Persevering during Quarantine
We are going into week 4 of quarantine and just when I think I have this whole quarantine life down, something changes. Then I have to take time to process and reestablish our routines for work and school.
The school situation has changed again, and there has not been concrete guidance or clarity as to how the rest of the school year will go. I don’t worry about my three-year-old’s education because he is a little sponge and learns a lot from his older brother. My seven-year-old is in second grade and this past week he saw his teacher and classmates via Zoom. It was pretty cute!
The Oregon Department of Education put out the Distance Learning Guide last week, and I skimmed through it for some ideas. The recommended maximum daily guidelines for teacher-led learning are on page 14 of the guide. The recommendation for second grade is 60 minutes of instruction.
As a mom teaching at home, this is how I decided to divide up my son’s learning time:
- 20 minutes of reading
- 20 minutes of math
- 20 minutes of Spanish
For reading, we have some books at home and we have been using a FREE ebook library, Oxford Owl great for kids ages 3-11!
For math, we have worksheets at home and have found some to print on Pinterest. You can also find free math games online, we like using Math Playground.
For Spanish I have a Spanish lesson regime I previously create with the help of Spanish Mama. Since the pandemic started, many websites have been waiving subscriptions fees so we have been taking advantage of Duo Lingo and we REALLY like it!
My sons play outside a lot so I consider that a combination of recess, PE, and science, because they look for bugs and do other science-y things. The boys have a few options for outside play because we have a fairly large yard and we live by two secluded parks. When the weather is nice, it’s great because they are very energetic, and love to play exuberantly.
I have been following the Pollywog Family Facebook posts for family-centered ideas to do with the boys. One day we made origami, another day we made rice crispy treats. Throughout the past month, the boys and I have baked over six dozen muffins, mostly cinnamon streusel and banana nut. We had a great time baking and enjoy the treats together.
Honestly, I am not too worried about the education piece. This is a very strange time for everyone and I do not want my family and children coming out of the pandemic stressed out because I was worried about education. I hope to make it the best I can, and that means taking advantage of this extra time together and create positive memories with the people I love.
My work situation has also had changes and challenges. I am very thankful that I have the privilege to continue work from home. Currently my husband is home is with our sons while I work from home. Sometimes I am in a Zoom video meeting and my three-year-old runs in, waves hi to my colleagues, and then sits on my lap. I appreciate that my colleagues are very kind and caring in this situation. I think it has been hard for my kids to understand that I am home but not available to give them my undivided attention. Here are four things that help us in this situation:
- Communication – Asking my husband to please engage with the kids as I go on a Zoom meeting, and continue to explain to the kids that mom is working.
- Patience – Even though we do not know when the stay-at-home order is going to be lifted, we can continue to practice patience with ourselves, our family, and our co-workers in this situation.
- Flexibility – My workplace has offered me the flexibility to work from home, I am flexible in my work hours, and I offer flexibility to others, which it helps tremendously.
- Creativity – Being at home so much can be a little difficult at times so being creative in what we CAN do has helped, and my kids are being super creative. I love that!
A good reminder in this time is that we are ALL in this together! If you are having a hard time, if you have lost your
job, if you are worried about loved ones who are sick, you are not alone! We all are being challenged and facing real change in life. A little kindness, patience, and compassion goes a long way; have hope and keep going, we got this!