After experiencing moments of frustration and tears (from both of us), I realized that what works one day might need to be adjusted the next, and that is a process that is always evolving for us right now. I am not expected to be a replacement for his teacher, but it is my job to do my best to keep my child engaged, happy, and learning. Though I do try to stick to our daily schedule as closely as possible, I realize that each day presents its own set of unique challenges and circumstances. So, on certain days it might mean that we skip the math lesson and work on an art project and poetry all day. And that is OK too. Trying to manage schoolwork, recess, mealtimes, virtual Taekwondo lessons, and my own work tasks, often leaves me feeling busier than I felt before the pandemic! Knowing when to cutback, and slow down is very important during this time. It is easy to start feeling overwhelmed, so when those feelings start to surface, I know that I need to step back and re-evaluate and make adjustments to our routine.
Hardest thing about the stay-at-home orders?
The hardest thing that we have been challenged with during this situation, by far, is not being able to see our friends and family in person. Kasper misses his classmates and has been having regular "Zoom" play dates and school lessons to stay connected. His teacher has gone above and beyond and keeps her students' spirits high by constantly providing important learning content and positive feedback to each child about their assignments and artwork. We also make time in our schedule for weekly porch/lawn visits with grandparents and family, which has been nice, despite the masks and 6 foot barrier between us. We try to remain positive, feeling grateful for our health and ability to still see each other despite it being in a different way.
Best thing about the stay-at-home orders?
Taking the time to slow down and spend time doing things together more frequently has been so refreshing. The hustle and bustle of daily life and busy schedules didn't always allow for some of these quieter moments before the shutdown happened. We have been spending our time water coloring, bike riding, bird watching, squirrel watching, movie watching, reading, dog walking, hiking, rock collecting, and making a lot of friendship bracelets. Having my husband home with us more has also been a really nice change. Kasper and his dad now get to spend time cooking and baking banana bread together.
What do you want other parents to know right now? Or advice you would give?
We are all in this situation together and we will get through it together! We are doing our very best trying to parent, teach, and in some cases work our regular day jobs all at the same time in a situation of ever-changing uncertainty. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging everyone, there are many reasons to cherish this brief moment in time. It is a time to re-connect to others, ourselves, and our environment. I have found that despite the difficulties and roller coaster of emotions, I have also been able to find moments of peace and clarity that I will remember and cherish forever. I would also like remind parents that PBS Kids has some very beneficial educational resources for both parents and kids to assist in supplemental learning, so definitely check them out!
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