How are you starting out this fall semester? For us in Saudi, all education decisions are run through the Ministry of Education (MOE). Schools have their own start and end dates for the calendar year, holidays and teacher work days, however the MOE has final say on how the country will return to school. They dictate what we can do even for independent schools. All students will start the fall term virtually for the first 7 weeks, starting with September 30. Since our school starts earlier than Sept. 30th, we have 8 weeks of virtual school. Hopefully after that date we can physically go back, at least part-time.
Getting Desks Ready for Students:
When I was a kid I didn’t have a special desk to do my work at. I would do it at the dining room table or kitchen table. That’s where the family hung out and we’d get help from our parents if we needed it. We didn’t have homework like they do for elementary school now. Only one worksheet went home a week. We practised spelling and math with flash cards.
Here at our place we are getting ready for next week’s first back to school days, by organizing the kids’ desk area and putting up shelves to help our kids keep things off their desks. The “nature corner/rock collection” area that used to take up the back corner of my son’s desk is now neatly displayed where it looks nice and can be easily accessed. If you’ve got a messy kid, you know it’s work to instill good routines to be neat. This fall we will work on resetting his desk after the day is over. Then he can start fresh next day. I learned and am still working on putting away all kitchen things, wiping counters, etc so that the reset for the next day makes the morning easy.
For our other kid, his desk is small and he doesn’t need a lot of supplies at the moment. We have a rolling cart where he can keep paper, stickers, paints/brushes and his little collection of things. We are working to keep his desk clear with minimum supplies on top.
Back to School Shopping?
This is an unusual school year in that we don’t need to do much school shopping. The usual bookbag, new shoes, clothes, and school supply shopping is not happening yet. At least it is delayed. Since we need only a computer, pens, pencils and paper it is much easier and less stressful. What parents aren’t spending on supplies and clothing, they need to spend on technology. It’s a balance.
Not Everyone can Afford a Computer
It must be difficult for some who cannot afford a computer for their kid(s). They are used to school shopping at the second hand clothing stores and buying supplies from the dollar stores, Target, Walmart, CVS etc. Some just can’t afford the couple hundred dollars or more it costs to buy a Chromebook or laptop for their kid(s). Especially with Covid-19 and the job layoffs. If you know someone who is in need please consider donating one of your computers, even an older one to them. You could also purchase one for them if you find a good sale on. What a way to help your neighbors so we can all succeed together!