COVID-19 · post-op life · siblings · slice of life

Home Schooling Starts… Tomorrow! #SOL20

I intended to start “Mommy Home School” today, but then I remembered that Isabelle had a speech therapy appointment at 10:00 a.m. this morning. So, in the spirit of being flexible, I realized “classes” would have to start tomorrow.

That said, we did that “bare minimum” thing I wrote about yesterday. We read together:

Here’s Isabelle reading What If You Had Animal Feet? by Sandra Markle and Howard McWilliam aloud to me this morning.

What an idyllic looking photo, right? Well, yes, but it isn’t representative of how today went.

Ari was a MENACE while Isabelle was at speech therapy morning. We haven’t told him anything about COVID-19 — because he’s too young — but I think he can sense something is wrong since he was wild. (I’ll leave it at that for the sake of not embarrassing him when he reads this as a grown-up.)

So why share this detail, you may ask? I’m sharing because for every ten photos I see of children sitting dutifully by their remote schooling technology on their parents’ Facebook, I see one photo of another mom going out of her mind trying to manage kids during this time of “social distancing.” That 10:1 ratio is not real. Therefore, I’m sharing this information in (a) an effort to keep it real and (b) a way to let anyone whose day wasn’t picture-perfect know that they aren’t alone..

There were some lovely moments of me reading books in bed to the kids. However, when I look back on this day, it’s going to be Ari throwing toy trains at the play room wall (Okay, I’m sharing one detail!) that I’ll remember, not the peaceful read aloud.

PLUS, all non-essential businesses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are closing as of midnight tonight. Therefore, my mom took Isabelle out to the art store, to get a haircut, and to grab an ice cream cone this afternoon. (Good thing I committed to going with the flow yesterday when I created that schedule!)

So, “Mommy Home School” will begin tomorrow. I’m sure it won’t all go according to plan… and that’s okay. There’s no playbook for what we’re living through right now. This is going to be a long-game and therefore I’m starting to realize it may take several days to get it right so that we fall into a routine that works for everyone — including the three-year-old who threw those trains at the wall with such delight this morning.


40 thoughts on “Home Schooling Starts… Tomorrow! #SOL20

  1. You are definitely among the majority! We’re technically on Spring Break so I’m not starting a learning schedule yet, but decided this is a good week to clean out the toy room. I’ve already threatened to bury the cord to the TV in the backyard and throw away everything they can’t find a place for…day one (almost) down, ____ days to go!

      1. All of the schools in the St. Louis area are off through April 3rd as of last night. I’m counting Spring Break as a warm up week. 😉

  2. Sigh – the best laid plans… I’m glad you are “keeping it real”. I already had to remind myself that cooking with Dad and hiking actually count as education – since we had a serious battle over ten minutes of reading in French. It’s going to be interesting, for sure, especially as everything shuts down. May tomorrow see all your trains running happily on their tracks.

    1. Let’s hope for that!
      Regardless, Marc brought a lot of toys down to the basement since I thought *part* of the problem was just too much stuff.
      Bonne chance avec les livres en Français demain, Amanda!

  3. Give yourself grace. Whatever you do will be just fine. We rearrange our schedule and throw parts out the window…by about 11:30 today, we were all done. Thanks for sharing the real. I did read one thing that keeps me in check… something like, “your kid was never going to become a rocket scientist this month.” They’re learning so much more than academics right now.

  4. Hooray for reality! Everyone is just doing their best, but I do think it’s so helpful for everyone to see an expert finding this challenging! Hope things go better tomorrow!

  5. Thanks for sharing this slice of reality, Stacey. Today was get the new bridge put in (my mouth), get the car serviced, and get my hair cut day. Lots of chlorox wipes going on between all those tasks. We’re in the same boat as Pennsylvania with all non-essential businesses shut down. There is no playbook for our times.

  6. It’s good, and helpful, to share the real, and not the gloss of social media. It’s not an Instagram Moment we’re in — it’s real life. Some families won’t cope as well as you did/do. THOSE are the places where I worry for my students most of all …

  7. I feel for all of you with young ones at home and those trying to work from home too. You all need permission to breathe and find your way into this new normal. Give yourself some time and grace. There is no rush – we are in this for the long haul.

  8. I think we all feel like”throwing trains” sometimes! Especially when things are changing so rapidly and we can’t seem to get our footing. I hope today goes smoothly but if it doesn’t …tomorrow is another day!

  9. We start tomorrow too, but with a teen who is King of the Reluctant about school. Your description of “menace” made me chuckle. I appreciate the honesty. A few of my teacher friends have groused about kids who aren’t going to do anything at home, and I have sat quietly, biting my lip, because I know it is likely to be a struggle in our own home. Not for lack of trying, just because it is reality. So, thank-you for something other than social media perfection!

  10. I would love to be a fly on the wall in some students’ homes as they make this transition. I am sure it will be a challenge for many!

  11. Through your post and the comments, I am both relieved and encouraged. Adjusting, rethinking or even letting go of our particular expectations for how this should go will be necessary on the daily. When I read “King of the Reluctant” and that we are not in an Instagram moment – I can exhale and realize this is the best company to keep. Where we keep it real and acknowledge that toy trains in flight against the wall is not part of the plan, and yet we persist. Thank you.

  12. “There’s no playbook for what we’re living through right now.” How true is this. We need to be kind to everyone – but especially to ourselves as we navigate these uncharted waters.

  13. Your daughter had speech and got a haircut- that’s productive! It will take us all awhile to get the hang of this.

  14. Oh to be three. You are so right, no playbook, no plan that isn’t up for flexibility, and no certainties–only the present moment. I keep trying to figure out how to connect with my students in an equitable way, how to balance my teens in a fair and less-argumentative way, and how to keep my own motivation to learn and grow in the meantime. A bit of wild might not be so bad, maybe planned wildness is something that should be a thing. It’s bound to happen. It’s got me thinking, Ari throwing trains is similar to me practically dragging my daughter to the road for a short walk/run with me yesterday. Reminiscent of kicking and screaming while Shawn counted down from 5. I was surprised to learn that still works on her. Who knew!

  15. “There’s no playbook for what we’re living through right now.” I keep repeating the phrase ‘all bets are off’ at the moment, and we’ve been into Distance Learning for 7 weeks now. It’s a sea-changing moment for all of us, curious (and hopeful) to see how it all plays out. Good luck with your kids, they’re lucky to have you! 🙂

  16. It was not picture perfect in our house yesterday either. And for today too for that matter. Our priorities during this unusual time should be ourselves and our families. If the e-learning has to wait then it waits. You’ve got this.

  17. You are definitely not alone – this is hard for everyone! Your words, “I think he can sense something is wrong since he was wild.” – I think every one of my preschoolers is feeling this, and it just magnifies the challenge of what we are doing. No child is ever going to remember whether virtual learning happened as planned, but they’ll remember how the days felt…let’s just breathe in, breathe out, and love on them. Best wishes!!

  18. Thanks! Even without the pandemic fright, kids hate routines being disrupted. And, I for one, if I were a younger parent would not be rushing into a full day of class on day 1. I’d build…and find things that are not online to mix in heartily. They are, after all, children. Darling, precious little people.

  19. Thank you for sharing the not so photogenic moments of this crazy time. Seeing pictures and reading posts this morning led to a future post I hope to finish during The Slice of Life Challenge. I’ve been struggling to write about certain topics, but the opportunity to write daily is inching me closer to finding my voice. Thank you for this. Have a great first day of school tomorrow.

  20. Mommy School Day 2 was much more relaxed today than yesterday. But it is about going with the flow and know that everything we do is better than nothing. My girls are doing e-learning without the e. We do watch some tv at the end of the day. But during the day, it is lots of reading, arts and crafts, and out door time!

  21. >“Mommy Home School”<

    First, I love this.

    We are all building the plane while in flight (I hate that saying but it's so true) so you may be finding yourself needing to give yourself some compassion and grace. We aren't used to this kind of thing and neither are our kids, big and small.

  22. And for those of us with grown up kids who are now teaching remotely–that offers it’s own glitches. My students discovered the chat feature of Google Classroom in about 10 minutes flat yesterday (we never use that feature at school)…and they’re off! I get an email for every comment–to poop emojis, the “Hi,” and everything in between. We’ll figure it out. I do want them to have ways to connect, and even when school is in session it’s not all learning all the time! Thanks for being real–life isn’t Facebook posts and Instagram likes! (Though I enjoy those illusions from time to time…)


  23. Yes! Keeping it real and doing what works best for your family is so key right now. We have been trying to make this clear in our messaging to our parents as well because I know there are many feeling the same as you are!


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