Dear EC Families,
I am sure we are all having mixed feelings as our year comes to an end. It is so hard for all of our children and parents not to have that sense of being together, and equally hard for our teachers not to send them off with a hug. We should all focus on the whole year, not just these last few months, and remember the enthusiasm, and sense of wonder and discovery that our children and teachers all experienced. There are so many wonderful memories for us to reflect on and celebrate. Don't be surprised if we all feel a little sad that the year is coming to a close.
As we try to envision what summer will be like, I would encourage you to maintain some of the family rituals and schedules you have established in the last few months. Let your children help plan activities and brainstorm some new things you can do. Think of chores and projects they can be responsible for, something they can take care of: a pet, a plant, growing something. I am growing tomatoes in a pot on my balcony and it’s great fun and requires daily attention!! I can't say this often enough, but please continue to be mindful of fostering their independence and sense of accomplishment. Even a three-year-old can take on some responsibilities and experience independent play and choices. Look at the philosophy of the Healthy Mind Platter to balance their day with playtime, focus time, quiet time, alone time, connection time, and remember we adults also need to balance our days. Go outside...to play, to read, to walk. Water play is so important at this time of year and a huge part of our summer programs when on campus. It can be a bucket, a plastic pool, or running through a sprinkler. Add bubbles, food coloring, a tray of shaving cream - all sensory experiences they enjoy and maybe have been missing while not at school.
Use letters and numbers in different ways throughout your day. There is a math challenge or letter sound in almost everything we do, so take the opportunity to have fun with it. Remember that children truly learn from play. Encourage building, storytelling, and imaginative play. Parents often tell me how their children re-watch the videos of their teachers and specialists and certainly those can be watched all summer. Build a fort with Stephanie, sing with Sonya, and go on one of Mat's adventures. Tune into 6th Graders reading their favorite books. There is a lot that can be used over and over again. Our Covid website will have ongoing activities, read-alouds, virtual field trips, and many ideas that you can utilize.
It is our hope to see all of you in person on August 18th and Mark will share some of our options at the parent meetings at 4 o'clock this week:
Tuesday, June 2nd - Toddlers-EC2
Wednesday, June 3rd - Kindergarten-2nd grades
Thursday, June 4th - 3rd-5th grades
Whether fully remote or in the hybrid of school and home learning, our program will become fuller and more robust. We have learned a lot about our evolving program and by working with professionals and professional development experiences, we are developing best practices for preschool and elementary remote learning while staying true to our mission, philosophy, and culture. We know that it is not the number of hours children are on Zoom that is important, but the effectiveness of the lessons and the connections between teachers and students that make the program the best it can be. Please fill out the survey that you will receive on Friday, June 5, as that information is important for us and will help us in our planning.
All Specialists’ classes will end on Friday, so be sure your child takes the opportunity to say goodbye. These next eight days of school will go by quickly and I hope your children will enjoy each one of them. EC2 and Kindergarten parents will be receiving instructions about Step Up Day from your teachers. Our last Families meeting for Kindergarten through 6th grade will be held on Thursday at 2:30 and that will be a chance to say thank you and goodbye to our 6th grade family leaders. It does feel like a lot of goodbyes, but it's also a time to reflect on our time together and our time apart, and on our gratitude for the entire CEE community.
You and your children have my thanks and best wishes always.