October 4th, 2020

planet

in person school

We sent our kids to real life school this year. The district offered a "remote" option - where they could sit on a laptop at home and watch school, safe from all viruses, but we turned it down. Well, I hesitated, but marc said absolutely no on laptop school. I kind of felt like I was playing school chicken, like, are they REALLY going to open up classes? When labor day came around and they did, I was nervous, and I'm still nervous, but this is what we're doing.

First, my friends who picked laptop school are having a miserable time with it... technology glitches, disengaged kids, angry teachers who do not want to deal with the technology, angry defensive principles, I'm sure they're all growing together but there's a lot of crying kid stories.

My kids wear masks to school each day. They sit in separated desks, no more tables that foster collaborative learning. But those are the only side effects, and they are nothing in the grand scheme of things. The actual learning, the education, the going to school for six hours a day and sitting in a classroom... is amazing. like they're breathing oxygen again. after a summer of staying at home and playing way too many videogames, I have seen my kids come alive again these past few weeks. I don't know if it will last, if we deserve it, if it's worth the risk... I have no idea. But I know they tell me so many things about the school day when I get home! Exponents and decimals, natural disasters and new vocabulary words. They're tired and go to sleep quickly, sometimes crashing on the couch before bedtime.

Olive is in the second grade, Josie is in fifth. Josie did alright with the laptop/home school stuff we did in March, she didn't love it but she could be dragged into it. Olive had to be threatened within an inch of her life to pick up a pencil and attempt anything even slightly difficult. I have no idea how this kid learned anything. But now I know... you take her out of her house, sit her at a desk with other kids, hire a good professional teacher who's a real person in the room not through a screen, and she can get in it!

We could be shut down in a month, they could bring COVID home and kill marc, oh I know, I know every day, but that is risk, the great unknown. The thing I KNOW is how good school is, and how I want to take all the days we can get and not take them for granted, ever.