Welp, they ended the school year online, and are back starting it online too. GAH. Not at all what I expected or was hoping for...but I understand why. DAMN YOU COVID!!! YOU RUIN EVERYTHING!!!
So Annie is back in person, Teddy's parents day out got canceled (BOO!!!), and Patrick and Rosie are starting the first quarter online -- so NINE WEEKS of virtual learning. UGH. I'm not gonna lie: I have been DREADING this day. Virtual learning actually went okay for us in the spring, as it was maybe 2 or 3 hour Zoom calls A WEEK and then a few activities each day Patrick would do on his own. Welp, a few weeks ago we got the schedule for elementary school students and OMG. It was stacked. Like ALL DAY LONG. I got major anxiety looking at it, because it just seemed to be SO MUCH screen time for a 5 and 7 year old and, well, I just didn't have high hopes. Both of the older kids really thrive in person and I just was scared they weren't going to get that.
However, as mad as I was about how this year was starting for them (especially for Rosie! Kindergarten shouldn't start this way!), I was determined to try and make the best of it for them...so we brought up some folding tables from the basement, set up their own little 'school' spots, got out their school supplies...and they were SO EXCITED.
They had their own spaces that wouldn't be moved (like if we did them at the dining room table!) and were off limits to their little siblings.
Keeping with tradition, we had to do first day of school pics out front! Even though this wasn't at all how I imagined Rosie's first day of kindergarten to go, I think they made the best of it and it was the best it could have been, given the circumstances.
But as chaotic as it was, they did actually get a lot of stuff done. And shockingly, both of them did really well navigating their Zoom calls solo as best as they could with as much help as I could offer them.
Once Ted went down for his nap (after we all ate lunch together), the afternoon went a bit easier as they were both in their Zoom calls in different rooms and I actually had a chance to sit down and get caught up on some of my work (email!) stuff. The afternoon part of school went a lot easier as I think the kids were in a bit of a groove with their Zoom calls and working on the materials during their 'break' time that their teachers instructed them to do so. I will say both of their teachers are super duper organized so that has helped a ton on this day 1.
The end of school was chaotic because Teddy was waking up from his nap, the big kids were onto their final Zoom calls of the day, Mike was just starting to wake up, and I was off to pick Annie up from school before my photo shoot. It was nutty indeed, and I'm not gonna lie, I'm not looking forward to the next two months of this at all. But, as I keep reminding myself over and over again, this is not lasting forever. It's the 'new normal' but it is temporary...so I keep that in my sights as much as I hate how things are going currently.
Both kids do get As for how they did school today...because there were zero tears, zero arguments, a million snacks consumed, and generally 2 happy kids. I'm sure I'll have more to report on in the coming days and weeks...but for now, I'm definitely not loving it, but we all survived, and the kids seemed to enjoy it as much as they could...so I'll call it a win. 2020: you're a doozy, that's for sure. Hoping we're only going up from here!