Distance Learning Begins

Tomorrow our spring break is “officially” over. Normally there is a mix of “I can’t wait to go back & see my friends” to the “I don’t want homework again”. This year is different. No one is going back to school. School is coming to our kitchen table and desktops.

In Illinois, we anticipate an entire month of electronic home learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has shook up our household since March 13th. We will never look at Friday the 13th the same way again. The boys returned home from school, bags full of everything they “might” need and the growing excitement of the “extra week” of spring break.

Joke was on them.

Week One Social Distancing

The first weekend was a bit of cautious confusion. Kids wanted to schedule playdates the following week. Others wanted to plan sleepovers. Movie nights. Shopping excursions. Game nights. The list went on. Since the high school spring break trip was canceled, they still wanted to make the most of their spring break time.

Then the museums started to close. Field Museum. Shedd Aquarium. Museum of Science and Industry. Sh*t was getting real. While many were still hopeful that two weeks would be long enough for a shutdown, growing concerns in the medical community started to realize this wouldn’t be a short solution.

I wish I could say we were really productive keeping up with schoolwork for the last two weeks. But aside from some quick reviews on some classes, we focused on other things.

First up – garage cleaning. Dad and three boys home meant stuff got done. Garbage out. Floors swept. Car parts organized. Sports equipment put in its place. It looks so pretty.

We gotta eat. There was inventory of the kitchen (plus social distance shopping) meant we now have food for quite some time. Stocked up on our basics (no panic buying over here, just the regular stuff we use) and we were ready to hunker down.

Then there’s the cleaning. One really good deep clean of the whole house and a plan for daily means we might be able to stay on top of everything. Fingers crossed.

Then we cleaned each kids room, straightened up the playroom. Set up a sewing station (homemade masks for family and friends) and then set up a school station downstairs. It felt like we’d been home and busy for months!

One week. We had been home one week. Crap.

Week Two Social Distancing

Now we are at the end of week two.

The gap between week one and two wasn’t that pretty.

Social media. Xbox. Late nights gaming with friends led to snacks around midnight. There may or may not have been a few nights around 1 am that I walked downstairs and threatened the teenagers. This isn’t a frat house and quiet hours had to be maintained. At minimum – don’t wake me up after midnight. I take no responsibility for my actions when you wake me up and it’s still dark.

We’ve had some family fun times. Card games. Board games. Lego sorting. Crafts. Baking. Cooking. Outdoor walking, hiking, biking, and running. We are making the most of our time together. We have started FaceTime & FB Messenger calls with family and friends. Good to know everyone else is in the same situation.

“School” is back in session

Tomorrow will start the new chapter of learning. We hope we are ready.

Class time has been sent by the schools, kids have a game plan. We have it posted on the wall, therefore it is official. Schoolwork is out in the open – will keep everything centralized in hopes to maintaining an eye on the learning sessions. Studying and review can be done in their rooms.

Now hopefully, all will follow the rules. We will be juggling mom & dad’s work schedules with learning, family time, maintaining the house and maintaining all our sanity.

Wish us luck.

18 thoughts on “Distance Learning Begins

  • March 30, 2020 at 20:11
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    You are SO ORGANIZED. I was homeschooled all the way through 12th grade, and my experience was nothing like what you show. Total Chaos! Best of luck to your family in this time of crisis.

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    • March 30, 2020 at 22:33
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      It still feels like chaos! Trying our best – and just taking it each day as it’s all we can do!

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  • March 30, 2020 at 20:25
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    Yup, this is my household too. Working from home, keeping up with the house (that we are all now living in ALL THE TIME) and trying to do schoolwork now too is a lot! But I know lots of people have it much worse, so we are all just trying to do our best and keep going. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how things go for you guys!

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    • March 31, 2020 at 18:31
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      Love the organization! Hoping all goes well for you the first week!

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  • March 31, 2020 at 06:39
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    I’m an introvert at heart so social distancing was an easy shift for me. I’ve done much of the cleaning that you and your family have done and it feels good to have that chore complete. I’m a retired high school math teacher and want to encourage you to keep up the good work with homeschooling!

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    • March 31, 2020 at 11:41
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      Thanks! We need it – especially the math aspect – that has always been the boys’ weakest link! Lots of online practice and hope it helps right now!

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  • March 31, 2020 at 06:59
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    Working from home here too! We have just the little one in our house right now but his energy is boundless. Outside time for us is a must.

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  • March 31, 2020 at 13:40
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    We are right there with you. Back at it since yesterday. Fortunately my kids are older, not sure how mom of littles are handling this all!

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  • March 31, 2020 at 14:11
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    I love it! I have a 7th grader and a 4th grader. The 7th grader is super self sufficient and basically does her own thing in her room all day after our family morning walk, only coming down for lunch. My 4th grader needs a bit more handling, but he helped us come up with a schedule that he likes, and so far (day 2) he’s sticking with it! Keep up the good work!

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  • March 31, 2020 at 20:23
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    I don’t know how parents all across America are doing school. Best wishes on sucess.

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    • March 31, 2020 at 22:21
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      One day at a time! The first “day” of school for the 6th grader was ok, it’s a good thing he knows how to do all things with google – I am lost with it all!

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  • March 31, 2020 at 21:04
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    You are super organized! I’m envious. We have been “winging” it but need a better system for sure!

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    • March 31, 2020 at 22:19
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      It starts out organized – then it’s just complete chaos.

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  • March 31, 2020 at 22:11
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    Sounds like week one was a great, get a lot of done kind of week! Good luck with school. We started online learning today and I’m a bit (or a lot bit) frazzled…

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  • April 1, 2020 at 08:48
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    Great post. Thank you for sharing some of your experience in Chicago as well as from home. We’re all in this together, that’s for sure… even while we have to separate ourselves. Thank goodness for technology …. can you even imagine what all of this “stay-at-home-schooling” would be like without it?

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  • April 2, 2020 at 00:42
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    Your organization will prove to be a win for the family and the fact that you are all so connected with your outings etc. you guys will be fine! Keep having fun! All the best!

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  • April 2, 2020 at 14:59
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    Enjoyed reading your post! Hang in there. Although my son is homeschooled, I never knew what it’s like to homeschool as he has a learning coach while I work full time. These are the best and worst times of our life but as Marie Forleo day, everything is figureoutable 😀

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  • April 6, 2020 at 22:17
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    I love your organizational skills and keeping everything sane despite the chaos. Social distancing is quiet hard if you have an active kids but kudos for doing an amazing job!

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