Safer at Home Order Journal #9

Dear Kids,

We made it!

Not to the end of the pandemic, unfortunately. No, that’s still ongoing. And going and going and going. It’s been over 5 months now, but Dad is feeling really good about the vaccine information he has available to him.

I meant we made it through our first week of school from home! Oh, goodness, only the first week. Tuesday and Wednesday was offline, independent work since the teachers still had training. Those days were…tough. Whoever thought it would be fun to have First Graders write about their morning routine, write about and draw their workspace, write the numbers from 1-100 by 1’s and 10’s, and answer two writing prompts about a book they read was mental. Brother hates writing. He’d much rather count by millions or add one million plus six billion. Making him write that much on the first freaking day of school had me in tears an hour after starting.

The next day was a little better. Less writing. But some really boring videos for parents about how to set up a routine and to remind us to not be too hard on ourselves. Kind of hard to do sometimes. For me, at least. Dad and I value education, so we take it really seriously, as you probably know by now. Slacking off is not an option, and we will push you. Always with a whole lot of love.

Thursday and Friday were the first two days of online and independent learning. Seriously, kids, this schedule is wacky. The district decided on it, but the First Grade teachers at Brother’s school are trying to get a better, alternate schedule approved. Until then, it’s basically 30 minutes online, 15 minutes offline and independent, and a 10 minute break. On repeat from 9-about 1:30 Monday through Friday. Having the kids log in 4 times a day is just crazy. But we’re stuck with it for now.

It’s not too bad, though. The First Grade teachers teach as a team, so it’s one big online class with 3 teachers and a bunch of students. It’s nice to see familiar faces, and even nicer that each teacher stresses different areas and get to focus on that area so the kids are all really getting the best the school has to offer. It’s been interesting so far. They work so well together. I also love this peek into how school operates. I just wish that schedule wasn’t so nutty. It makes it hard for me to pay attention to what Brother is supposed to be doing and keep Sister entertained and not too loud. And then things get really interesting when Dad is working from home.

But it’s working. For now. At least we’re all still safe and healthy. Though, as soon as there’s the possibility of schools reopening, I think they will. The district is already piloting a testing and contact tracing program. It still doesn’t reassure us, but, luckily, I’m just at home with you two, so we’ve decided if schools reopen and there’s still no vaccine, we’re pulling Brother out and homeschooling until it really is safe to go back into a classroom. Sorry, kids, Mom and Dad are so far from being risk takers it’s not even funny.

So, one week down! Yay! I only felt like crying once each of those four days, so I call it a win. The second week is about to start and we’ll see how that goes.

On the plus side, the both of you are doing so well. It’s a lot to adjust to, but I’m so proud of you. Brother is actually doing what he’s supposed to and even trying to participate in class. It’s so much fun to see him light up during math time. The best part is he’s in the classroom (once it’s safe to return to classrooms) as the teacher who loves math and science. Sister is doing well keeping out of Brother’s hair, though she is curious about what’s going on. She’s so good at self-amusing, and usually really patient and understanding when I have to check in with Brother. You two are wonderful and I couldn’t be prouder of you. Thanks for being so awesome!

Love, Mom

  1. degreesofmaternity

    Kat – I absolutely love this idea you have of chronicling the events of the time so that your children can go back one day and read them. Your son and daughter will love you for it. And, it totally tickled me when you were talking about the writing assignments your son had to do on day 1 and your crying episodes. My time’s coming up soon, so I appreciate you sharing your start of school adventures. It’s going to help me feel like I’m not alone when I go through my crying periods as well. Ha! Ha! Hope week 2 is a smoother one for you and your little man.

    • kat

      Thank you so much! I do hope they’ll appreciate it when they’re older. Week 2 is half over and it’s still nutty. I feel like I’m constantly in a stressed out state, but at least the teachers are flexible. A lot of parents are probably feeling the same way. My son’s teachers have mentioned a lot of parents have been reaching out to them, so it’s all normal, but definitely not east. I wish you and your son luck when your academic year starts!

      • degreesofmaternity

        Thanks so much, Kat. Yes, this is the last week of preparation before school starts on the 8th. I’ll need all the well wishes I can get, but I’m excited that my son will officially be a fifth grader in progress. Can’t wait to see what this school year brings. I have a feeling that we’ll be headed for a bumpier ride than in past years, but we’ll see. You and yours, take care.

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