RBOC

  • We cancelled the summer family trip to the popular Midwestern destination, taking advantage of United’s “cancel before May and reschedule sometime in the next 24 months at no extra cost” opportunity.  We still haven’t cancelled the Portland anniversary trip because we went through another airline and we have to figure out how to do that, though we will need to cancel the AirBNB by the end of the month to get our money back.  DC1’s summer camp hasn’t been cancelled yet, so I guess we’re holding off on that as well.  Also my big summer conference is online-only this year.  So we’ll have a bunch of airline miles and suddenly instead of having 3 weeks of travel this summer, I don’t.  DH is regretting not taking his birthday off from work since he no longer needs to use 2 weeks vacation for summer travel.
  • The Walmart in DH’s (small rural) hometown got completely bought out– literally emptied from food to clothes to large appliances— after the stimulus money came in.
  • The kids’ schools have been cancelled for the year and they’ve started having grades and new material again.  The idea is that grades will appear on the transcript but will not be included in the GPA.  For students without internet access, they’ve made free wifi available in school parking lots and have handed out tablets.
  • There’s now things that need to be turned in for grade three, which is a subset of things that are assigned.  We’re just doing the things that need to be turned in, and not any of the assigned stuff that doesn’t.  It’s not technically optional, but who is to know?  Plus a lot of these things that don’t need to be turned in are either things DC2 doesn’t need more practice on (ex. zie is about a year ahead in math) or that require a ton of parent involvement and things that we don’t have access to (ex. specific gardening projects).  So for folks who are struggling with make-work projects and unnecessary projects in grades where grades don’t matter… just don’t.  I give permission.  You getting your stuff done is more important.
  • That doesn’t mean that we don’t have stuff for DC2 to do.  Zie is still doing hir full set of weekend workbooks every day except Monday.  On Monday zie does schoolwork.  Tuesday-Sunday are the weekend workbooks.  Piano practicing is every day.  We’ve also added 15 minutes of room cleaning along with regular chores of putting away the silverware and folding/putting away any of hir own laundry.  With all this home time, DC2’s room was becoming an enormous disaster area.
  • We’ve had to start waking DC2 up earlier because zie would get super grumpy about not having time for a full two hours of videogames/shows and then have trouble getting to sleep at night and the cycle would repeat.  So… apparently 7 year olds are a bit like toddlers?  We’re now making sure zie is up by 9, though we really haven’t been able to enforce bedtime because zie keeps sneaking books under the covers no matter how many times we cut hir off.  We don’t have the energy to do a harsh enforcement, so forcing a wake-up seems easier.
  • DC2 has also noticed that zie can will baked goods into being by just announcing that zie wants them… putting it out into the universe.  I worry zie will move to LA and become a proponent of The Secret.
  • DC1 has been working diligently mostly on school work and studying for the new modified AP exam.  We’re not quite sure what to do to help but we’re figuring it out.  Hir history teacher has required class meetings 3x/week at 1pm which is irritating because they’re not supposed to have any required meetings and ALL the teachers want to meet at 1pm so DC2 can’t go to optional meetings from other teachers.  This wouldn’t be so bad if she posted the information/material/deadlines/ways to turn in assignments any other way.  But she doesn’t.
  • DC1 has been overall much more relaxed– getting to bed earlier, having some time to play video games (zie is on the third go-through of Undertale).  The best part is there’s no art projects for English anymore, just writing and content.  Still, DC1 managed to get a low grade on a timed quiz because zie thought scene 1 was the same as Act 1 and hadn’t read the entire first act of Romeo and Juliet.  So we’re back to getting low grade warnings via email.  But at least they’re more deserved?
  • The relative’s kid who got into college ran away from home (because of the quarantine) to live with the much older married woman who has/had been abusing him and is not doing his homework so he is not going to graduate from high school after all.  I always worry what would have happened if we hadn’t interfered– would he have finished high school?  Or would he have dropped out earlier?  Or did we really have no effect?  Are we helping or making things worse?  Or just too far away to change anything?

19 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    We got a series of stern-sounding emails from the biggest kid’s homeroom teacher and yesterday I emailed all his teachers to the effect of “this work is not happening, here’s what we’re doing”. They all emailed me back to the effect that it sounded great and not to worry? I don’t know what’s going on.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I mean, how many other kids are running experiments on yeast?

    • Leah Says:

      I imagine it’s a conflict with teacher directions. We’ve gotten several emails reminding families that they must do *something* daily to check in with their kid’s teacher in order to be counted present. But we have up and down days with a kindergartener, and her teacher has repeatedly reassured us that she’s fine and she knows we are doing good work with her.

      We actually have done almost everything “assigned” on our app, but we’ve done it at a pace that works for us. Our kid either seems to get a ton of work done or nothing. Grateful that her teacher is understanding.

      Seems to me that there’s the district trying to cover liability, families that likely are doing nothing except parking their kids in front of a TV, and teachers who are trying their best to manage a wide range of home conditions to help support kids. I bet your kid’s teachers are just relieved that your kid is staying active at home and learning something, even if it’s not the official work.

      • Jenny F. Scientist Says:

        Our school explicitly said that all the work is optional! I actually love this elementary and the teachers are so nice; they’re supplying stuff to do so they can still get paid (which I fully support!) and I think they are genuinely invested in our kids learning. All of which makes the stern emails confusing! Whatever, my kids of two scientists are gonna be fine, but, like, don’t email me every day, I’m gonna have a nervous breakdown.

    • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

      That makes me squint. Then why were you scolding?

  2. gwinne Says:

    Yeah….I hear you. LG’s school is making everything optional for kids who were passing at midterm when they stopped face to face instruction. LG has wisely decided to continue doing art (AP), violin, Eng (university), and ASL which was already online, as they need to take the next course next year. LG might do some science. LG sees no point in doing math, a subject in which they have 114% and have no future related needs. I think I concur.

    Tiny Boy’s work is so minimal that we’re also supplementing, but I need to figure out a system. I like yours (days of the week) or maybe 30 min/day of actual school + mom assigned work… I don’t know. I’m just making sure he gets through reading (aloud or to self), writing, and math every day, plus other things as they naturally arise (i.e. cooking, piano lesson, playing board games that require reading and/or math…)

      • gwinne Says:

        Math is super important. But LG has already done the math they HAVE to do to graduate from high school…

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Isn’t that just like… algebra 1? The bar for high school is generally pretty low. If she decides on a social science in college, having already done (and having a reasonable understanding of) calc 1 before graduating high school would be very helpful so it doesn’t take over a semester in college. (If she decides on many STEM majors, having done BC calc would be more helpful.)

    • omdg Says:

      I second the idea that math is important. I’ve taken significant time off of math in the past, and each time I come back to it, it just makes whatever class I am taking it for extra hard (eg. taking physics 8 years after the last time I’d done a derivative or integral in calculus). It’s just something (like a foreign language) that requires constant practice and exposure for most people to remain proficient. Some coursework in college where it was useful: statistics (for my sociology major), anything beyond the most basic economics class, chemistry, physics. Even biology these days requires math beyond the absolute basics. Times 100 if LG is already good at it, and this is something they are likely to use in the future.

      (I’m sorry, I’m sure you’re stressed out given all that is going on and don’t want even MORE to worry about, so apologies if this comment just makes you stressed and pushes you guys over the edge.)

  3. Foscavista Says:

    In regards to “Romeo and Juliet,” I envied any person who played Lady Montague, for that character only speaks twice throughout the whole play, and only in the first act. Since reading this play in the ninth grade, I can still quote her lines.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I think I must have had to memorize the balcony scene… but for some reason I remember romeo’s lines better than juliet’s. Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon…

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    RE: relative’s kid. With my unhealthy family of origin dynamics, having had to “parent” my older sibling, that kind of questioning plagued me before we became parents. It still haunts me a bit now, wondering, because I know that we’ll only have so much influence over how JB makes decisions before they branch out and make decisions for themselves. 15 years seems like a long time until it comes to something like this. I hope he finds his way to a healthy path that doesn’t involve an abusive much older adult.

    I wonder if DC2 has done any experimenting to test this power. I’d be mighty tempted … :)

    PiC and I are doing our best to start to pull together some kind of a real curriculum for JB in place of the preschool curriculum. I picked up a Singapore Math workbook and JB took off with it like it was buried treasure. Here’s hoping they’re as enthusiastic about it when they start working in it.

    I could really use a warm day so we can execute our ice cream making experiment!

  5. xykademiqz Says:

    Smurf’s 3rd grade class meets 3x a week for 45 min and he gets really well organized daily assignments via Google Classroom. He’s done quickly, but it’s something he needs to do every day and it’s not too much. We probably need to supplement in math because not too much is happening yet. Otherwise, he’s been busy designing his own level in Geometry Dash, art projects, playing some Roblox, reading… He also has piano practice and class, which I think is too easy right now; I think he could use a challenge there. But he keeps himself busy and swaps activities during the day without prompting.

    Middle Boy (7th grade) doesn’t have video meetings but has work assigned through Google Classroom. There’s less work than they’d normally have, maybe two days worth of work over a week in math, and one hefty weekly assignment in the humanities and science. He’s been doing Spanish daily, which is probably better than he’s done all year. Not sure what in band or PE. Intermittent assignments in art. He has decided he would do two subjects each day and, knock on wood, I haven’t had to remind him, which is such a relief. He could probably be more challenged, but I am mostly happy he does something, doesn’t squirm when doing it, and seems to be self-organizing. I wish he’d go outside more to play basketball now that his hand is finally healed.

    The two kids and Dad have been working on a giant puzzle, so that’s a nice activity for all of them and it doesn’t involve screens.

    Overall, lowered expectations all around, but the kids seem content and doing something, so I will call it a win.

  6. undine Says:

    Nothing to add here except to say I admire what you are all doing with kids at home and this really made me laugh:”DC2 has also noticed that zie can will baked goods into being by just announcing that zie wants them… putting it out into the universe. I worry zie will move to LA and become a proponent of The Secret.”


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