UPDATE: The winner is…Amy Toohey!
Tomorrow’s the big day. Only, this year, it’s going to be very different from previous years.
This year, we didn’t have to buy a bunch of new school clothes or backpacks and lunch bags. This year, we had to make trips to the schools to pick up computers and tablets and practice logging into school websites, because in our little town, the school district offered families the option of in-school or virtual instruction, and we chose the virtual route.
We did it for many reasons, tops being—COVID-19. We want everyone to stay safe—students and adults—and when schools can’t prevent outbreaks of head lice in classrooms, we kind of figure they won’t be able to do a lot against an easily transmissible disease. Related reason: They won’t be able to do a lot to prevent outbreaks, so we’ll be ahead of the game when schools shut down again.
The kids were split. The boy hates not being able to hang with friends. The littlest girl will miss being queen bee of the classroom (she was the teacher’s pet last year), but she also loves being with her mama. The oldest girl likes the idea of doing classes online because she’ll have plenty of support from her mom and me when she runs into things she doesn’t understand (math!). They’ve found the self-isolation both fun (because we’ve been very creative about making little things into “events”) and lonely. FaceTime is a sanity-saver, but most of their friends are going back to the classroom, so I worry that their friends will drift away.
Still, we had little choice. With two elderly persons in the house, and one child a two-time cancer survivor, we knew from the outset what we would do if the opportunity was provided.
So, how to make it work and not go nuts?
My daughter has spaces throughout the house for the kids to have privacy to do their lessons. We’re setting alarms so they all start their work at the same time. If they finish early, they have the rest of the day free to do what they want. We’re lucky we have a big house to give everyone their space. If she still lived in her previous house, she said she would have set up posterboard cubicles to separate them at the kitchen table, anything so their line of sight wouldn’t include someone they could start a fight with. We’re an Irish family—there are always a lot of noisy opinions being thrown around.
How will this affect my writing schedule? We’ll see. I imagine mornings I’ll be standing by to provide assistance. Both of us will be running from room-to-room to keep kids on task. When the afternoon comes around—that will be my time. I have to stand firm. Hopefully, my dd can take a nap. 🙂
The upside of all of this? We’ve never been closer as a family. And who wouldn’t want to spend all the time they could with this one?
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, answer me this…
How are schools where you are handling school reopenings?
Plus, bonus points for anyone with great ideas to keep kids happy at home!