COVID-19 Feature

Homeschooling during unprecedented times

By Megan Torres, Reporter

Over the past few weeks, life as we knew it has changed drastically due to the current global pandemic COVID-19.

As parents, we teach our children life lessons everyday, however, we are now tasked with teaching them their schoolwork as well. Local schools were closed to students on March 16th and will remain closed until April 29th.

Jayde Jimerson, a parent teaching her school aged children 9 – 15 years old, has expressed how difficult it was for her family to adjust in the beginning due to their face paced lifestyle. Appointments, school programs, sports leagues, and community events consumed their daily lives. As the days went on and they adjusted to their new normal, they came up with a daily schedule that best fits each child’s needs, “They know their daily duties (schoolwork, house chores, reading time and journaling) and do them at their own pace and time,” said Jimerson.

Jordan Buffalo has also created a daily schedule for this 11 year old daughter that best fits their needs. He takes every precaution to curb the spread of infection.

Buffalo stays active with his family by walking their two puppies frequently and incorporate cultural aspects along the way, “We have been identifying medicinal plants and how we pray for the plant and put down tobacco or another offering and to make sure to leave some for others… we are going to learn how to turn the medicines we gathered into something we can use,” explains Buffalo.

Jimerson’s children use their imaginations when playing outside, “My kids built a fort in the woods by our house where they built a fire to make hot dogs and enjoy the outdoors,” she said.

Jimerson also includes yoga in her family’s daily routine to stay fit and active. Yoga can reduce stress and anxiety.

Buffalo has been teaching his daughter is about food security. He feels it is imperative that she is able to provide food for herself without having to rely heavily on grocery stores. They planted an indoor garden with tomatoes, eggplant, basil, thyme and parsley.

Jimerson’s family is focused on learning language and culture. She finds innovative ways to keep her children speaking Seneca. “My older ones FaceTime their friends and will practice the Ganö:nyök and go over the elements. It really is awesome to hear!,” Jimerson shares.

Buffalo says his daughter is happy at home with him but knows she misses seeing her friends in school and social activities.

Jimerson explained how her older two are struggling with the adjustment because they work hard to maintain honor roll and excel in sports simultanously. To cope, Jimerson is taking advantage of the counseling services offered at the Wellness Center. It has tremendously helped her entire family.

Although this time has been challenging for many, there is always a silver lining.

“We are really learning to enjoy the simple things more than we have before. The creator has blessed all of us in so many ways, we’re learning material things don’t have much value as we once thought. That our mental and physical health and family means putting ourselves first. We know all this too will pass and until it does, we’ll be in our house tucked away in the woods making memories,” explained Jimerson.

Enjoy moments with your children, teach life skills, slow down, stay active, and have patience.

All photos were collected from the Seneca Media FaceBook page and personal FaceBook pages of parents with permission. Nya:wëh! Our communities are beautiful!