I would love to write a post about how great virtual school has been going, how I have all figured out working from home and that we are smooth sailing right on through 2020. But I would be lying…mostly. Don’t get me wrong; some of it goes pretty well most days, but normally, I am one “Mamma, I need help…” away from losing my, well, you know.
When the stay-at-home orders came out, I was relieved.
My daughter who is nine, was born at 24 weeks and has asthma and little, teeny-tiny lungs. Any respiratory illness terrifies us, so I was glad we could all hunker down at home and be safer. I felt blessed and lucky to be able to keep my job (DUH!) and do it from home. My husband was already working from home and my oldest daughter was sent home from college as well. The first few months went relatively smoothly. My husband and I share a space in the front of the house (it is supposed to be a formal living room, but we use it as an office). We have desks set up opposite each other and except for when both of us need to be on a call at the same time, it works well. We even have a system in which one of us will move to another space when the other is already on a call. Easy-peasy.
School for my youngest started out pretty smoothly too. School cancelled for the year in March, so I found workbooks and made lesson plans, and continued her education at home as best I could. We did school four days a week even through the summer. My daughter was already a little behind, so I didn’t want her to lose any skills over the long break.
I thought that when school was offered virtually, it would be even easier than what I had been doing. HA! If only; that was so naive of me. Let me say this: teachers are GOD SENT and I bow down to you all. We have an excellent teacher (if you are reading this, shout out to you and thank you for all that you do for these kids!). But my kid hates anything organized; she hates being told what to do especially when she is home and could be playing instead, so all day every day it is a constant battle. “I hate school, I hate math, I don’t want to read…” the list goes on. And on the few days in which she isn’t fighting me tooth and nail, she still needs me about every three minutes for something: help with the internet, help with a math problem, help logging in, help with a snack, etc.
She also needs a snack every 10 minutes. I have zero idea how she went to school all day long the last three years and came home sometimes with her entire sandwich and most of her lunch not eaten because she is eating us out of house and home. I think it has something to do with being in front of a screen all day (it is proven that screens and eating go hand-in-hand). It’s not that I don’t want to help her and I am not willing to do whatever it takes; it is more that I am trying to work a full-time job and still complete thoughts without interruption a few times a day. Oh yeah, I am also in graduate school!
We originally set up a space for my daughter to do school in the kitchen at the desk, but she quickly decided she didn’t like being there, and the dog and cat were a constant distraction. We have a space set up in her room, but it is harder for me to hear what is going on since she can shut the door. I have caught her playing or watching a tablet just off the camera’s view so her teacher can’t see. So basically, I threaten her on the daily; if I catch her not doing “her job” she will be grounded. I have learned if she is being extra still and quiet I need to surprise her with a quick check in, but when things are quiet, I can finally get some work done. I am a virtual school failure!