Selvei Rajkumar is the owner and managing director of both KLA Schools of Naperville and Plainfield. The Plainfield location has been open for seven years now, and the Naperville location opened in late 2019. KLA Schools are premier preschools that use the Reggio Emilia approach to education.
It focuses on following the children’s interests and curiosities and is project-based learning and has been touted as the best preschool method in the world by some experts.
Coping With Stay-At-Home Order
During these difficult, unprecedented times, Selvei and her team have found new ways of bringing some of the program’s educational components to the children and families of both schools through creating a virtual learning community. This is helping families stay connected to their schools and the children’s friends and teachers. Sheltering in place can be a stressful and isolating experience for families, and Selvei’ s goal is to ease the burden for families and continue to offer quality education to children despite the circumstances.
KLA Schools have had to implement some new strategies for learning and connecting with families during the COVID-19 crisis. The unprecedented nature of COVID-19 forced them to close the schools from mid-March. However, they have been offering virtual assemblies, virtual enrichment classes, and sending daily resources to parents with ideas to explore and experience with their children every day since the closure.
They have received a phenomenal response from their KLA families and are happy to see the little ones getting connected with their teachers and friends. They say it is more important than ever to be connected social-emotionally. They are also recruiting experts to help the community with ideas and tips. Lina Acosta from Stop Parenting Alone gave Parenting tips while sheltering at home, and KLA Parents Dr. Summers and Dr.Consilio presented on self-care, mindfulness, and having a clear understanding of what we can control and what we cannot control during this challenging time.
They have also decided to offer a few classes to the community because they firmly believe it is their social responsibility, and this is one way of giving back to the communities. Some of the offerings include Family Storytime on Mondays, Bringing out your creativity on Wednesdays, and Music & Movement classes on Fridays.
Recommendations for Parents
Selvei states that “parents of young children are probably tired and affected during this time of staying safe at home. Young children, unlike older children, do not have the ability to separate this time of sheltering at home from ‘normal time.’ I got inspired by the analogy given by Lina Acosta. She referred to our family as an aquarium or a fish tank. Children are the fish; Parents are the water. It is essential to keep the water clean, healthy, and safe. Please prioritize self-care, do some mindfulness, meditation, exercise, practice gratitude, or whatever that brings you joy. There is a lot of uncertainty, and we feel a lack of control right now. We need to know it is okay to be fearful and be anxious. We need to know what we can control and what we cannot control at this time and do our best and not be judgmental about ourselves.”
Selvei’s recommendation during these difficult times is “to keep a routine that is predictable and that you can stick with. Children thrive on routine and consistency”.
KLA Schools feel that including the community in some of their offerings is a social-responsibility and that they should contribute to the well-being of all children, not just their own KLA Families. In the past, they have given back to the community with the help of their families and educators in various ways, such as being an expert speaker, sharing resources, and teaching children to be socially responsible. These offerings are continuing in that tradition of “ leaving traces in their communities,” the school vision.
Parents can sign-up for the free classes by:
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