and we can all make it through this. We just need to all work together, follow the safety protocols and share educational and time management tools and activities with friends and neighbors.
At least we have electricity and water this time!
To access MyOn books online . . .
go to www.myon.com/login/index.html and enter: School Name: Get Georgia Reading
(Type the first few letters and select “Get Georgia Reading” from the drop-down menu.)
Username: your county (example: seminolecounty) Password: read
Click the Sign In button and start reading!
This is a free resource offered during school closures.
Students may also login using their normal login for MyOn.
Additional Education resource sites . . .
GPB Kids-Educational games and activities – http://www.gpbkids.org/
PBS Kids- Educational Games and activities – https://pbskids.org/
Scholastic Learn at Home- Free Online articles, activities, virtual field trips
BrainpopJr. – https://www.brainpop.com/
During school closure, access is free to educational videos on a variety of topics