Like so many folks, my two children and I are looking at four weeks at home. Unlike a summer holiday this won’t include travel or camps or get togethers with friends and family. We’ll be keeping to ourselves as much as possible to minimize the risk of spreading this virus. (I figure we’re probably not at a great risk of it, but we do not want to carry it to someone who is at risk.) We are lucky in that, as a teacher, I’m home too so we don’t have to worry about supervision or child care. Also, my kids are 16 and 13, so…
We don’t yet know what the ‘distance learning’ plan from our school district will look like so I don’t have a good sense of the demand on their time that we’ll feel. But my guess is no matter how robust their teachers manage to make this, it won’t fill a school day. We’ll have some time on our hands.
I figure we’ll sleep later and that will be a gift for all of us. But we’re also going to need something of a routine or schedule. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but today felt like it lasted a week. We can’t do that day after day.
We joked today about having our daily language arts block. As we laughed, we all seemed to realize how well it would work to carve out time each day to write and time to read. So that’s on the agenda. Both kids have requested that we get our bikes out, if the weather holds. So biking and walking are also on our list. Which is lovely as we can get out of the house to do those things but also stay away from other people. We may watch some movies about different times in history as well. That covers English class, history class, and P.E. Some painting or other crafting will get in art and there will be plenty of singing. We aren’t actively trying to cover all these content areas, but following our own interests will hit plenty of them.
I’m sure both kids, as they are in 7th and 11th grades, will have some schoolwork to do so that’ll be part of each day. We’ll do some organizing and purging in their bedrooms (the oldest has requested that we do so for her). We may have to set a list of goals or activities each evening for the next day so that we are able to do what we want to do. It’ll be nice to have it (mostly) dictated by us rather than by others. But completely unstructured time today led to lots of irritations with each other and an astounding amount of time in front of the tv and other screens.
I know how lucky we are to be in a position to stay home, away from others, without loss of income or undue stress. Discussing that and ways we can, from home, support others who don’t have the same privilege, will likely also be a part of our time. To some extent, as my kids are getting older, I’m grateful to have some dedicated time with them. I’m sorry for how it is happening and for all that means for so many though.