This post was written two monts ago though it is still very relevant.
Being encouraged by the officials and public at large to be antisocial, self isolating while home schooling, the irony is not lost on me. We have actually been less social than our typical week while seeing more people than is normal, albeit we see them from the car or dining room window, or from across the street.
Last week we were thrown off by my husband working from home during the day and having to readjust where in the house we do the majority of our schooling. We (homeschool parents) also worked to figure out how to use online meet-ups to conduct co-op, have kids ‘hang out’, conduct online submissions for music club, participate in art classes via Facebook Live, and take advantage of free offers. While the majority of those around us were lamenting about having to juggle work and kids while being responsible for said kids’ education, I sort of felt like we had it easier to a degree. We already had the education part down, most were already used to working from home or having one parent at home, and suddenly we had so many more resources of which to take advantage. Yet, we did not come out unscathed. Nothing looked quite like it did before, my kids were not sure what was happening that we suddenly had to go online to meet for group readings, and “what do you mean we can’t go eat IN the restaurant? It would be much faster than this drive-thru.”
The first day the public school kids where home Jack asked me during our Morning Time, “what is that noise?” It was the school kids outside playing and laughing, yet our kids still had school work to complete. Then I would not let them go out and play with all the neighborhood kids. Their worlds had changed, yet didn’t.
Tynker is offering free access to its site. Coding was something my kids were initially exposed to in a robotics class last year. Unfortunately that class was only available one semester and they have been asking every since to take the next class. When this offer was presented I knew it would possibly be something they enjoyed. After taking a closer look I knew they would enjoy it. My husband liked that it also has an introduction to Python.
(Update: As suspect it was a hit. My husband, and the kids, liked that they could actually see and use their creations in games.)
After the first lesson I was able to impress Jack with my amazing computer skills, you may now laugh if you know me in person, connecting to his Tynker account to his Minecraft account so he could see some of the creations he had programmed. When he threw eggs and they actually exploded he was thrilled. It is always nice seeing your work in action.
Art has been something else which has looked different. Normally we go to a class at a local library each week. With closing of libraries we have been expressing ourselves at home. Jack, Mr. Problem Solver, liked the idea of this activity but no the sun shinning on him. One look around the yard and he asked if I could move the umbrella to give him shade.
This project lasted until it rained a few days later. The rain drops were quite efficient at washing off the chalk and making the painter’s tape lose its grip. After that the kids were not interested in doing this again.
Here we are a few months into this widespread social distancing, learning from home situation. What has changed? Not a whole lot. The kinks with doing co-op online has mainly been worked out, George has become very lax in his instrument practice as he no longer has a class to join to help motivate, we are all having a bit of cabin fever, Tynker has continued to be a liked program, art has kind of dropped off the radar, and we are growing in personal responsibilities.
The kids finally play with the neighbor kids yesterday. Each in their respective back yards, throwing a ball, talking, and spraying each other with water over the fence. Having someone to interact with in person who is not your constant playmate, sibling was a nice change for them.
Academic and fun plans for summer are still a bit up in the air – do we schedule online “summer camps” or are the in-person activities still being planned? Does the co-op continue in the form it is in or do we adjust to a reduced schedule? Online or in-person? Instead of agonizing over the details we are taking it as it comes. See a fun, interesting online “camp”? Let’s sign up. Is music camp going to still be held but in a different location? Okay, let’s keep our eyes open for details and join in when they finalize. This is not something to stress or become anxious over. It will work out and life will move on. George is a bit disappointed, though, as I had finally agreed to let him go to a week long overnight camp this year. We are still waiting to see if they are planning to hold their weeks of camp.