Can I just state that I deserve all of the acting awards for insisting to my kids that everything about online education would be functional (I made sure not to oversell with superlatives I could not deliver on) while behind the facade I was pivoting between screaming panic and weeping skepticism. As a parent, I am obliged to create an atmosphere of calm for my offspring but there was one day earlier this month where I hid out in a closet so I could weep tears of rage and frustration. Weird fact about me: I really don’t cry very often but, when I do, it is usually because I am a human pressure cooker and it is a release of frustration. I have had to contend with a sudden influx of a gazillion emails per child, some of which has content so opaque that I needed to be an espionage level code breaker to figure it out. And some of those emails also contradict each other and contain broken links. So that’s great. Meanwhile my gigantic kitchen pin board is so chock full of print outs of schedules and associated material that it looks like a crime solving board from a police procedural show. All I need is the red string.
However, the boys each have a designated study area – or areas in the case of one child – and their own chromebooks so everything looks organized and ordered. Calm space for a calm mind, right?
I now have a Senior:
A High School Freshman:
An 8th Grader:
And a 6th Grader embarking on Middle School:
And apparently Peanut decided it was his first day as Cheerleading School Mascot:
Luckily I was home for the first day of school. Going forwards, however, I am back in my preschool classroom so the boys will be flying solo at online school. This should not pose too much of a difficulty for my older children but it is a bit of a stressor when it comes to my youngest. He is not only transitioning to Middle School – having to navigate different subjects and teachers and stay on top of a schedule – but he is also a student with an IEP used to having support. Since he has both autism and ADD (of the inattentive kind), learning through the medium of a screen is far from ideal. I have reduced my hours at work for the short term (thanks to some understanding colleagues) so that I can be home in the afternoons to function as his aide. Hopefully he picks up the routine and operating systems quickly. I am also thankful to have sons who have agreed to check in with him when they have breaks between classes or study hall.
It is certainly going to be a memorable school year!
You’re amazing. They’re amazing. The world’s a mess.
Now, about that cat: He’s gorgeous and he looks like the reincarnation of our much-missed Big Ol’ Red Cat.
Thank you for your encouraging words. I hope my cat brought back fond memories of your Big Ol’ Red Cat.
Oh my. Don’t blame you a bit for having moments. I have them too. Seriously considering adding whiskey to my coffee right now (tho it won’t help) as I’m worrying about wildfires nearby some relatives homes. They evacuated but still…
Ordinarily speaking I try to be more creative in my language use than just cursing. But for this year “colossal clusterfuck” seems a correct way to describe things. Please hang in there…and I will too.
Definitely an apt description!
I hope all of your loved ones get through the fires unscathed. I have a few friends dealing with the same thing. I just cannot imagine what it feels like to be in that situation.
Thank you. Here’s to all of us hanging in there…
Well, they all look happy enough so far! Best of luck.
They had a good first day in that everything went pretty smoothly. The 13 year old complained a lot about how boring it was but, of course, the first days of any school year are full of admin and ice breakers so I reassured him that things will improve.
Yes, a friends child of similar age had been looking forward to the first day because her two favourite subjects were on the timetable. In the end they did no lessons and she was very disappointed that they spent all day discussing their feelings! I would be too, I hate that sort of thing.
Me too. The terms “ice breaker” and “role play” make me judder.
I believe they will rise to the occasion. I get the closet meltdown. I remember doing that at work (in my current life I can cry anytime so naturally I never feel like it). I hope if I can help you will call on me. I am right here and willing to try whatever I can do.
Thank you. I very much appreciate that.
You have a lot on your plate! But next year, you will be down to three. My senior is only doing virtual learning and is an only child so he hasn’t been around any other kids since March. I wonder if that’s going to make them all become very independent. Or ill socialized? Either way, it makes for an awful senior year. I hope your teaching is going along well.
Thank you. That must be challenging for your son. I hope he is managing to maintain friendships over the phone and internet. My kids are obviously lucky to have each other but we are also trying to keep them connected to friends in that way. We are choosing to keep them 100% virtual for this school year. There is now an option to resume in-person schooling on a hybrid basis in November but we don’t feel there is enough benefit to outweigh the risk. I think getting through this year is going to be tough on their psyches but I hope, when we come out the other side whenever that is, the feeing of having survived it all will have generated some resilience and stoicism them. I cannot think that far ahead, however, as I am still taking this one day at a time, one week at the max.