2020, as we all know, has pretty much been the year from hell. All kidding aside, there aren’t many things good to say about this year. Having the kids home from school has been a blessing and a curse. I love my kids. Don’t get me wrong. But this school year has started with some straight-up insanity.
I used to be a education major back in the day. I had a lot of majors in college. What can I say? But I was very much a secondary and above kind of guy. High school and college kids I can handle. Elementary school kids? >cringe<
It’s a well-known fact I let my lovely wife, the teacher, deal with school related issues. Aside from the fact she’s in the district and knows a lot of people, she handles the bureaucracy better. I let experts do what they’re best at.
Covid 19 has driven all of our children indoors, online, and it’s making parents insane!
6 days into the school year and here’s roughly where we’re at:
14, my oldest is a Freshman in High School. He’s managed to blow off a History test already and can tell you more about Mobile Legends Bang Bang than anything he’s learned in school this year.
11, my next oldest, just started Middle School. He’s doing great for the most part. A few technological issues, but nothing we can’t handle. Although getting the child to go to bed at night is like wrestling a rabid alligator in a bathtub full of olive oil or at least about as difficult.
9, our oldest Elementary School student… ADHD diagnosis aside, is having massive difficulties focusing on anything other than Minecraft and Roblox. I finally convinced him to settle down and do some math. He’s good at it. But getting him to focus on his English Learning? I’d rather tuck the 11 year old in.
And then there’s our youngest. God sent this 5 year old to test us. No other possible answer. Admittedly, the youngster missed half of his Preschool year due to the plague currently shutting down the planet. And Kindergarten is off to the bumpiest start imaginable. My wife has already gone rounds with his teacher once and had numerous conversations via text, email, and on teams.
I’m the lucky dad that gets to supervise the two youngest out in the kitchen because neither wants to focus on their online learning in Teams and Canvas. Truthfully, half the time I have no idea what’s going on. That’s not to dis-empower myself so much as to say I can’t be watching both meetings simultaneously and the teachers with no fewer than 25 kids online each don’t seem to have a lot of time for questions. Go figure. If I could just teach the kids myself this would be a whole heap easier. At least I wouldn’t be relying on teachers who jump around and just expect the parent and child to know where to go.
Meanwhile, out in the living room, my wife has her handful of special ed kids. If we ever thought our own were little psychos? Some of her students make our kids look tame by comparison. I’ve only overheard a few wisecracks from the online learning, but I can only imagine what it must be like in person.
I’m not sure how to get our kids to focus for more than three minutes on a meeting that they probably wouldn’t be into if they were in the classroom. Let’s face it, your basic ABC’s and 123’s really don’t hold a candle to the shiny videos on YouTube that are a click away or Minecraft Education Edition. Or any of the myriad of games, toys and food around the house.
Since online school started, eating has become the kids number one pass time around here. I’ve found empty wrappers of entire boxes of cereal snacks and other treats in their rooms. Theft is our number one crime around the house. Followed closely by fighting and arguing over every little thing when the kids aren’t in classes.
Are we bad parents? I wouldn’t say we’re any worse than anyone else. Or better. It’s really not about quality judgments. We’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. Next post- We’ll get to the rest of the story. Oh, there’s more…