WICKLIFFE, Ohio — There’s a lot to learn when it comes to setting up your child’s in-home classroom. In this Rebound report, we head to 2nd Semester Consignment Shop in Wickliffe to help out parents looking to do their homework.
Monica Grays is celebrating her 23rd year as a teacher and fourth year as founder of the education resale store. It allows teachers to sell what they don’t need — and buy used supplies at a lower cost.
“We decrease the cost almost half — or even more than half — of the retail price,” Grays explained.
But what was created by educators for educators took a turn during the pandemic.
“We’ve had a number of parents come in and say, ‘I realize my child is behind or needs help in these areas, what do you have?’ So we have been servicing a lot of parents,” Grays said.
And not just through offering discounted supplies — but through expert advice that helps parents set up at-home classrooms.
They’ve also turned their tutoring services virtual.
“Everything I show the child how to do, I show the parent how to do so I want to enable the parent to be that educator away from the educator,” said tutor Tracy Reid.
It’s advice that’s been invaluable for parents like Bridgett Berry, whose daughter is heading into fifth grade.
“Just getting the space ready so that she can have a school home-life balance and the two aren’t so enmeshed,” Berry said.
A typical day now has her wearing hats like principal, teacher, IT — alongside her full-time job.
“The hardest challenge has been balancing that home-work life where right before this happened, I had mastered it so to speak,” Berry said. “But then the lines get blurred again because I’m always a full-time parent regardless.”
Shelves at 2nd Semester are stocked with supplies, puzzles, teaching & learning aids and more —things former East Cleveland school teacher Sandy Willis wishes she had way back when.
“Oh my god, I would have lived in this store,” Willis said. “I was on a mission to find other supplies to make my teaching more interesting and more hands on.”
And while you can find a ton in these nooks and crannies — nothing beats the knowledge you get from decades of experience.
“Parents come in, I’m able to help them filter through what they need to educate the child,” Grays said. “I ask some important questions that help me guide that child into what they need at home.”