NEW YORK – Within the darkest occasions of the previous 12 months, Stephanie Dua, co-founder and president of HOMER, a New York Metropolis-based on-line studying program, drew on the primary classes about onerous work and optimism she discovered. together with his father’s almond and walnut. farm.
From about four years previous, Dua labored like a “nut” on the farm in Waterford, California, gathering nuts after a machine pulled them out of the timber.
“You at all times knew loopy folks as a result of your fingers have been going black from all of the walnut shells you have been selecting up,” mentioned Dua, 50, who was paid 5 cents a bucket.
“I discovered lots about onerous work, drawback fixing, and easy methods to hold doing it till it is performed,” mentioned Dua, who now lives in Coconut Grove, Florida, together with her husband and three daughters, ages 11 to 16. . “Even when issues are unsolved or unstructured, there may be at all times a solution to go.”
To assist educators and households affected by faculty closings, HOMER gave educators free entry to its packages and moved to supply boards and ideas for folks who all of a sudden wanted recommendation on homeschooling their kids. .
Dua spoke to Reuters about studying by way of a pandemic. Edited excerpts beneath.
Q. How has your enterprise modified up to now 12 months?
A. When Covid-19 and homeschooling began, we realized that we had been engaged on this for 10-15 years. It’s my life’s work to assist present a high quality schooling for everybody, no matter zip code.
Within the first weeks of March, we launched a “Ask the Professional” collection led by our VP of Baby and Household Growth. We created an exercise middle to supply high-quality actions that oldsters might do with kids that have been simple, resembling utilizing objects or components within the kitchen to strengthen simple arithmetic ideas like counting.
Q. What methods to coach and contain your daughters have labored properly?
A. We actually do concentrate on a couple of fundamentals, like baking and gardening.
Pinterest is an unbelievable supply of actions. For instance, in gardening, my Pinterest confirmed us easy methods to make a dust mattress. And my children did the analysis to seek out out which one is finest for this local weather. They developed a mattress of flowers and herbs that we are likely to all through the spring and summer season.
Q. What essential lesson are you making an attempt to show your kids?
A. A way of company: they belong and are a part of a group, ensuring they’ve values that transcend abilities and information.
My 16-year-old daughter, Anya, is now a thought chief in her personal proper – she based Gen Z Id Lab, an area for Gen Z to debate identification in a non-divisive means. And through Covid, my youngest daughter, Isla, co-founded a motion, Miami Robust. She was making masks and handing them out to these in want.
Q. What recommendation would you give dad and mom making an attempt to dwelling faculty proper now?
A. Fulfill a double perform. When you’re cooking, take into consideration how one can flip it right into a math lesson. In case you are taking a stroll, take into consideration how one can take the chance to pay attention and listen to what is occurring along with your baby.
We’re all so busy. We’re hungry for time. Take what you’re doing anyway and make it an awesome expertise for your loved ones.
Q. What’s your greatest problem in work life?
A. Not permitting my very own fears and anxieties to have an effect on my household. In the course of the early days of Covid, we did not know what to anticipate. My husband and I had a dialog through which we mentioned, even when we really feel anxious about well being issues, household, the financial system, we can not convey that into our youngsters’s lives.
Q. What has been the optimistic facet of the previous 12 months?
A. My husband and daughter obtained Covid 4 days earlier than Christmas. We determined that nobody might go away their rooms.
I used to be the nurse, so I needed to carry a tray from room to room and drop off drinks, meals, and Tylenol. Fortuitously, they have been all advantageous, but it surely was very scary.
I actually discovered a whole lot of love and assist round us: folks would go away meals on the door, video games that kids might play.
We’re new to Miami. We’ve solely been right here two years. This was a time to get to know our neighbors higher. It has additionally introduced us nearer to family and friends.