We have not yet received any further updates from the Minister of Education on whether the home or school based schemes will run this year. We would hope that he will soon be in a position to offer guidance to the many thousands of parents whose children benefit hugely each year from the extended academic year.
There have been media articles quoting the Minister suggesting that schools may not fully reopen in Sept [Irish Times 10/05/20]. Without having any definitive information from the DoE, there is always a possibility that the school based scheme may not run this year. On a positive note however, if the July Home Provision scheme gets the green light any eligible children can apply for that. We would therefore suggest families continue looking for teachers to assist them and they are free to do so using our notice board.
If the Minister does give the green light to the July Home Provision scheme we would recommend that it is made available just prior to any proposed school restart or alternatively to allow it run in parallel with the opening school term. The former option would probably be of most benefit in helping elevate anxiety from children that are feeling quite stressed in these uncertain times.
In her book “The Loving Push” autism’s most famous spokesperson, Temple Grandin gives credit to her mother for nudging her outside her comfort zone, and she urges today’s parents to do the same for their children.
If the July Home Provision does proceed it would certainly be an easier way to manage physical distancing, especially for younger children. If wearing masks is eventually recommended by then, a home environment would also make it easier to manage this. 1-2-1 tuition delivered via Zoom or MS Teams if needed could also be an option. Of course we fully appreciate that there are a multitude of reasons why zooming will not be a viable option for some families. Tech and broadband limitations in areas is a huge issue and of course it may not suite some children due to their age or possible anxieties around zooming.
Leaving the school tuition element aside, Zoom, Skype or Facetime, if available, are great tools to enable our children keep in touch with their class mates, grandparents and other family members. As we don’t know when this lockdown will finally be lifted we’d encourage parents to plan, where possible, on using this type of tech to teach children about alternative methods of communication and how to use it safely and if age appropriate you could also discuss the safe use of social media in general.
The best teachers we probably have ever had are our own family members, if school friends are in short supply setup regular calls with family members for them. Tell them granny, granddad, Aunt Jane or Uncle John would love to hear about that job they’ve done for mum or dad or about that picture they’ve just drawn. Even go so far as giving the family member a list of items to talk to them about, it just might spark your child’s interest and get them engaged for even 60 seconds.
On video calls with loved ones they can share pictures and other creative projects they’ve been working on and if the family member is cocooning themselves we’d imagine they’d really appreciate the distraction.
As soon as we receive any update we will post it on our social pages, but in the meantime if you have any questions please do Contact Us and we’ll be happy to assist you further.
The Support Team
Connecting Parents and Teachers for any educational needs.
FYI We are not associated with or part of the DES.