While kids worldwide are ecstatic about school being cancelled for the rest of the year, parents quickly found out that they were not quite off the hook. Instead of just helping their kids with their homework and reading to them at bedtime, we became their primary teachers overnight (Note: This is in no way a slight to actual teachers, as they still have to assign and grade the coursework. They also miss their kids like crazy). It was a little difficult at first, but like all things with single parenting, you eventually get the hang of it.
About a week after school was cancelled (at least for Colonel Johnston Elementary School), we got our first list of assignments for Kindergarten: 15 minutes of listening/reading a day (app), 15 minutes of cognitive activities a day (app), and a packet with math and composition for the week. And it was a lot. That first week was very difficult, as Elaina’s school was unsure of exactly how much work was acceptable to assign and the expectation was that the stay-at-home parent would be doing the assignments with the kids throughout the day; the latter was just not happening with us. Instead, we would get home, Elaina would complete her app assignments on the iPad while I was preparing dinner and then we would do her math and reading assignments after. Needless to say, we were both pretty tired after that first week.
It got better though. Eventually, they made the app assignments optional, gave parents more predictability on what was going to be assigned each week, and started helping the children complete some of the assignments at the Child Development Center. Just helped ease the stress for working parents by not going directly from one job to the next and for students by getting to spend quality time with their parents during the week outside of doing assignments.
Elaina still wanted to spend as much time as possible with me, assignments or not. So I try to take her into work with me every now and then, with both of us knocking out our assignments / tasks simultaneously (her assignments are more fun though, I assure you). And she likes it because the deli at the shoppette has amazing snickerdoodles.
We eventually got our rhythm down. With eight to ten assignments a week, so long as Elaina completes at least two a day, she is on track to finish by Friday (no kid wants to do homework over the weekend). One incentive is that if she completes an assignment at the Child Development Center (correctly), she does not have to do two that night at home, which means more time for trampolining. It has been working out very well for the past month and Elaina’s teacher continues to applaud her coursework. As for Gabriella, she can now write her full name without looking or needing any help. It took a lot more effort than I care to admit, but her teachers and I are very proud that she finally got there. Again, a common theme throughout all of this is that while it is certainly difficult, priorities, perseverance, and a little patience will help get your through it.
Thanks for checking in on us.