Just like that, we are social distancing

In an instant, our world changed. Our calendars are now empty. We are stuck at home. We are social distancing.

On March 13, 2020, we learned that our children, who had the Friday off for a teacher workday, would not be returning to school. Due to the imminent spread of the CORONA virus, they would be learning virtually and I would be working from home and just like that, we are social distancing.

I’m not gonna lie, that news -along with the postponement of the Kenny Chesney concert I had been waiting on all year- threw this Type A, control-loving, planner into a fit of anxiety.

I did what I do when my world spins out of control. I look for something to put in order. Since we would be working and studying from home, I set out that weekend to turn our rec room into our working space.

Clovid-19 renovation for social distancing

We got a new sofa and occasional chair for the rec room, chairs for my work table, chairs for the student desks, and a printer. I got busy arranging our set up and making a schedule while getting my mind ready to oversee at-home learning with a 3rd grader, 6th grader, and senior while working from home.

Rec room seating area
Our new rec room set up for breaks from work and learning.

Week One at home, we are all-in.

The first week was very hectic. My well-meaning schedule didn’t quite work out as planned. I learned I had to be more flexible and include a lot more break time.

I thought I’d get just as much work done as in the office. But luckily my boss knew better and helped me set realistic goals. She was right!

The kids were given a lot of school work. I like to check off the boxes so I was determined we all get everything done. It was so hard to keep part of me in work mode, while the mom in me worried about schoolwork not getting done.

Week two at home, we are getting real.

By week two, I lessened my expectations and the teachers gave a little less work. The middle school teachers, however, seem to text at least five times a day! It was hard to keep up and then they would have impromptu online quizzes. We settled into a routine starting at 9 a.m. each day and the kids included many breaks.

I relied heavily on my girls to help Joey. His class started doing a zoom call and he was so excited to see his friends!

 I don’t know about you, but I have a new appreciation for teachers and a much better understanding of how my kids are doing academically. I also see how I can better help at home when this is over. 

Week three, our new routine for home learning begins.

Joey is 9 and in 3rd grade. He has a full load of virtual learning including; daily math, language arts, spelling, social studies, science, and P.E.music and art once a week at-home speech and OT twice a week. My middle schooler also has a full load with teachers texting many times a day about assignments.

Big sister helping brother during home learning
Working on schoolwork during social distancing

I help Joey with a couple of subjects in the morning, while Carlie works on her subjects. My girls work with Joey while I am working during the day. I finish up with Joey in the late afternoon, while the girls complete their work.

After the schoolday and workday ends, we do something active together. We take a walk, play soccer, play basketball, play a board game or Nintendo Switch. We are much more relaxed on weekends and are working on home projects. 

Feeling the Loss

Annie Sheran senior photo

The weeks go on and on.

In week three, we learned that we will be homeschooling through the end of the year!

My oldest will not experience the most memorable celebrations of her senior year. No prom. No senior walk, No senior skip day. Probably no graduation.

We are truly devastated. It is a loss. In the scheme of things, we are blessed to have a home, have our jobs and our health. And yet we live in both places – blessed and feeling a deep sense of loss.

For me, living on the edge of the unknown is deeply unsettling. But I find ways to keep moving forward and for taking advantage of the time we have together and at home.

But even in the middle of this, we are embracing joy daily. Being together more, sleeping in, playing together, and enjoying the spring weather are all special blessings.

I’d love to hear how you are doing and what tips and tricks you are doing to manage multiple priorities. Email me at Jennifer@dezined4joy.com.

Help spread the joy!

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