But after a few weeks, we all have adjusted to each other, everything's good. I think I may have needed the momzilla role a couple of times but the experience was delightful and fruitful.
I was tasked to give my nieces a headstart with their online schooling. Our third-grader had a few trial online lessons with her teacher. Almost everyone in the country is new to homeschooling so they all needed a test run before classes officially start next week. As her substitute guardian, I needed to be seated beside my niece to guide her in the process. I can say the public school system is trying really hard to deliver quality education to the less fortunate.
Tablets and sim cards will be distributed to students. They have a one tablet per household policy. Meaning if the family has 3 or more students studying, they will have to share the tablet and the internet connection. I imagine this is going to be a challenge to the kids but then again 2020 has been such a difficult year for everyone. What's one more challenge, right?
Online School Test run
Their test runs have been fun, I can see my niece enjoying seeing her new classmates, her new teachers through google classroom, answering those online assessments through google forms, speaking in front of the camera for their google meet. If this had happened when I was young, I can only imagine how an online meeting would go, with the dial-up connection and whatnot.
There were bloopers, as expected. Like that instance when there were only 3 kids left in the virtual meeting because their teacher got disconnected. I assume the other kids and parents weren't paying attention, they thought the meeting was over so they disconnected. This new normal will try everyone's patience and resourcefulness. Teachers who are accustomed to teaching face to face will have to adjust their teaching style. Students will have to pay extra attention because learning online (along with other kids simultaneously) is not as easy when they are inside a physical classroom.
Parents will have to be more involved in assisting their kids in their studies. Although as parents, we are expected to always check to see if our children are learning from school. But this time, since the kids will find it a lot easier to ask who's near them, rather than compete with other students, under an unstable connection just to get answers to their questions.
The common question I heard from her classmates on their test run was Teacher, what was that again? There was one kid who kept saying Teacher, there's no audio. The first time was because of the teacher's internet connection. The rest was because the Teacher is not really talking. I thought it was hilarious.
Enough talk about the test runs. This is actually about how our month went. I must say September went by so quickly. At the start of the month, I was just thinking about how I could keep these kids busy. As the days passed by, I realized what I needed to plan was how to exhaust all their energy. And so, the tasks.
They needed to be kept busy, I needed to free myself some workload to make way to all the other workload I needed to do. So, I gave them duties. The youngest was assigned to clean up, the two older ones were tasked with making the bed before and after sleeping, and some light dishwashing.
I strongly believe that giving children some responsibilities around the house will keep them from feeling entitled. It will also help them understand how things work in the house. They'll understand that it's not easy washing dishes, or maintaining a clean play place, or making the bed. This way, they'll learn to appreciate the things their parents do.
They still have a lot of energy so to drain their energy bank while keeping them healthy, they have kid's Zumba and some cardio exercises like jumping jacks, hula hoops, running, and boxing. I get them to drink lots of water while keeping them active and healthy. I'm not sure why kids love saying no to simple requests like drinking water. It's not like I'll get rich if they drink that glass of water.
Nowadays, kids get too attached to their gadgets. The games they play take up all of their time. Seeing kids play tag, hide and seek, or even play pretend has become an uncommon thing.
Needless to say, these three kids were not given that much gadget time during the month. I scheduled them a 30 minute each of playtime at PBS Kids but they kind of forgot they have a 30-minute computer game time.
My kid has always been too conscious about getting her hands dirty. Blame it to her germophobic father and grandma. Once she starts painting, as soon as she sees stains of paint on her hands she would stop painting and immediately wash her hands. I tried using sponges instead of paintbrushes. She finished an "artwork" without having to wash hands every 10 seconds.
We made coin banks where the kids drew and designed the cover for their recycled plastic bottle coin banks. We have yet to finish the other one but I'm sure will get it done before they leave this weekend.
Their homeschooling slowly transitioned from playtime to serious schooling matters. At least for the third grader. The lesson about cursive writing was a walk in the park. Last week, we studied time telling. With the digital age, kids aren't used to telling time using the minutes and hour hands. Thanks to our handy dandy DIY whiteboard, we were able to learn about time-telling.
Then we moved to skip counting. I recently received a bulk order for one of my crochet projects. As much as I wanted to focus on just one thing, I need to multitask more. I crochet while my niece recites skip counting. This is a terrible idea. Do not do this at home, crochet moms. crocheting needs correct stitch counting. One that is not possible to do when you have someone skip counting by 7 by your side. Heed my advice. For your own sanity.
My kid has just one name. Easier to remember, easier to write, space-saving, no problem. My nieces on the other hand have 3 names. Imagine a child still learning how to properly grasp a pencil, having to write their long name in a really small piece of paper. The grade 1 pads here are not really that wide. Or maybe my niece just has a really really long name.
So the first grader's task was to be able to write her name on that small piece of paper in just one line. It was difficult. For her to write, and for me to decipher, but we're getting there.
In a few days' time, our home will once again be very quiet. I'm just happy my little girl had a lot of fun. She has been very obedient and understanding this whole time. When her weekly walk in the park was canceled, she only asked once about why she's not going out anymore. Whenever her father or I go out, she would ask if she could come with us but when we say no, she would pout but would shrug and tell us to come home soon and be safe.
Although everyone is easing into the new normal and is slowly going back to their modified normal routine, being a kid during these times is not as fun as before. But if you would come to think of it, our forefathers may have had it worse. All we could do is to just be there for our children, try to teach them the best way we can, and raise them to be the best person they can be.
@romeskie is a full-time stay at home mom juggling homeschooling, crocheting, and homemaking. A Business Administration graduate with a major in Marketing who ended up in the contact center industry, on the frontlines, climbing her way up to Workforce Management where she found her passion in real-time analysis and management. A once self-proclaimed careerwoman who soon realized homemaking was her real calling. Her passion varies from reading, writing, photography, and most of all, crocheting.