Luke is officially a third grader! Where did time go? I remember sharing his kindergarten post like it was yesterday. He’s officially a big kid now…or so he says. But he’ll always be a baby to me.
The start of third grade was not the typical start when you’re in the middle of a pandemic and your school district is a 100% remote learning. At first I was upset about the news because, as a parent, I know my child will thrive in a physical setting. But I do understand the safety and concerns of the teachers of staff are just as important.
Luke just finished his first week of remote learning this week. There was lots of frustration as he was transitioning from a carefree summer break to a more structured setting online. The picture above is a visual of how we both looked like on the first day of school on Tuesday.
This post isn’t about tips and best practices for remote learning (sorry if you came here for that) as I know every child and household is different. So what may work for us may not work for others. This is just something we, as a family, have agreed upon. We’ve only completed one week of remote learning so who knows, this plan might go out the door.
Sticking to the class schedule
Unlike the spring when Luke was sent home with sone workbooks and a few sporadic Zoom and Google meets calls here an there, this year is different. He has a class schedule…with some e-learning and independent learning. We understand it’s hard for Luke to stay engaged during these lesson plans but we want to make sure he stays engaged. So Charlie and I make sure we both know what is going on and at what time so Luke can log on and off at the correct times.
Understanding frustration and boredom
As parents, Charle and I recognize that Luke can get frustrated with the online/virtual learning. He tells us he gets bored and doesn’t want to participate. It’s totally understandable as I don’t think most of us adults can sit in front of a monitor watching someone teach all day. It’s like being on a all day Zoom call, except you don’t have your smart phone for distraction. When he expresses his frustration, we have to see it from his point of view and tell him we understand why he’s feeling that way and for him to take a small break to get up and walk around the house for a few minutes.
Changing places to learn around the house
Currently Luke’s desk is set up on the den where Charlie uses the space to work. What we found this week is that Luke does better when he has different places around the house to sit during the day. So after he gets started for the day, he will be in the den, then the living room, and then his room and back to the den. For some reason, moving around seems to make him more engaged in the virtual class.
Luke looks forward to recess every day. So we either go outside or he can plan on his Nintendo Switch during that time.
Not putting too much pressure on each other
This is the most important thing to do….is not to put too much pressure on Luke and each other. In the spring, at the beginning of the pandemic, Charlie and I were both trying to get work done and manage Luke’s school work (with little direction from the school). There was a sense of making sure Luke got all his work done. At times there were tense arguments and tears. This time around, we just want to make sure Luke stay engaged with his teacher and classmates and find ways to make it enjoyable for him.
I’ve talked to some parents and they say they are worried their children will fall behind. I actually felt the same way this past spring. But I have to look at like this…the majority of kids are e-learning at home and this is just an “off’ year. We are all living and learning in new ways. There will be challenges and nothing is going to be right. I know Luke doesn’t do well sitting behind the screen but I have to make the best of the situation and hope for the best….for him to return to the classroom.
If Luke has difficulty learning or comprehending something, we will talk to the teacher about another way to help him instead of putting pressure on him to learn it via e-learning. At the end of the day, we want him to continue to learn and not think about what grades he will get.