Thursday, March 26, 2020

The 50 hour day

I realize this photo makes it look like we all sit around on our respective devices all morning doing our work together. Please don't be misled. This pose lasted a solid 23 seconds before Pandora wouldn't work on Emma's computer (and she wanted music to serenade her math work) and Isla could hear the instrumental piano leaking from my headphones, which was breaking her concentration, so she moved to another. This is essentially her M.O. anyways...wherever her siblings are, she is in a different room. But the picture was cute and we all need some cute right about now so I snapped it. 

Graham might have tasked the kids with writing their current Teacher in Resident notes of appreciation last night after I lost my shizzle at the end of a super rotten day. I like the mental picture of me shugling with Jack. I'm pretty sure it's snuggling but I think shugling sounds more fun.

This week is slogging along. Our new reality of being home bound is really sinking in. I find strange comfort in the fact that the whole world is in this together. Often my struggles have felt so unique and individualized so shifting everyone's baseline normal helps me, oddly enough, feel like I'm being "seen" in the midst of the chaos. And if there's one fundamental thing I've learned that I need, it's to be seen and understood by others.

I've been trying to get us outside every day moving our bodies. I need it. The kids need it (though they definitely don't know it). My one guaranteed way to get them out the door is to retrieve our free kids lunches at our neighborhood middle school. In addition to providing lunch, they are also providing breakfast for the following day. I'm so grateful for one less decision I have to make each day (what to feed them) and hopefully it will also help our grocery budget which is off the handle this month with all the rumors of total lockdown. Usually I make the kids walk but yesterday as a special "treat," I let them ride their bikes. 

Rain or shine, we are getting out there. The days feels 50 hours long and so yesterday I made us all go on a neighborhood bike loop in the afternoon as well. We have the time so, why not? The forecast has been for rain all week but we have been blessed with pockets of sun and we are monopolizing on them. The kids also told me about this yoga storyteller called Cosmic Kids that posts exercise videos on YouTube (apparently this is what they do in PE at school when they have a sub). Yesterday they/we did Frozen yoga and this morning it was Pokeman. It wasn't on their school list today but Jack actually ASKED for it and it bought me 26 minutes to finish getting ready and mop the floor so I went with it like a boss. 

Graham's Aunt Nancy has gone above and beyond and has been teaching our kids (and some of the other second cousins) both art and writing lessons via Zoom. 

She taught the first class with my kids in person (when our district was the first to close) and then she took it online which has worked remarkably well. She even porch-delivered some of the art supplies the kids needed. I'm learning a lot second hand from the kids. Perhaps I should just sit in and do the lesson along with them. 

The first session they learn about different color techniques using Prismacolor pencils which are waxier and allow for more blending and shading. In their next session, they learning about how to use different types of lines in their art and they were tasked with creating 5 unique building designs in a non-Coronavirus futuristic world. Today, they began a writing lesson using their buildings as a launching point. 

Our district is putting the finishing touches on a Remote Learning version 2.0 that will begin next week. The state of WA issued an order that learning needs to continue in some capacity during this shutdown. It doesn't sound like it will be nearly as interactive as the first version was but at least they will be in contact with their teachers again and will receive some teacher-led direction. This teacher was doing her best but it's really hard to "quickly come up with a curriculum" for three different grade levels on the fly. I had about a million link options which was much more overwhelming than helpful.

I will close with the above photo that I found immensely reassuring when I read it. My eight-year-old thinks I'm "helpable" so I guess there's hope for me yet. 😂

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posted by kelsie