We’re into week 3 of distance learning, and I think we’ve hit a good rhythm.
The Bug is very independent, and gets himself connected on his own in the morning. He only really needs supervision towards the end of class period and for keeping an eye on the time.
Though he’s independent, as everyone knows who’s navigating distance learning at home, it requires at least part of your attention at all times.
This makes it very hard to sit down and focus on something.
(I’ve had three interruptions just since starting this article.)
At first, I resented this. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get anything done.
In October, I’m sitting the Praxis exam to qualify to teach English as a second language in public schools. So far, I have been able to do very little studying.
(You may well ask why I’m taking the time to write instead of studying, and that’s a fair point! It’s just that it’s easier for me to leave off and get interrupted from writing than from studying. Whereas I can write in short bursts, to study, I really need to focus.)
I resented feeling tethered to the room next door to my kindergartener, and feeling limited to only being able to get things done in the short stretches he’s doing face-to-face schooling.
(I can’t even imagine what it’s like for those who are doing this AND working from home. AND being single parents. You’re heroes.)
Pros Starting to Outweigh the Cons
Sure, I may fail my Praxis exam. But there’s always another chance to sit it, and even if I fail the exam, it’s good practice.
But over the last couple of weeks, I’ve gradually come to appreciate some advantages this situation offers.
He’s the priority
First off, because I’m having to dedicate my time to my son’s learning, this has become the priority. That means that I am giving myself permission to set aside other things that I thought were priorities.
Watching him learn
Also, it’s such a pleasure and a privilege to see how much he loves to learn. Being this involved is very special–I would never know this much about his activities and his days if he were at school.
I have had the opportunity to see how he learns, what he enjoys most and what he doesn’t like so much. It’s a joy to see his curiosity and his desire to learn grow.
Quality time together
Another benefit is that I get to spend more time with him. And the time we spend alone together during the day is centered around his learning.
It’s something that the two of us are sharing, and since I do not have the stress of having to prepare the materials or teach them myself, I can participate in the fun of discovery and practice. In fact, I’m getting to enjoy story time almost as much as the Bug does!
When I’m not able to study, I am giving myself permission to simply do something that I enjoy while I listen in on the Bug’s classes.
I’ll pick up my book, which I can easily set aside when I need to be paying attention. I’ll write these articles, or do some knitting. And I won’t feel guilty about it because what else am I gonna do??
Go With the Flow
This is how I’m feeling right now. It might change tomorrow. I could feel differently next week.
But for now, I’m trying to enjoy this magical time and just go with the flow.
It helps that the weather is changing, there’s an autumnal nip in the air, and the Bug and I have shared some pretty charmed moments in these last few days.
A Precious Moment
Earlier today, after taking a bounce break on our trampoline, we lay on our backs, looking up at the sky. Our heads were next to each other, and I could feel his hair tickling my cheek. He was telling me about hammerhead sharks (he really likes sharks) and how octopuses are the most intelligent animals without a skeleton.
Though there are many things I feel like I should be doing (studying, job hunting, figuring out what to do with my life), I didn’t want to be anywhere else in that moment.
This is such a short time, and it will pass. Perhaps too quickly, after all.