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Metro Detroit author starts homeschool program focused on character education, social skills

The class is virtual

DETROIT – A Metro Detroit author started a home school when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first hit, but the focus is not on math or English.

The focus is on social skills that many parents are worried about with their children still being at home. The program has continued into the fall.

READ: Novi High School cancels in-person learning, activities after 5 students test positive for coronavirus

“I loved that communication before and after class, where they could ask questions, and it’s super interactive as well,” Maria Dismondy said.

Imagine a virtual classroom where students are getting lessons in how to work out sibling rivalry and that has a focus on rivalry and focus on diversity and mental health.

READ: Wayne-Westland school officials work to make sure students can learn remotely

Dismondy is teaching social skills in a virtual classroom. Sunnyside Homeschool focuses on positivity and mental wellness.

“It received a lot of rally positive feedback from families and students, so I thought, ‘Gosh, if so many of us are remote learning -- we need to offer this this fall,’” Dismondy said.

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Two thousand families signed up last time and there was close to 400 students logging in at a time. The ages ranged from kindergarten through 5th grade.

The classes all taught online are a half hour twice a week. Children can focus on improving literacy and how to deal with siblings and handle tough emotions.

“My favorite part of the whole class is where I do a demonstration and I use real life objects so kids can think about the topic we were discussing. So, maybe we’re talking about kindness, and I have an actual object lesson where they can then see how it’s applicable in life,” Dismondy said.

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