We survived our first week of distance learning! Now on to our second!
Our Bug is still alive and well. I’m still alive and well and (relatively) sane. Chico is alive and well and still has a job. The Bear is also alive and well, though I have to admit that I nearly forgot to go pick him up from preschool a couple of times. (Don’t judge me, I was in the middle of facilitating online learning for the Bug!)
Here Are a Few Thoughts:
It’s a lot of screen time.
The Bug logs on at 8:00 and has 30 minutes of synchronous morning meeting.
They all get a 15 minute break, and then they’re back on, doing different subjects and activities.
Their teacher gives them plenty of breaks in between activities, so they’re not sitting in front of the screen the whole time. But they’re connected on and off from 8am to 10:30, and then again from 11:30 until 1pm.
This second week, they’ll have to be on even longer. It may get more difficult to keep him interested and focused.
Our Bug has incredible focus.
The kiddo listens, pays attention, and participates. He also is very independent and can get the materials, folders and pages he needs (as long as he knows where they are).
This is a great relief to his parents, so that while we still have to be listening in with one ear, we can be working in the next room and only checking in when needed.
Facilitating is NOT the same as home schooling.
Several families I know have withdrawn their kindergarteners from the public schools to do home schooling instead.
I can totally understand this choice: this much screen time is NOT ideal, and for kids with less capacity for focus and paying attention, it is not sustainable.
Also, children with attention deficit problems or those who simply aren’t used to screens will not enjoy this format.
However, as long as our Bug is managing and we can help to keep him engaged, we’ll stick with it, for two reasons:
- His teacher is AMAZING. Have I sung her praises loudly enough? Because she’s awesome.
- The fact that someone else is preparing all the materials and I am simply facilitating is A HUGE HELP.
Though I am a teacher, I have only ever taught English to adults. That is NOT the same as teaching kindergarten.
I am no expert in developing age-appropriate content, and it is not what I enjoy or am good at.
I’m good at reading with our Bug, which has already proved helpful in those break times. But preparing or designing activities in math, motor skills, etc., is simply not my forte.
Despite being connected, it’s still a bit isolating.
While the teachers are doing a lot of presenting, and they make an effort to engage the kids, there is no interaction between the students.
Though the Bug can see his classmates, and he’s getting familiar with their faces, the children are not getting to know each other at all.
So Far, So Good
Hopefully this is temporary, but as long as it goes pretty much as well as the first week, we’ll be alright.
I know the novelty will wear off for the Bug and we may struggle to get him engaged, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
For any other parents facilitating distance learning out there, we’re in this together! We’re doing great, and we will get past this.