Hello, RMCA Community,
I've had the opportunity to connect with a few of you over the last two weeks, and I have been encouraged by each conversation. It is good to see how God is working through this crisis to bring us together, both for the sake of our children,but also for the sake of us adults, too. People are created to live within community. Whether that community is worth living in or not is not largely dependent on the lack of crisis or hardship but whether or not individuals are willing to grow together. The last two weeks have been an excellent reminder about who we are and what we are about at RMCA.
Like you, I have questions about the next three weeks and beyond, regarding At Home Learning,the public health and economic crises, and many other things. One thing is certain:we are not in control of many things beyond our own responses. Another thing is even more certain: God IS in control and knows what we need. And what each of us needs most is relationship. Starting with our Living God, all of our other relationships with people, creation, ideas, studies, etc. are essential to what we need in order to live and even flourish. Yes, flour, paper products, beans, and eggs are also important to some degree. But even in the midst of some of those scarcities, we have the opportunity to really, really focus on what it means to be a parent, a spouse, a child, a friend, now more than ever.
And much of that will happen, at least over the next three weeks, in the interface between parent and teacher, teacher and student, through At Home Learning.
Your child's homeroom teacher has sent out several emails/newsletters over the last two weeks. Take some time to better understand the opportunities that you have to support your child's growth at home, as well as how teachers will support you! Spend sometime with Google Classrooms (as applicable to your child) and become acquainted on how those work.
There are several key resources linked at the bottom of this newsletter. Please read! They are for your and your child's benefit.
Finally, there are many resources being made available on our RMCA Facebook page and our RMCA Parents Facebook page (see some of them below). Take advantage of connecting with other parents who are very much in the same boat as you.
And in the middle of all of this, take a deep breath and realize that the most important thing that you can do over the next three weeks is to be. Be an example of responding instead of reacting. Be a rare leader who can return to joy and endure suffering well for the sake of others. Be a friend to someone who needs it. Be the salt of the earth, the light of the world. Christ has not left us alone, and it sometimes takes times like these to push back the fog to see the eternal meaning of our lives.
Immanuel. God is with us. Let us live that ultimate reality out ever more consistently and joyfully over the coming weeks no matter where we are.
Essential Reads for At Home Learning: Five Resources
Over the next few days, take some time to read each of these resources. They will give you additional insight, confidence, and wisdom as you direct many aspects of your child(ren)'s At Home Learning.
Working with Multiple Children at Home: Taken largely from one of our sister Ambleside school's websites, this details several key goals, principles, and methods on how to have an enjoyable educational experience At Home. Whether you have one or five children, our hope is that this will equip you to not simply make it to the end of the day but flourish in deepening relationships within your home.
Narration and Method of a Lesson: This brief overview--only two pages--gives an excellent summary of that master tool of learning--narration or telling-back--as well as a little about the primary parts of a typical lesson. While we don't expect our parents to become masters of this process, the more that you are comfortable and proficient with leading your students with this in mind, the greater the continuity they will have between the classroom and your home.
Liberty of Children: This document is a classic at RMCA, having been read and discussed multiple times by faculty and many parents. It articulates clearly the difference between an authentic freedom (the ability and willingness to do what one ought) vs. license (merely doing what one wants). As this is a critical area of habit and character formation for each, we strongly encourage all parents to read this brief resource at least once over the next few weeks.
Habit Formation Resource: This is a reference tool that our teachers use as a way of reminding themselves of those critical junctures of body-mind-spirit-will where a child is often challenged the most to grow. We encourage you to print this out and keep in a visible place where both you and child/children can revisit each day to dialogue about how one is growing and where that growth can take place.
Right Use of Books: A classic excerpt from one of Charlotte Mason's books, this gives information on the vision and practice of using books to elevate, engage, and encourage, not simply entertain. This will help orient your child's reading (and perhaps your own as well)!