Yeah. Somehow it’s April 25… and my last “weekly” post was on April 12. I think time has officially begun to blend into one long day. Check your clocks and calendars, quick!
In the meantime, I’ll do my best to get caught up – because, as you may have guessed, we have not be idle…
Let’s go back in time to Fabulous Week Five. After Spring Break, we got right back into the swing of things with our full-time jobs and our Fun Day School, complete with daily schedules and dinner themes. We got a new opportunity to learn how to homeschool. While Zoe has been using SeeSaw (a learning app for classrooms) for a few years, Ella’s class hadn’t gotten there yet… What a great time to start?
Basically, the teacher uploads “activities” for the kids to do (watch a short video, draw something, answer a question), and the students have to figure out how to do that. Each kid’s work displays on their own Journal, and teachers can share select journal items with the whole class. It’s been FASCINATING to see how each kid handles that: Are they shy? Is their mom/dad prompting them or recording the video? Do they have a lot (or a little) to say? Regardless, their stories are hilarious.
Turns out OUR KID (Ella) is prolific – and verbose. While many of the other kids post 15-45 second reluctant videos, Ella’s are often 2-3 minutes… That’s what happens when your parents are NOT prompting or recording the video. I have to say I’m super impressed with how quickly she has learned all the functionality – on her own. Check out this gem:
So what that she posted she doesn’t know what a fruit is (she eats fruit every day, and we call it fruit). Oh, and that she announced that she’s eating a cracker at the end, implying that instead of fruit she sits around all day eating crap. Yes, all that and more gets posted to her journal, uncensored and rambling. THIS is why parents are concerned about their kids using social media.
She also posted an audio file behind an image with two short lists of words – one that started with “th” and one that ended with “th”. Her activity was to simply read the words aloud. Instead of asking for help, she just posted that “I have no idea how to say these words.” Shortest video ever. When I watched it (mortified), I offered help, to which she read every single word to me, with no help… I asked why she posted that she didn’t know them. She shrugged. This example may be helpful in her future adult therapy sessions.
I also found out that now that Zoe has a (carefully setup and locked down) Apple ID, complete with an icloud.com email address she has no idea how to access, she has “signed up” for a few things to get access to games or content. Yep. We had a talk about that. Her eyes got big when I used words like “bad people” and “steal things”.
In so many ways I’m thankful to NOT have a toddler or infant right now – and I am in awe of parents who are handling that. In other ways, I just feel inadequate all the time when we don’t have time to help them learn – and keep our jobs. Most days I tell myself we’re doing the best we can, and our children are smarter than we are, so maybe me butting out is the best thing that could happen to them. We shall see!
But back to Ella, she’s a nut – a sweet, resourceful nut, but a nut. The following activity is in response to “Pick someone special in your life and make them a message of love” (yes, that was the actual activity.
I really hope to still have this to play at Zoe’s wedding.
Speaking of Zoe, we had a snafu in Week Five… On Monday her teacher reminded students of their Wednesday due date for their Mission Project, which Zoe had assured me she’d been working on literally every day. Guess what I found out on Monday from a tearful little girl? She was “so sure she’d remember it” she hadn’t written down any of her notes… So in 2 days she reworked a project she’d had 2 months to work on (sounds like me in college). Added to a rough week where I also had to pull off hosting 4 more virtual roundtables (hooray for the On Air sign), Zoe’s result was pretty impressive considering. Her class uses a tool called FlipGrid, so we got this video to prove it:
As Friday approached (April 17), we went out for a masked family walk+scooter around the neighborhood. I asked Bart about our weekend plans, joking. When he said “I don’t know” an image of four people on/off devices all day, which makes us grouchy, and two little girls arguing popped into my head… so I devised a ‘plan’.
The day before I had a Happy Hour with some of my favorite lady friends (I just wanted to write “lady friends”) and joked to one mom that we were going to swing by and drop off the birthday gifts we never got to give their kids due to shutdown. She said, “Sure!” I mean, when you think about it, those are the safest, cleanest items out there – the ones we purchased back in January.
So on Sunday of last week, we did a round of socially distanced drive-by drop-offs at three friend’s homes, complete with masks, signs, a speaker for music and a dance party. Well, to be honest, I first had to talk the girls into the dance party, and even then, they were not into the “dancing” when the spotlight became reality… We even practiced in the car and ultimately shifted our third song to the Macarena, assuming our lack of choreography was the real problem. It wasn’t.
If you were wondering about the image up top that shows four crazy people behind bars holding a sign, that was us at the first stop for a birthday celebration at a safe distance where the girls giggled, the birthday boys stared at us like we were crazy, and the four adults did our best to make a dance party look fun. Unsuccessfully.
On the bright side, we got to “see” our friends, spend a lot of time in a car driving on basically empty freeways, and do the closest thing to normal we’ve done in 5 weeks. Not so normal: Reading freeway signs that say “Stay at Home”, “Wash Your Hands”, etc.
Another interesting cultural reference? Facebook postings sending good wishes to the Class of 2020, whose graduations and fun have been interrupted by a virus. Normally I avoid FB trends, but honestly, I can’t imagine missing my senior prom, senior trip and graduation celebrations. And so, I dragged dusty boxes out of closets and found these – and even shared one online (the second one, since in the first I look oddly tired):
So we survived Week Five. Hope you, dear reader, are also safe and well.
And as Zoe reminded her class, we really can get through this together: