How do we balance life, work, teaching, and parenting? We are all uniquely connected in these shared challenges and how we choose to approach them. With so many options and priorities, it can sometimes feel that the easiest things to eliminate are the non-essentials and for some, this could mean the arts.
With a first grader and a pre-K4 at home, our principal focus was on our older child and making sure he was “keeping up” with classwork and requirements. Our days were focused on making sure he kept up with reading and writing, and we felt fortunate that he is a natural when it comes to math. In addition to his formal schooling needs, we also acted quickly to make time, space, and technology available for the arts.
The shift to shelter-in-place here in Maplewood, NJ came somewhat gradually, so we were actually early in reaching out to our children’s piano teacher to request Zoom lessons – so early that he was still doing in-person lessons for some students, and has since shifted to all online. We were wary of this transition working well for both our kids but it has been really successful. Sophie, our daughter, was previously in a group class with friends and was reluctant to have a “solo” lesson like her big brother; she has, however, thrived in getting the individual attention. Our son Max has continued to progress quite nicely and Mr. David, their teacher, feels that the need for Max to stop playing to listen across a computer connection actually stimulates an increase in attentiveness.
Surprisingly, my kids have never wanted to practice more and love to show off for their grandparents on Facetime. This has even become a bit competitive between them – a familiar theme which at times we hate, but when working for the powers of good… maybe it is worth it!