I suspect that my wife, Sally Crane , will want to share this with the parents of her students who all charged with helping their kids with this experiment in online learning as the public schools deal with the pandemic.
Okay, so seriously... The journey to work from home AND homeschool started for us over a decade ago. The only thing new here is that like the rest of Minnesota our lives have been greatly jarred and deviated from it's normal track. No longer are we going to piano, and karate, and science and writing small group, and church group, and.. and.. and..
Typically my phone calls, emails, showings, inspections and client meeting nestle nicely within our well run itinerary. We are experiencing a whole new normal just like you.
Of course there are some things that I am used to... like answering my phone while tucked nicely in the recesses of my bedroom to avoid the dog barking and kids squealing. But because we have had the news on constantly for two weeks in the background we are also getting used to a new level of noise around us.
This morning most of Minnesota is starting online learning with many many parents working from home and I want you to know that I feel you. I have a really really good scope of what you are going through and I'm here to encourage you and tell you that it IS possible to dance into a happy medium of having the kids learning at home while you are working.
Here are a couple things that you may run into over the next couple of weeks... and just know that it is very very normal.
10. Kids are hungry. all. day. long. It's okay. It won't take you any time at all to wonder how they live through a whole school day because they will want something to eat every 20 minutes. It doesn't matter if you feed them breakfast or lunch.. they will still be hungry.
9. Kids don't learn sitting still. At least mine don't. They are constantly wiggling. And half the time they are making noise while they study. It seems normal. If you make them be quiet the energy WILL come out in movement - tapping, wiggling, picking on each other. It's a pick your battle kinda situation.
8. Kids need breaks. They are in school all day, but they can't sit all day. They are used to gym class, recess, lunch... There desk time is not as much as you'd guess.
7. Kids stare. Out the window. At each other. At nothing at all. I kinda think I do it too sometimes. They aren't necessarily attention diverted. Sometimes they are figuring things out in their heads.
6. Kids talk. At least mine do. 1000 times a day they interupt each other to get off subject on some thing that they are learning about. A lot of times I let it go. It is just cementing what they are learning.
5. Kids can learn sitting on the couch. This took us awhile. For years we had desks set up. They never used them. I got rid of them a month ago. They can learn standing, sitting, laying, standing on their heads. My advice is to observe before correcting.
4. Kids ALWAYS know when I am distracted. They will use that to their advanatage. Mine are really really good about getting the school job done, but if I am on the phone or working on a project they will naturally gravitate to something they would prefer doing (usually researching things and projects that could be done after the necessary work is done). Sometimes it's better to let it be and circle back later.
3. They will frustrate you. You are learning the rythym of being in the same space, working on different projects and making it work. They probably don't know what you do all day just as you aren't used to their schedule. It'll take time.
2. They will bring you joy. Learning from home you will see a different side of them as they work in online groups to accomplish projects and as they interact with their teachers.
1. Remember that this time at home is gonna be short lived. My last decade has flown past. I take lots of photos. I tell lots of stories on FB. I don't want to forget the funny things, the happy things, the things that amazed me. My "little people" are only going to be learning at home for a short while... it's a ride and experience I don't want to forget.
I'm cheering you on Minnesota as you learn this whole "learn at home" experience. Just remember to take a deep breath and call on a friend. You've got this!