Relieving Back-to-School Stress During a Pandemic!
by Jamie Spannhake
August 22, 2020
I received the reopening plan for my daughter's school today. It is INTENSE, which is of course necessary. Sarah is going into fourth grade at a Montessori school. If you are familiar with Montessori, the curriculum is centered around collaborative work, free movement in the classroom, group instruction and projects, and helping your classmates. Needless the say, none of these aspects of Montessori education will be the same in a socially-distant classroom where students are not allowed to be within 6 feet of each other indoors.
Of course, all this is necessary, as we know based upon the schools that have re-opened, and then closed after only two weeks, since they didn't follow social-distancing protocols.
On the one hand, our family is thrilled that Sarah can return to her beloved school and I have immense respect and gratitude for all that her teachers and administrators are doing to keep the children safe. On the other hand, it makes me sad to know that many of the things our family loves about her Montessori education cannot take place right now.
We are all doing the best we can, but it is STRESSFUL to have so many changes and unknowns during this uncertain time. This stress is heightened when one has a child with a learning difference. Sarah has dyslexia, and she worked REALLY hard last year to increase her reading level and speed to the second highest in her class. It was a huge achievement! But with online school and less focus on reading and no remediation work, we are cautiously optimistic that all will be well when she returns.
My point is: back to school is always stressful, and even more stressful when your child has a learning difference, and now we're adding a pandemic to the mix! In other words, many parents are facing really high levels of stress right now.
That's why Nicole Holcomb and I spent an hour talking about handling stress during this time, for TWO EPISODES of her Dyslexia Mom Life podcast. We even recorded a BONUS free guided meditation for you.
Catching up with Nicole was so much fun for me. We went to high school together, and we are both attorneys and have amazing 9-year-old daughters with dyslexia who love Harry Potter and Minecraft!
In Part 1 of the Dyslexia Mom Life podcast "Finding Your Calm in the Chaos (Episode 12)," we talk about my book and how we as moms can manage this crazy time of year, which is even more crazy during a pandemic. If you've felt overwhelmed, unclear, helpless, or like you have too much to do, then this podcast is for YOU!
We discuss practical tools that
- help you leave overwhelm behind,
- guide you to choose your values and thoughts,
- show you how and why asking for help is brave, smart, and strong, and
- help you reclaim your time and enjoy your life
Listen to Part 1 (Episode 12) here, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
In Part 2 of the Dyslexia Mom Life podcast "Finding Your Calm in the Chaos (Episode 13)," Nicole and I discuss how using mindfulness and meditation can help you further your fight against stress and provide you with the clam and patience parents need to manage back-to-school, especially when their kids are stressed about all the changes too. We discuss how to start or grow your meditation practice, the benefits, and I give you a DISCOUNT CODE to access my Three Week Guided Meditation Course: Meditation DeMystified, for FREE.
Listen to Part 2 (Episode 13) here, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
And, because I want you to start your meditation practice to relieve your stress as soon as possible, we recorded a BONUS 5-minute guided meditation course just for you!
You can listen to the BONUS meditation here, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
The best news to come out of our conversation is that we both know and believe that "you got this!" Whether your child has dyslexia or not, or some other challenge or not, it's our mission to ensure you handle back to school with as much ease and grace as possible!