GALION — With K-12 schools all across Ohio closed for three weeks, if not the entire school year, parents and caregivers are being asked to put on another hat. They’re being asked to be teachers, too.
Galion mom Ashley McMillen has two daughters, Mackinsey, a third-grade student at Galion Elementary School, and Rozalynn, who is in her first year of preschool. McMillen said she has some experience in the classroom having been a volunteer for the school district for second-grade students.
That education is paying off now.
This is Week No. 1 of what could be a long spring. She said she and her children will be getting adjusted to the new set of circumstances forced upon the family. And next week, McMillen said, a schedule will be adhered to.
“What I did was when I heard of the possibility of the schools being closed for the three weeks, I started going online and started printing off preschool worksheets for what my youngest is learning in school. I did the same for what my oldest is doing in school,” McMillen explained. “I knew the school would be doing stuff, but I went ahead myself in doing it just to get a jump start.”
McMillen said she is getting her overal plan in order this week for learning time and will implement this coming Monday.
“I’m getting all the resources I can right now,’ she said, pointing out her girls will still have to go to bed at a certain time. “They aren’t going to be staying up any later.” she pointed out.
To break up the monotony of being at home and not having the same opportunity to socialize with friends and teachers, McMillen said she and her daughters will probably FaceTime with people.
“And I’ve already stocked up the house with all the necessities,” she said. “We’re still going to go outside. We have a swing set and we can go for walks. We’ll have ‘recess’ and my daughter is kind of excited because she only gets a 15-minute recess at school, and I told her we might do a half hour. She said ‘that’s the double amount of time I get at school.’”
Despite her time as a volunteer, this is a new experience for her family.
“Before this, my only interaction was getting out into the schools so this will be OK for about a week or so before I start losing my mind,” she joked. “That’s why we’re going to have outside time. We have a park in our back yard and we’re going to utilize that.
“We’re still going to be in the house and not be around people, but we can still go run in the back yard. This doesn’t mean the kids can’t go outside to play. I say take the time now and just get outside and play and just detox. Maybe this couple of weeks will be good. But I don’t want my one daughter to fall behind in speech and school. I’m looking at the bigger picture, I think (the school closure) is going to go longer.”