Monthly Archives: March 2020

That week took a hundred years

It wasn’t a bad week — plenty of smiles happened, though maybe fewer laughs than usual — but it felt like a lot longer than a week.

A couple of my parent friends agreed it felt like how time worked when we had a newborn. We’re aware of more moments in the day, so the day feels longer. Also we’re no longer living our own lives: I feel a loss of self, as if I’m “being subsumed by a greater need”, as one friend said.

What happens if we extrapolate from this? Will the next few weeks become one smeary memory of the same banal life motions (cook, eat, sleep, laundry, shelter in place) that are but a haze when we look back, even a few years from now? Will it feel incrementally better when we see how slowly the pandemic spreads because of the actions we’re all taking? Will we reach a point of having enough people recovered who can work to keep our infrastructure functional — obviously an analogy to not needing to carry a diaper bag.

Homeschooling day 2: the ‘How To Adult’ elective

Since 80’s home all the time, and structure and taking care of ourselves is part of what keeps brain weasels away, I added some new choices to what she can do during her school day.

Options include

  • Learning laundry
  • Dishwashers: where do all those things go?
  • How to make a quiche crust*

We’ll get to vacuuming, dusting and maybe even cleaning the windows!

*I bought a LOT of eggs, cream, bacon and frozen spinach.

Day 1

80 is jazzed at the novelty of homeschooling, and organized a schedule that follows her school schedule. I don’t know that it’s the most practical schedule, but I’ll take the child-directed one first.

The day started with music and shop. For music, she played the piano. We have a keyboard that has a tutorial mode where the keys light up and the accompaniment waits for you. Uh, it’s ideal.

Next was shop. 80’s school has shop once a week, and it’s her favorite. She had made a loom a few weeks ago, so she worked on the blanket while we listened to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

80 has a tutor for extra help, so they met over video chat. The tutor set up her computer so she could stand in front of her whiteboard, and they did some math and writing together. I messaged with friends (it’s delightful that now that everyone is distant, geographically distant friends feel somehow closer).

80’s school organized a Google Hangout readaloud with one of the teachers. They emailed us details, including rules of engagement:

  1. You must mute yourself right away when you join the “meeting”.
  1. You can only unmute yourself if you’re “called on” (you have raised your hand and the teacher has said your name)
  2. If you unmute yourself out of turn, we will, unfortunately, have to check you out of the session. You can try again next time. 

This seems completely reasonable for a group of 40 people, many of whom haven’t been in a videochat with more than one before. I’m sure many adults are learning the same lesson this week.

The kids were excited to see each other, it really does seem to have a positive effect, just to see their classmates and teachers. They had some technical difficulties, which is absolutely expected – I’m reminded of this meme:

We truly are all stick-footin’ it now, in general.

We are leftover pizza for lunch (I made sourdough crust pizza last night!) and now 80 is mowing through the worksheets her teachers sent home.

It is only occurring to me now that I rarely see my kid when she’s medicated – she’s usually at school for it (and she takes a break on weekends). She is in a quiet, undistracted environment now, and it’s working. At least for day one ?

Pi day

It’s Pi Day (because it’s 3.14 … March fourteenth, get it?). My favorite part of this is that the mathematician/YouTuber Vi Hart has a funny series about how tau compares to pi. My kiddo enjoyed her videos starting in about kindergarten, and ever since.

Here’s her original video about pi.

And NINE YEARS LATER, Vi Hart has kept making Pi Day videos, including today’s featuring … coronavirus, of course.

Pi Day 2020 (feat. coronavirus)

Homeschooling in the time of COVID

I live in the Boston area, and my kiddo’s school is pausing as of Monday because there have been confirmed COVID-19 cases in the area. I’m going to share what I find that help me keep my kid from climbing the walls.

The Last Week Tonight episode about coronavirus is funny and angering and cathartic. My favorite part was learning that a) there’s a coronavirus-educating song popping off in Vietnam and b) there’s a dance for it. (Context: youths use the app TikTok to create dance routines for just about anything, and this is no exception.)

Day 1: learn the coronavirus dance