COVID, Kids, School

U-rah-rah, it’s the first day of school

Hold onto your hats, folks, it’s another school year. 

Today marks the official first day, though as I’ve already shared, we’ll be starting back up virtually. I think these first couple of days will start out slow and mostly be getting their feet wet with the new virtual schedule and system.

Over the past two days, the boys each had their back to school orientation (in person) at school. We were in very small groups with only 2 other families. It was great to get the full rundown on how this is all going to work. We got the schedules, expectations, etc and the boys got their textbooks, school issued iPads and a few other supplies.



A few things I’m happy about:

  • All teachers emphasized to the kids that this is SCHOOL. Not vacation time/ free time/ optional time. They are expected to be doing school stuff pretty much all day in one way or another during the “school day” hours, just as if they were there in person. This is good because in the spring there was more of a sense of “let’s all just survive this” (understandably), which made it all feel a bit loosey goosey in terms of exactly how much and what was expected. 

  • Detailed daily schedules. The kids will be expected to attend virtual classes or do certain activities at very specific times now. (Again, in the spring there were various Zooms, but a lot more of the day was unstructured/ open to just work on the assignments- which turned into a lot of scheduling work for ME to help them organize their days.)

  • The kids each got iPads. In the spring they used laptops (and maybe they’ll use those for writing assignments or certain other things still), but I think the iPads will just be very convenient in general for doing work/taking notes/ whatever while listening in on a Zoom, etc. 


We spent quite a long time yesterday getting their work areas set up. After orientation I stopped at Target and got a big whiteboard. I was feeling…not ready for school (and slightly panicky on Tuesday night about it), but I feel much better now. 

Their supplies are all put away, everyone has pens/pencils/ paper/ notebooks available, clutter and other “stuff” is cleared away…. 

Ethan’s primary location:

And secondary location (gotta have options, right?): 

                                               

                                                    
Asher chose to set up in his room this time (instead of the sunroom). Ethan didn’t want Asher in the background on his Zooms, plus this way it should be nice and quiet for each of them.

Note the hamster on the desk. 🙂 Honorary member of 5th grade? 
They both have electronic schedules (the school also put together a (great!) special website for this purpose with direct links to all the Zooms, calendars and info). However, I was really feeling like I wanted a central location each day to just know what is going on without pulling up the calendars all the time. 


So I’m going to attempt something like this and update it each morning while we look over their schedules for the day:



(Not their full/real schedules yet)

I wanted to include other “to dos” and soccer, swim practice, etc too so it’s a full snapshot of the upcoming day. I’m sure it will be an evolving process. 

I told the boys I would like to re-implement our morning walk (like we did in the spring)- just a short 10-15 minute walk, but I think it will be good for them to get some fresh air and movement before settling in to sit for so much of the day. 

They each have an hour for lunch scheduled so I will definitely be kicking them outside during that time. (Although their lunch hours don’t exactly coincide, unfortunately. They do overlap though.) 

I’m excited to just get back into a ROUTINE. I’m done with these lazy mornings of playing on the iPad or lounging around. I feel ready to have them up, dressed, ready to roll, hopefully with the house organized and straightened up and the blinds open and the breakfast dishes done. (lol. We can hope.) 

Stay tuned….


Daily Gratitude:
I’m grateful for text messages. Some days they can be a distraction, and other times they feel like a cop out for real social connection, but on the whole, I’m grateful for the convenience they bring to my life. Also, they do allow me to connect with and stay in touch with certain people that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to call all the time (like my sister, for example, who is also busy with young kids). 



3 thoughts on “U-rah-rah, it’s the first day of school

  1. I'm glad there is a better set up for virtual school for the fall. I know this is NOT what you were expecting as you were planning for them to be in person. Hopefully that is possible later this year? I listen to a podcast called "in the bubble" that talks about covid and the host was talking about the saliva tests and how he's hopeful schools will be able to get these. They are lower cost ($5/test or something like that?) and the results are rapid. But we'll see what schools are able to do this year. I do not envy the decisions they are making as no matter what, someone is upset!

    I hope they have a great school year! I think you listen to SHU's planner podcast. I thought the episode on the Can Ban (probably misspelling that) was super interesting and something I could see being helpful for the older elementary/middle school/high school age group!

  2. distance learning turned out not as bad as I thought if they follow a similar schedule than school, which is what we have now too. Especially if the kids are self sufficient, it is pretty good. both of my girls are loving it.
    i love unexpected text messages from friends that I haven't heard from a while, it's a nice way to connect! 🙂

  3. Love that you still took the time to get the kids all kitted (sp?) up for a new school year. Yes, the school supply needs might be a tad different but there is something so exciting about getting all of the "new" gear to start fresh in the fall! 🙂
    Do you think they will re-evaluate a return to school in a few weeks like they did in Texas??
    Let us know how the boys do with their morning walks … I know for me a morning/afternoon walk really helps with my mind set. Fresh air can do wonders for moods! <3

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