Coronavirus Part 2, Day 11- Virtual School Woes

Penny and I have just returned from an outing to the bird park, which is this little nature center near my house with indigenous Texas plants and pocket prairie where birds and squirrels and other critter-type wildlife come and go. I was inspired to hop on our bikes and take the outing because as Penny and I were sitting outside we heard a woodpecker friend pecking away at the tree overhead. I took his photograph, and a few other bird photographs at the bird park. I have learned that it’s one thing to hear the birds, it’s another to spot them, and it’s yet another to spot them long enough and in the right light to photograph them.

Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay

I’ve been quite scatterbrained today. I have several writing projects that I have wanted to complete by June, but between virtual school and drill this weekend, I’m having trouble finding the time. Actually, the time is not the issue. Uninterrupted time is the issue. Blogging is the only writing I can do that, when I get interrupted, I can quickly pick up where I left off. These other projects require at least 20 minutes just to get warmed up. By then someone needs me for something. It’s very, very frustrating, so I avoid this during “working hours”.

Virtual school has gone poorly this week for Penny. She has refused to do most of her work and I haven’t had the will to fight her to do it. I recognize this is my fault. Of note, the Houston Independent School District published this back in April:

No district grades taken after March 12, 2020 can negatively impact a student’s overall average for the course.

HISD

The parent community has understood this to mean that the district is going to be flexible about grades. In other, other words, bad grades don’t count. I don’t care about grades per se, but I do care that my kids learn whatever skills they need to learn for their age/grade level. So maybe I sort of care about grades. Fine.

I wish the teachers for the younger grades would say, ‘look parents, if you want worksheets and video screen time because your kids enjoy it and it works for you, then here it is. If you have your own program or materials you’re welcome to do that as well. I won’t think you’re blowing me off if you don’t upload the spelling word search.’ Because this is what’s keeping me going, now, for this virtual school thing. Never mind the learning value, I just don’t want to be that parent who doesn’t turn in her homework. I don’t want to be that jerk parent that blows off the teacher.

Goofing off.

5 thoughts

  1. What you can do with Penny to make certain she is Advancing in her studies: find her some books that are difficult material, have her read them, and make certain she understands what she has read. Have her read as many books as possible and turn her into an avid reader. That is the most powerful trait you can cultivate at this time. For both Nick and Pen, find them advanced books and have them read and read and read etc… that is the most important!

    On Wed, May 13, 2020 at 17:51 Web Diary of a Somebody wrote:

    > dianaxmoga posted: ” Sitting around. Penny and I have just returned from > an outing to the bird park, which is this little nature center near my > house with indigenous Texas plants and pocket prairie where birds and > squirrels and other critter-type wildlife come and go. I w” > E >

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  2. I feel for you in this situation. It’s not easy to teach school to your own child. I am a retired teacher and this is what I think. Do as much as your child is willing to do. Don’t force her to do the work. Taking her to the bird park is way better than any school activity. Read to her – Reading to your child is far more important than her reading to you. Give her choices. Ask her what she’d like to learn. She is not going to do stuff that she finds boring or too difficult. Let her help with chores and incorporate counting, measuring and weighing in a fun way. It’s amazing what children pick up naturally just by being with their parents. Even at school learning must be relaxed and fun. Feeling inadequate, unsafe and pressured prevent the child from learning.
    I know this is hard but this too shall pass. The kids will be back at school soon and the teachers will pick up the pieces.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement and advice! I will keep this approach in mind when we start back up again on Monday. Fortunately she was in a much more agreeable mood yesterday so learning was fun and pleasant. Sigh!

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