It was the night before homeschool,
And all through the house,
All the creatures were stirring,
Including the mouse…
Well, I guess I’ll write.
Tomorrow, we start the experiment called “distance learning” for three Vincent fourth graders, a/k/a The Vincent Homeschool.
We came back from vacation early, more on that in another post, and I was doing well all weekend. Grateful to be home. Grateful to be safe and have a home and food and the ability to work from home – fully aware that so many cannot check off all of those boxes.
Little bit and I cooked and cleaned and set up a homeschool area in the dining room, and we stayed upbeat and cozy. We are introverts after all. The boys took a day away to the socially distant ranch.
Then, we got the plan for our distance learning from our precious teachers. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. I wrote this on Facebook:
I was good all day. Little bit was a wonder! She organized our bookshelf, Stanley’s shelves, and so much more.
I made two dinners for this week and dug out of work emails.
Then we got the emails from our school teachers with our distance learning plan and it hit me and I started crying. Up until now, we’ve just been back from Spring Break.
But now the reality of how you work full time and implement a 4th grade distance learning plan for weeks on end feels overwhelming and also really sad. Hang in there friends.
I was so sad for my kids, for their fourth grade year to end like this and for them to be away from such dear friends.
I was selfishly sad for me as the idea of juggling a really intense work load, constant conference calls, and teaching my kids all this material seemed like more than I could actually do.
I was sad for all the teachers, and for the parents who have to be at their jobs, and for the seniors, and really just for all the people.
I absolutely see so much good in this. It’s like we all DESPERATELY wanted to slow down but we could not do it no matter how hard we tried. There were all these books being published about being present and saying no and being still and stepping back from all the things. Well, now we have no choice. We’re eating family dinners and taking family walks and coming up with baking plans and movie nights. Just us.
We have been forced to SLOW DOWN.
And we needed that.
We, the world, needed that.
But oh my this is hard.
I had so many working momma friends text or IM me in response to my post. How they are working a thousand hours because of this crisis and have all these different grades of school kids in their house and HOW IN THE HEAVENS is it doable. This was all smack dab in the middle of Spring Break season when everyone thought they’d get a little time off or away and that rug just got pulled out.
I’ve also read a thousand posts from people who are going about this totally different ways. Wonderful and fun parents who say everything from let your kids be bored or let your kids watch t.v. or follow this super detailed and super educational supplemental schedule or give your kids emotional support.
I love them all. I agree with them all.
How our homeschool of fourth grade triplets will look will be radically different from all of them and incorporate a little bit of all of them. I’ll look different from the parents who are teachers and the parents who are physicists. From the parents who are CEOs and the parents who are nurses. From the parents who have lost their jobs and the parents who are required to go to theirs as an essential service.
We’ll have weird hours because I have a lot of conference calls.
We’ll be patient and lose our temper. We’ll have funny moments and total unmitigated frustration. We’ll eat yummy healthy meals and we’ll eat goldfish for lunch at some point, I’m sure.
So on this night before, I am sad. And a little bit hopeful. And we’re all just praying for a cure. We’re praying for our friends and our teachers and our neighbors.
I love that one of the things that seems to have come out of all this is a lot less judgment and a lot more kindness and tolerance. I’m a huge fan of that.
You can be whoever you want to be and your kids can too, and we’re going to teach them that we’re all in this together. The world. We’re in it together. They are home just like the school children are in China and in Germany and in South Africa.
Good luck friends. Godspeed.