As the end of June approaches, you and your children may be breathing a cautious sigh of relief that the end of the school year is almost here. Take a moment and acknowledge all that you have accomplished and give yourself and your pod mates hero hugs for doing your best over the last few months.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

All at once, everyone’s lives—everywhere—changed completely. Parents and children earned their PhD’s as professional jugglers and entertainers; zooming, teaching, working and e-learning—all from home in physical isolation—while simultaneously managing meals, laundry and housework. (See our previous Open Door blog post Looking-for-imaginative-beyond-the-screen-things-to-do-with-your-children? ) So if you and your kids are feeling mentally exhausted, take heart.

You are not alone, as the following list of interviews, articles and mental health sources will reveal:

  • http://www.joelwestheimer.org/listen-1 Joel Westheimer, professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa Education, explains in this CBC-Radio Ottawa Morning interview from May 1, 2020:

“I think the first thing we have to let go of, is this idea that kids are going to fall behind or that they have to keep up with the curriculum. Really what we need to do is stop worrying about keeping up with the curriculum and start worrying about attending to the emotional, physical and mental health needs of our children.”

  • https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/parents-opt-out-distance-learning-1.5548215 This article explains how parents tried the distance e-learning approach with their kids and –after many tears and meltdowns—decided to opt out and try other learning alternatives. Parents of children with dyslexia and ADD may find the experiences of these parents especially insightful.
  • https://smho-smso.ca/ School Mental Health Ontario, from the Government of Ontario, offers a variety of videos, fact sheets and tips for Parents, Educators and Students for managing mental health issues while getting through Covid.
  • Jack.org is a website devoted to youth mental health and is linked through Kids Help Phone and SMHO. It offers good mental health tips and checklists, especially for teenagers.
  • Understood.org Distance Learning and Focus. This article discusses how children with learning challenges struggle to focus using distance learning.
  • Dyslexia in the Classroom: What every teacher needs to know This guide from The International Dyslexia Association could be very helpful for parents who now find themselves teaching their dyslexic children learning at home.

Photo by Julia M Cameron

Other previous Open Door blog posts you may find helpful to you and your children during these challenging times:

Take good care, be kind to yourself and one another and stay connected. In the wise words of Dr. Seuss, remember,

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

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Marion May is the Blog Curator and Content Writer for The Open Door blog as well as a reading and spelling tutor for The Open Door, tutoring children between the ages of seven and 10. Her blog content is “local, organic and specific” and is relevant for parents of children with dyslexia.

Marion formerly tutored teenaged students in a literacy remediation program at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School in Ottawa. She also worked as a paid fundraiser and grant proposal writer for The Excellence in Literacy Foundation, a national non-profit aimed at helping marginalized youth. She began her career in radio broadcasting and news writing and has worked in the area of promotional writing for several federal government departments and agencies, including the National Research Council.

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