New School Year in the Pandemic Prism

Education at home can be a beautiful mess

August 23, 2020

Palm Beach County, Florida

Tomorrow our county, considered the 10th largest school district in the nation, will embark on its Covid-19 pandemic inspired educational journey for many parents/caregivers and children as they log into their e-learning platforms.  There are some who have prepared to take their students into the select private schools that are offering in-person instruction with smaller classes and new physical distancing measures.  My hope and prayer for all my fellow parents is that the teamwork between you, teachers, and your children be strong and inspired by the hope of a new school year with so many new things to be learned for everyone. 

My personal Bean homeschooling plan is to start my students fully in the first week of September as I have in the past. For the last couple of weeks and going forward, my mornings are busily spent with the children doing small lessons, reviews, and cleaning out our educational areas.  My bed has been the staging ground daily for organizing countless piles of papers and projects.  If you find that your home is a mess in preparation for your children’s first day of school at home, it will get better and yes it’s normal.  If, however, your home is completely spotless then I sincerely applaud you and would love some tips on how to do better in this area.

Approaching the Big Horn mountains from the west after leaving Yellowstone

My second podcast for CEO of the Home was recorded and released in late July and then I took off on a sabbatical by myself—it entailed me driving from Florida to Wyoming and back.  In my haste to pack up and leave the household in good hands, I forgot to post it online for anyone interested.  Simply put, it’s a small primer on how to approach a “multi-schooling” methodology should it be an option:

Episode 2: https://ceo-of-the-home.simplecast.com/episodes/how-to-multischool

My sabbatical was 2 weeks in duration and afforded me the chance to let my mind rest from the constant barrage of COVID-19 news coverage, contentious social media platforms, and our local frenetic pace of life here in south Florida.  I deleted all my social media apps and news alerts on my iPhone so that I wasn’t tempted to scroll through during the quiet moments that this trip gave me.

Yellowstone National Park has a great trail ride available at Canyon

Also, I needed to rekindle my own love of learning.  Wandering about in Wyoming gave me the opportunity to seek out new adventures like driving to a privately owned quarry outside Kemmerer and chiseling ancient rock for fish fossils.  Picking up my paintbrushes to paint while sitting at scenic points in Yellowstone National Park gave me a renewed inspiration for playing with colors on paper.  I’ve ridden horses but only through flat forests and swamps, mountain trail riding was a brand new experience for this flatlander.

Along with the silent hours I spent alone, I was able to think about what new things to weave into my children’s educational experiences moving forward.  I had the blessing of commiserating with other parents who were traveling in Wyoming—it turns out that challenges my fellow Floridian parents have with this pandemic education prism are the same for other parents nationwide.

Tonight I also recorded my third podcast and I touch upon why I took this long break.  What I didn’t address in it is that although I took this trip during a pandemic, I had weighed the risk and knew that my mental health was of utmost importance as I’m getting ready for another school year. 

With that, I share my latest episode of CEO of the Home, Sabbatical and the New School Year:

Episode 3: https://ceo-of-the-home.simplecast.com/episodes/sabbatical-and-new-school-year

I wish you all the best as our respective school years begin this month and next!

In service of Love,

R.V.S.Bean

Let’s Talk: My Podcast Launch and Why Education Continues Despite COVID-19

The Podcast

The Setting

Here in Palm Beach County, Florida, the last couple of weeks have been an unfortunate whirlwind of hot and humid weather coupled with dizzying numbers being reported with positive COVID-19 cases in our state.

Historically late July is the time when many of us Floridians have fled for vacation in cooler and drier weather elsewhere and are soon preparing to come back for the back-to-school rush of activity that follows in August.

Instead, I’ve fielded many texts and calls this month as our local public school districts have been unable to find a peaceful resolution on how they will conduct the education of over 170,000 children in our county for the 2020-2021 school year.

The How

Every state in our nation is grappling with this question: Do our students come back to school in the fall?

Despite the answer, their education continues even at this moment as we’re in the throes of a national debate on the matter of whether it’s safer to conduct classes in-school, hybrid, virtual, online, and so forth. We’re all learning every single day, our youth are doing so at an accelerated pace.

The trend I’ve noticed in my own social circles is that many parents and caregivers are taking matters into their own hands by making decisions to transition to virtual learning, homeschooling, transferring to private schools, creating learning co-ops, and other creative solutions to mitigate the collective chaos surrounding our American education system.

As a multi schooling mother of three children for over a decade, I’ve been happy to share my resources and whatever advice I can lend to others as they navigate what their children’s education plan should be for our upcoming school year. I’m also thankful to be part of organizations like the Junior League of the Palm Beaches as our women members focus on helping our community, especially those with the lack of financial resources to be able to help students grow.

The Why

Today I launched my first podcast, CEO of the Home, after years of thinking about it. Why now? Frankly, why not. Although writing out my CEO of the Home blog has been my way of sharing with others what adventures I’ve experienced or lessons I’ve learned, this frenetic paced world needs talk too. So before you hear me talk, perhaps I should give you some background on what I’ve done.

In my undergraduate years at University of Florida, my first academic love was Telecommunications and I enjoyed working radio hours as a production assistant and weekend disc jockey. I graduated with a B.A. in English and some education classes under my belt instead and worked in schools. After the attacks of 9/11, I began another career serving in Washington, D.C. as a congressional aide to a Florida congressman covering education policy and then a political appointee for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Jr. during President George W. Bush’s administration. I began pursuing a Masters degree in Education that was cut short when the U.S. economy took a severe downturn and with a newborn son in tow, my husband and I left D.C. to stay with family in Florida in 2009.

I worry, as does any loving parent, whether I am doing enough for my children or am I screwing them up. My intent with this podcast is not to tell anyone how to manage their life, rather I want to offer hope, options and encouragement to make the choices that are best for them and their families.

R.V.S.Bean

Wyoming Life

"God bless it and keep it wild"