In the first days of the pandemic, when tens of millions of students suddenly found themselves stuck at home, there was a rush to support learning in creative ways.
Paywalls for learning websites came down. Celebrities streamed themselves reading stories aloud. Museums and historical sites offered virtual tours. You remember it, right? For parents newly balancing the responsibilities of online education with a thousand other worries, the buffet of options was fully stocked.
But parents were totally miserable. Who had time to investigate all these websites and “online learning tools” that were flooding their inboxes? Each one seemed to require the creation of a new account… which triggered constant emails full of ads or solicitations to upgrade to a paid service. Some of the content was good—but a lot of it was garbage that wouldn’t productively occupy a child for five minutes. Within a few weeks, the dominant sentiment among parents was MAKE. IT. STOP.
We remember, because we were right there with our own kids, too. It was brutal.
As school has gradually returned to “normal,” we haven’t forgotten just how brutal it was. Once the onslaught of pandemic-era virtual learning tools slowed, we started to consider what kind of educational resource families might actually need and use moving forward.
That’s why we built The Busy Family’s Guide to School. The two most precious resources for most parents—in pandemic times or not—are time and attention. Our ambition with this project is to carefully protect both.
We are committed to a streamlined platform that is:
Families can use it as a first point-of-reference for many years, seamlessly updating the content they receive as their kids age. They can even read ahead to see what’s next... if they dare.
Most of what schools communicate to parents is for the school’s benefit. There are lots of letters about arriving on time, contributing boxes of tissues to the classroom stash, and volunteering for bake sales. These things are fine, but there is a void when it comes to helping parents traverse their day-to-day struggles. Like, why does it turn into a pitched battle every time I try to get my child to complete homework? Can someone help with that? (We’ll do our best.)
Free to use (and free of ads!)
We aren’t selling anything. The site is totally free. No ads for backpacks or summer camps. (We’ll help you find affordable ones, though.) The sole objective of the guide is to increase family engagement and confidence.
Pragmatic and realistic
We counsel informed, involved, loving parenting. We don’t think it’s a good idea for pre-teens to spend hours each day glued to screens, but we aren’t alarmists about technology, either. We know that raising a child is an exhausting series of small decisions made by imperfect humans trying to do the right thing. When we work together, those decisions can be a little better.
At EdNavigator, one of our core beliefs is that parents are the best advocates for their own kids. But we also know that parents need resources and support to advocate effectively. We hope The Busy Family’s Guide to School will act as a starting point for families who want the very best for their kids’ educational experiences, but have a few questions along the way.
Check it out.
If you like it, sign up to receive emails for specific age groups when new material is released, which will happen regularly. That’s it. You don’t even need to set a password.