Back to School Like We Have Never Seen it Before!

 

I went into Micheal’s the other day because I was looking for  something for an upcoming product  launch I have on the horizon. They didn’t have what I needed, but I was there so I decided to peruse the aisles. 

It has been so long since I have really been into a store. Except for Gelson’s, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and the local farmer’s market. I have pretty much stayed close to home since the week of March 9th. I was wildly curious and just wanted to see what was on display, who was  shopping and what the energy was all about. So I wandered. 

I found myself in the “back to school” section. How Ironic, I thought.

Who needs supplies? I don’t know about you, but in the last four months I have designed, redesigned, purged and purchased stuff for my office – enough stuff, in fact, that could supply all three of my kids for the next year!

On my  way home I started thinking  or imagining how oddly different this year will be. My No.3 will start  his freshman year  of highschool – virtually. After witnessing  him over the past 4 months, I just knew he needed some sort of structure (even though he has upped his “streaming game” and is making more money each month than he knows what to do with), so I reached out to some moms and put together a “co-op” of sorts.  A small group of 4 boys, who are aligned academically, who each week will rotate houses, study together, zoom together, eat together and exercise together. Us moms are creating the structure and I am looking forward to seeing him do what  we  are all meant to  do  – engage – both socially  and creatively.

My No.2 has headed back to  Chicago(Sophomore) and has moved into his first ever apartment with 4 of his besties from freshman year.  He will be learning online – but I honestly felt that  the life experiences  he is going to gain by being there, living on his own, cooking for himself and navigating this  new landscape was way better and far more  healthy than him being stuck here for the next 6 months. Hopefully, winter quarter will be more of a hybrid

Lastly, my No.1 was granted the car and he road tripped back to Colorado with his girlfriend as he embarks on being a 5th year senior.  Because we committed to his lease and his apartment last February – he’s going back to also learn “on-line”. Smoking pot and playing video games all day is not an option and by giving him the car – hopefully he will create some balance and work a bit more than he has in the past.

Again – not ideal, but we are all making it work.

So, with that said,  I have 5 tips to share as we all navigate these new waters.

1. Make lemonade out of lemons
Right now we are not changing anything so why not change with it. This is an opportunity for all of us to be flexible and make lemonade out of lemons. This is not only great for them, but it’s been life changing for all of us baby boomers who can be set in their stubborn ways!

2. Learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom
As I myself have transitioned from an in person, 1:1 working model, to a zoom – virtual platform, I have been able to offer group consulting which makes it more affordable for those that have wanted to  work with me, but haven’t been able to. 

Like myself, learning the “Power of the Pivot” our children will quickly understand that learning and growing isn’t always about sitting in a chair while staring at what’s in front of them in a classroom. LIfe is not a straight line and I think we can all agree that over the past 5+ months, there is not one lane any of us has driven down.

3. Be grateful
Stripping away the confines of the traditional path and the four year journey, is allowing our offspring to explore and seek ideas and opportunities that would have never have come their way had they followed the traditional marching orders. With the restrictions and confines of a class schedule being lifted, these kids get to learn  ANYWHERE! 

4. Structure comes in all shapes and sizes
It’s not a one size fits all, compartmentalized way of doing things. Get creative and get scrappy on how to navigate this new normal. My No.3 will be kind of homeschooling but with a group of his peers. Just last week he was with his besties (who attend a local private  school) and unbeknownst to me – he shared the small pod idea with all of them. When I picked him up at the end of the evening – all  4  boys ran out to my car and wanted more intel on what this was going to look like. 

The next day all their moms called me to discuss setting one up with their group. Organic ideas come from everywhere – you just  need to know where to look.

5. Go with the Flow
Just let that shit go….We have no  control over this situation  and whining about it gets us nowhere…

There will be times where this will not be easy. But it’s in those hard moments that we have something to learn. I have always heard that the world is our classroom and now more than ever before – we are learning on a global level. 

So get out there – get scrappy and go and create something from something!! And then come back over here and tell me about it!

 

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