As many head into a virtual school year, a Southern California charter school is training parents by offering classes on how they can be the best possible teachers this fall.
Sage Oak, a public charter that serves eight counties in Southern California, offered a no-cost "virtual parent workshop" with courses like "what to do when you're teaching but the student isn't learning" and "how to support your struggling reader." Courtney Gibson, who handles marketing and communications for Sage Oak, says, “This year with everything being virtual, we saw this a great opportunity to open it to our community for those who are on our waiting list or for those who are just starting distance learning in the fall and want tips and tricks on how to get their day started.”
The pandemic has put a lot of focus on students and their schooling needs this fall, but Sage Oak thought, “What about the parents?”
“We offer training for our teachers to start the school year and this year our teachers will go hand-in-hand with parents – so parents will have a role at home teaching their kids and needing strategies to keep them on track as well,” Gibson said.
There's organizational tips, planning, and topics surrounding schedule implementation.
“An important part of homeschool and learning at home for kids is keeping their routine that they would have in a traditional school,” Gibson said.
Hundreds attended the summit, which will soon be posted on the school's website. There's a little bit for everyone, all grades, all levels.
“We do have high school courses like community college enrollment, so our students will do high school credits through a community college, so there’s information about that and, yes, transitioning to high school and what that looks like,” Gibson
Nicole Case is one such mom. As her son approaches eighth grade, she'd like him to be prepared and ready for high school.
“The fall has me a little scared of what it's gonna look like,” Case said.
She's certainly not alone, as most parents are echoing her sentiment as the first day of class looms.
“A little trepidation of what it's gonna look like for Ezekial, how he’s going to adjust to the different parameters put on him,” Case said.
The Huntington Beach mom will be homeschooling all four of her kids and is really looking forward to the knowledge she'll gain from the summit.
“Really hearing the expertise on how I’ll be able to help my children in different ways. I have a first-grader who’s struggling to read, so that session about how to help your struggling reader I’m excited about because I’m tired of the tears and the fights,” Case said.
It's not all bad, though. Case says she's looking forward to some aspect of school at home.
"One of the things that has been so great has been the pursuit of the things that interest them,” she said.
Sage Oak's enrollment is at capacity due to a state funding cap, but they want parents everywhere to listen, watch and learn as they head into uncharted territory this year.
“The fact that they care about the public and they want the public to be able to attend the summit even if they aren’t with the school, it really shows the heart Sage Oak has for all students in education, not just the ones bringing them funding,” Case said.
And if you want to dive into a new type of education for your student, there's a course on that, too.