Some of the parents and professionals I know have been talking about and pondering our current schooling situation. At a webinar I attended a couple of weeks ago with education innovators AJ Juliani, George Couros, and Katie Novak, I first heard the term, "Emergency Remote Learning". Unlike homeschooling, or distance/online learning models we may know or be familiar with, this current situation is Not something we researched, decided to do, and prepared for. It is a totally new model thrust upon us in varying shapes and forms from schools and districts around the world...and teachers did not research, choose, or prepare for this either!! We are all in the same boat!
At this point I am having my own thoughts and reactions to the schooling portion of our life. I have been working by bum off for school, but then at home, I take the 'less is more' approach, which is unlike most type A teacher types, (which I am not 😉 ) I worry a little, should I be pushing more? should we be more structured? . . .and am starting to hear from friends and other parents I know:
- I feel like I have to do it all!
- Working (trying to work) with a toddler under foot, is like some form of thought disruption torture.
- There is so much to juggle with more than one kid.
- It feels like they are really unproductive
- I want to make sure they are moving
- It seems like a lot of screen time
- We are having issues connecting and streaming video, or we are trying to share a computer.
- This (assignment or project) isn't helpful right now, or isn't important to him/her right now (for any number of reasons)
I thought I would start with a schedule, but for us, meh! Not so much! Unless you count meals, the rest of our day is a bit of a crapshoot! But, hey that works for us, your family may be different. My big goals are to make sure we get outside or do something active (Just Dance anyone?) every day... which means we get about 5 out of 7 days maybe! Everyone chips in with little things, empty the dishwasher, stack some wood, laundry...Then I check in and say, anyone have schoolwork? Then some of them do it, or tell me they will do it later.
My daughter has been really into the class meetings online! But, It took me 4 weeks to find a book online (which I ended up paying for, despite a wealth of books in our home), that my daughter would read! I am a teacher, with a literacy background, and it took me. four. weeks.. now she has spent the last two days doing not much else. She has started online piano lessons, and I have too, but suddenly 3-er 5, hmmm... how many? days goes by and I realize we haven't practiced. She has also spent countless hours drawing.
The boys have been working outside a lot! They are not built for online learning, but they do a big push a few times a week. I cannot imagine if we were all in the house all day! That would be good for none of us! Charlie wired the new well pump, Joe is working on a new wood splitter, they both have vehicles and little projects they have been working on to make road worthy. I am so thankful we have so much access to the outdoors and stuff that they thrive on... but I also realize many don't... and I worry... I also worry that they aren't interested in Zoom meetings with their classes, at all! I think one boy has attended one meeting! The principal says on one hand that things are really flexible, but the words 'for credit' and 'assignments in Powerschool' create tension in the back of my neck and head...are they doing enough? (I know there is pressure to keep kids on track for graduation and all at the high school level)
Despite many online meetings, and hours of scouring the internet for good resources, and getting a school blog page up and running, I am caught up on laundry, mostly. We replaced a well pump, (by we, I mean mostly my husband and teenage boys, with 10 minutes of me helping drag the pipe across the yard). So a hot shower feels like a massage, instead of a measly sprinkle! There is a lot of wood cut, split and stacked for the year, but always more to do. I Dusted. (did you hear that people? I DUSTED!!). But then, I have been looking at my seed packets for two weeks, thinking 'today I will start some seeds inside', only to have something else take priority.
However your district is handling this current learning situation, from packets, to Google Classroom, video chats, and so on...the best advice I can offer is to go easy on yourself and your child. Think about the work coming from school as a buffet, take what you need, and leave the rest. You may have some things you can bring to the table as well. . .or not! That is ok, either way your child will have plenty of opportunities to grow, but not if their brain is stressed... It actually isn't possible to learn if the brain is stressed. So, go easy.
YES this WAS the Same paragraph I started with,
Because I NEEDED TO HEAR IT AGAIN!!
Because THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!!
Because THIS is NOT Homeschooling!
Because This is not Online learning!
THIS IS EMERGENCY REMOTE LEARNING!
BEST to you ALL!!