During this time of distance learning, parents of younger students are navigating a learning environment where the lines between school and home are blurred. Considering the circumstances, students and parents need extra support, and finding joy in learning is more important than ever. We spoke with our Dean of Students (PreK-Grade 2), Ms. Becky Hodges, to discuss how we accomplish this no matter where we are.
Although this interview was conducted prior to our school closure due to COVID-19, the philosophy, approach, and level of support are just as relevant and applicable.
Mary Riner is the Director of Community Outreach for BASIS Independent McLean and current BASIS.ed parent. For this piece, Ms. Riner shines a light into her past as a "helicopter parent" and what has happened since her family joined the BASIS.ed Network. Read below for more of Ms. Riner's insight.
Notes from the BASIS.ed Braintrust
I am a recovering helicopter parent. I admit that the CJ, or Communication Journal, as a way of interfacing with the school takes a little getting used to, especially if you’re accustomed to online homework postings where your child’s whole education is at your fingertips. Those online systems make you feel in control. With a push or a prod, you can motivate your child into doing his homework so that he can boost his 88 average in English up to a 95.
But here’s the thing. The 95 you worked so hard to get for your child doesn’t really last. This is not your child’s 95. My insight comes from years of hovering. I spent hours every day after school struggling with my first child over homework. Our science fair projects won every competition. Our essays and short stories were nothing short of masterpieces. My child was the king of his elementary school. I was so proud.
When parents are considering enrolling their children at BASIS Independent Schools, a lot of the questions we often receive at our Informational Events centers around ensuring a smooth transition into our program. We gathered a few of the most popular questions and asked the Head of School for our sister school BASIS Independent McLean to provide his insight into how our program is set up to ensure success before BASIS Independent, and after.
QUESTION: Are my children prepared for a rigorous academic program?"The greatest indicator of success is the child’s desire to be at BASIS Independent. If a student is hungry for more, wanting to be challenged, and craves more authentic learning experiences, then navigating some of the potential difficulties is always much easier.
Our program is designed to ramp up as the school matures. From a new school perspective, it is easier to enter BASIS Independent in a campus’s early years as opposed to when it is more established, as the content of the curriculum takes into account a wider distribution or prior exposure and preparation. Obviously, this conversation is different with a new 9th grader than a new 1st grader.
Our unique Connections Class in grades 1-3 is a great example of how, starting at a young age, students bridge their content-rich studies with deep critical thinking skills, putting what they learn to the test in a scenario-based project learning block. One of the goals of Connections, which meets once a week for 85 minutes, is to literally “connect” the curriculum, showing how each subject relates to the other, even if it doesn’t seem to do so on the surface.
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Manhattan is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.