6 weeks, 4 days & 2 hours….
This is how many days I have been distance learning with my children.
But why am I counting this time? Am I counting because the experience is excruciating? Am I counting the days so I know how many I’ve racked up when they finally are back in school? Am I counting down the days I have not had my privacy or freedom?
All of these questions could be asked and each of them is valid.
However, I count down each week, day, and hour because they are little wins. They are unbelievably trying, lovely, frustrating, exciting, new, funny moments. Quite simply, my life at the moment is a collection of little wins.
When our school district gave us the choice between distance learning and returning to the classroom, my husband and I decided to keep our children home to learn. We decided this would not necessarily be for the whole year, but just through the Fall. Although we had several reasons for our decision, inevitably it was based on whether our daughters could thrive, or at the very least learn, under remote conditions. Last spring when we all went into “lock down,” our daughters persevered and ended the school year with all of their teachers praising their ability to get their school work done well. For me, it was a balancing act between supervising their education, creating small miracles in the kitchen, and seeking any semblance of privacy I could find. But, it wasn’t “that bad.” I actually enjoyed knowing much more of what my children were doing in school. We finally had time to read together and do things we wouldn’t normally have time to do. So when it came to making the decision between returning to the classroom or remote learning, combined with the fact that my husband also is now working from home, distance learning didn’t seem so daunting.
I can now laugh at how naïve I was. In fact, as I write this, I can’t help but smirk. What an incredible experience, to say the very least. My two younger daughters are in elementary school and my oldest was due to move into middle school. I am so grateful to our school district for giving us an option to remote learn, but to say the middle school program is lacking would be an understatement. My middle schooler is miserable, feeling alone and isolated from her classmates and teachers. To make matters worse, progress reports came out this week, and it turns out my A-student is failing.
So how do we move on from this? We count the days, hours and weeks as little wins. Did your Chrome Book work for Science class? Did your teacher acknowledge you? Did you learn something? Little win! Little win! Little win! What I have learned is that, when things are tough, it is more important than ever to celebrate every “little win” that we would otherwise take for granted.