Back to School, NTI Style

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By: Cher

It’s been awhile since I have written about the kiddos and my journey as a single parent, but after 130 days in this quarantine life this mama is tired and saying daily prayers for strength. Recently, the school district here in Louisville announced Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) for six weeks. NTI is something new for our school district, in the spring when COVID-19 swept the country, schools in the area shut-down and two weeks later NTI was born.

Let me give you some background on NTI; it is remote learning which allows students to access and complete learning activities online or hard copies of schoolwork. Great idea? Yes! Was the school district prepared? No! It was a learning curve for everyone who had never experienced homeschooling or online classes. Families and students struggled for a bit and after a while, they got the hang of it. The classwork was not stringent, but as a working parent who is also a single parent, it was difficult trying to do my own work as well as help my son with his schoolwork, on top of entertaining a preschooler. Call me a “bad ass mama” because I soldiered through it and made things happen. I mean isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

I have seen numerous segments on the Today Show and Good Morning America about how to balance it all, but those scenarios didn’t fit into my lifestyle. However, it may help others and added to it, some thoughts of my own on how to make NTI more efficient and less work:

  1. Pay for a tutor: Have someone come to the home and help with schoolwork. This can be costly; tutors range from $75-$200 per hour. Costly, but could be worth it. One thing that you could do is talk to a few parents whose children are in the same class and get together as a group to teach the students. That cuts down on the costs and your kiddo gets to interact with their classmates.
  2. Take breaks: To keep your sanity, take longer than a 15-minute break. This time can be designated to help your kids with their schoolwork, take a nap, handle personal affairs, etc.
  3. Get some sun: Whether it is a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the park, a little fresh air does the body good.

Although NTI is happening here, some states are opening schools with in-person learning in the classroom and requiring masks in common areas. At this stage of the pandemic and still uncertainty of the virus, I am happy that the school district made the decision to do NTI. Even with the challenges of working from home as a single parent, I am fortunate I am able to and we are going squash these NTI goals.

Love life and full of smiles,

C

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