At The Village School, we work diligently on “building the tribe.” We strive to create a community that works well together, can talk about problems, resolve differences, and encourage one another. These character-based, real-life lessons are a huge part of our learning design and a solid way to build lifelong social skills.
While we are learning from home, it’s hard to build those same school relationships. However, we can turn our focus to a different tribe—the one at home. Heroes’ relationships with siblings, parents, even pets will be some of the longest-lived—and arguably most important—relationships of our lives.
One thing we can say about this pandemic is that it has led to LOTS of family together time. (That can be either a blessing or a curse sometimes…) Kidding aside, we may never again have so much uninterrupted time together. So how can we make the most of it now?
As a studio we are exploring sibling relationships in morning launch. This week we read a book called “Violet and Victor Write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book” in which a sister-brother duo writes a creative story together. The two sometimes disagree and dislike each other’s ideas. But at the same time, they compromise, respect each other’s contributions, work as a team, and delight in their final product. “I like our story,” says Victor at the end, before Violet spends the afternoon rereading it aloud. That push-and-pull of the sibling dynamic is one we will continue to explore.
We are also trying to provide opportunities for siblings to participate in projects. In the past couple of weeks, siblings (often younger ones) joined heroes to explore the water cycle, create art, and collaborate on videos. So while more togetherness inevitably invites more squabbles, yelling, and competition, the lessons in teamwork are invaluable.
Have you noticed any shifts in the sibling dynamics at home? What challenges have your kids faced? In what ways have you observed the strengthening or deepening of that bond? Where do they seem stuck, and have you discovered helpful tips that might help another family? Do you have any beautiful or encouraging stories to share? Please share in the comments!
Hopefully, when this is all over, we will emerge stronger as family units. That will translate to better relationships at school, where we will continue building our Spark tribe as soon as we can safely be back together.