Before the start of the new school year, before the start of summer break, and before we could wrap our heads around what was going on we were still trying to wrap up the last few weeks of school. Students switched from classroom to virtual learning fast. Though we unexpectedly found ourselfs in a pandemic it was nice not waking up at 6AM to catch the school bus. My son wasn’t in school yet so it really wasn’t that bad and we found a routine of no routine. My kids were up late, up early still (why?), and work was due at the end of the week. Zoom classes were a couple times a week, not day, and aside from the pandemic part it was pretty chill. Summer came early it seemed and it was nice to have them home all day when I wasn’t at work. Who knew what the next year would bring with distance learning.
A lot of things happened over the summer, a lot! The arrival of the new school year brought uncertainty, stress, and sadness for the unknown of virtual learning. Now that school is back in sesh I think we can all agree….
Never say never
If I never hear the words distance learning, virtual learning, zoom meetings, or unprecedented time I think I would be ok. In fact, my stress level would go down exponentially. The items list the teacher sends out for their classrooms each year would be early. You know the list – lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, dry erase markers – I would quadruple it happily! Actually just put my card on file teacher person and get what you like! Wine? Buy a box! No questions asked.
Alas, we are in unprecedented times – I had to! – and we are in the year of never say never. Like that time I said I would NEVER homeschool my kids because I was in homeschool until 8th grade and hated it. My parents were living in the future with 6 children to homeschool and it looked nothing like today – I’ll spare you the details of my past and give you the low down on *cough* distance learning the first two weeks of Kindergarten and 5th grade.
Distance learning the first two weeks and I have to give it to my kids public school, we didn’t exactly have ‘pandemic’ on the school calendar this year and so far, with a few tears, we’ve made it work. I also don’t want to take away credit from those who regularly homeschool their children pre-pandemic. You guys are the real MVP and I give you credit too.
What I consider “homeschool” you probably roll your eyes at easier than I roll myself out of bed to open my sons Chromebook to start his kinder lessons. Have I jumped out of bed at 7:55AM when class starts at 8:00AM promptly? Guilty. Did a class full of kindergartners almost witness me hastily putting on a bra under my shirt just as the screen went from “waiting to join class” to “connecting” seconds before I jumped out of screen view? Also guilty.
My daughter is happy to be in school and only slightly disappointed she didn’t receive homework on the first day. She is familiar with the process as the end of last year they were already in virtual learning. She told me she preferred less zoom meetings and her work turned in at the end of the week. You know you’re an adult when you have to ask your 5th grader to load up your kindergarteners Chromebook for you. In my defense I’m an Apple girl.
My sons first day of kindergarten I got him ready in a new outfit to fulfill the first day of school nostalgia and wait until our scheduled meeting with his teacher. The meeting was short and she asked him a few questions to get to know him. He said he wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up and his favorite animal is a cheetah. No lessons the first day. Since teachers had a lot of meetings the first week of school class didn’t officially start right away. Monday my son was able to pick up his Chromebook and school supplies the teacher made him. She went above and beyond with the color folders for students and parents to find items easily.
Distance learning the first two weeks -the tears were active the second week – by me. Yes I am the cry baby! One day my daughter was unable to join her class due to technical difficulties -helpless to do anything about it I had a mental breakdown. Then my sons class had crazy static and he could barely hear the teacher. I just kept thinking is this what virtual learning will be like?!?! I guess so because now his teacher’s computer screen is black and she resorted to plan b and is pulling her camera very close to the white board – cue tears.
This is not how I imagined kindergarten for my son. I wanted to walk him to his class and cry as he trotted off without even a look my way like I did with my daughter. I wanted to peek in and see his little school desk, with his little chair, and little name in bold on white printer paper taped to his desk. The rest of the week was more of the same. My sons computer cut off during class ( the battery didn’t die) and required zoom to be downloaded all over again -why do these things happen?! This time I didn’t cry because I was halfway in the shower when my daughter yelled to me what was happening but it certainly made for a crappy shower.
Sour patch kids
My youngest son cried because he wanted to play Minecraft with his siblings who were in lessons. He’s the only one not in school and his little pouty lip hurt my heart. I know if his siblings were physically in school he would still miss them but maybe understand more they are at school and can’t play right now since, well, they aren’t here. Except they ARE here and he sees them and just wants to play like he has all summer. Sorry kid.
When my daughter finished her class I asked how it went and she said fine. I asked her what she learned and she said she didn’t learn anything new today. I then asked what the teacher talked about since you didn’t learn anything knew and she said she doesn’t remember. Straight A student y’all.
Homeschool, virtual learning, distance learning, whatever you call it and whatever it looks like for you I’m with you! We are all in this together and suffer on all platforms. Maybe your internet connection isn’t the best, the school doesn’t provide Chromebook’s or, like me, you work full-time.
Distance learning the first two weeks it doesn’t matter because it isn’t easy and we’re all just taking it day by day while protecting our children in the process (yes, even the one kidders!). When this is all over we can go taste wine or take all of our kids to Chucky Cheese and try not to cringe at the amount of germs the playhouse contains – on second thought maybe not.