I have 4 school aged kids. They are in the 1st grade, twins in the 2nd grade and a 6th grader. When the Superintendent of Shelby County Schools announced that school will be closed for the rest of the school year, I went to bed. Yep, I walked into my bedroom and threw the covers over my head and snuggled down. I knew I need to rest. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would need all of my energy to get through this.
On March 12th, when it was announced that school would be out for an additional week, I thought, “I could use this extra week to deep clean the garage.” Little did I know what was truly about to unfold. This “Covid-19” would extend school outage from March 30 to April 6, and from April 6 to “until further notice” and finally…closed for the remainder of the school year.
The week after our official Spring Break ended, my home was bombarded with virtual education, Zoom meetings, Team Meeting, Virtual Planning, Social Media Team Meetings and much, much more. My regular school day was 8:45am – 4:30pm. Now, my days started at 7:30am and ended around 7pm. Each of my 4 kids had Virtual Classes, Learning Packets, iReady Reading and Math Online Lesson as well as other “recommended” assignments to complete. On top of their work, I had 2-3 virtual meetings each day. I also read to students, collaborated with other teachers and our social media team. After sitting in front of a computer for an unknown amount of hours, my eyes hurt and my booty was flat.
By that Friday, March 27th, I was exhausted. I thought, “What in the new hell has happened here?!” I decided to use a quote for inspiration, “Prior Proper Planning Prevents a Poor Performance.” So Sunday I planned out the kids lessons, I planned out a daily schedule and I even synced my work calendar with my personal calendar so I could keep up with it all. I also created a meal schedule because those questions, “Mom, what’s for lunch?” started to turn me into ______________.
So Monday came and I was equipped with all my plans. The only thing I lacked was the effort to follow thru. Monday went perfectly. The kids completed their 2 hours of studies and I didn’t forget about a single meeting I was expected to attend. I read to Kindergarteners. I worked on our yearbook and answered an endless amount of emails. Tuesday came and went without concern. But Wednesday. Wednesday was the quiet before the storm. I didn’t want to do anything. My kids asked, “Do we have to do Academic Time today?” I paused and considered the following facts:
So now, I make sure I have a moment to myself eat morning. I ride my bike with the kids or go on long walks. (No flat booty here.) I tend to my garden and try to convince my hubby to get chickens again. The kids still have Academic Time for 2 hours each day. They don’t get everything done what their teacher expects them to, but they are working on what’s most important. I’ve memorized several Disney Shows and I have become a professional BeyBlader!!! I make time to cook, read and watch anything that Netflix recommends.
My days are still full of virtual meetings, teaching the kids, virtual lessons, learning packets, iReady Reading and Math Online Lesson, virtual professional development and so much more. But I do not answer my phone or check emails before 9am and nothing after 5pm. The kids only do 2 hours of meaningful academic time from 10am -12noon. The rest of their day is spent playing, doing crafts, cooking, tending to the house and engaging in quiet time. I have built a moat that “No Work Shall Cross!!!!” I think I am just starting to make sense of this new way of life.