Like most places in the US, our schools have closed and we are in the process of doing virtual school….something I was completely unprepared to do. Our teachers quickly pulled together lesson plans and uploaded them online, made packets for the younger grades and without getting to say a proper goodbye to their students, sent them home to be “taught” by their parents. It’s hard to believe that this time last week I didn’t even know my child would be home for an undetermined amount of time to do schooling.
I have a 6th grader who has some amazing teachers that I have always respected but now I have an even higher level of respect for them. The level of course work that my kiddo is doing in 6th grade blows my mind when I think back to what I was learning at her age…and this is partially why I feel completely unprepared. She has almost a full days worth of school work to complete each day and I feel like some of the things I am learning right along with her (except math, she is on her own there lol).
There are a few things that I have seen during this time that I have enjoyed, like spending time with my daughter and seeing the progress she has made this year with her education. Social Media has been crazy however our school FaceBook page is full of families posting pictures of their kids new “school” day, parents reaching out to support other parents small businesses and just supporting each other as we struggle to help our kids and try not to undo all of the hard work our teachers have put into them this year. Kids have been video chatting their friends so they can still be “together”, teachers have been emailing our kids daily to say hello and check in as well as making sure they answer any questions the kids (or us parents) have on the assignments. A local group of moms started a “Homeschooling 101” social media group so we can all support each other and ask questions, bonus is that there are several teachers in there also who are willing to help answer questions or provide tips for us that are still trying to get used to our new normal.
Our virtual school could last a few weeks or maybe the rest of the school year and while it is hard for some of the adults, I think of what the kids are missing. My daughter is disappointed that they had to stop practice for their spring musical and that she can’t see her friends every day. The kids that play sports and now won’t be able to play and not to mention the 8th graders at our school who won’t finish out their final year with their friends, many of who they have been in class with since Kindergarten. I think of the high school seniors that may miss prom and graduation, two big rites of passage and the college students who worked so hard for many years to walk across that stage and now might not have that same experience.
While times are crazy now and whether you agree with the actions federal, state and local governments are taking please keep in mind that the better we treat each other and the more we support each other, the easier this time will be on all of us. Thank a teacher for all of the hard work they put into our kids and continue to put into their education as we all maneuver this together. And check in on us newly homeschooling parents, we are trying our best but many of us are tired already (especially us with pre-teens lol).