Raw Clay (Plague, Day 50, April 22, 2020)

Midway through week six of virtual education, I finally accepted that it was never going to happen for Ian. Yes, it took me a long time to stop bashing my head against the wall, but tweets from other parents talking about zoom classes kept my hopes alive.

As I ranted and railed, Ian mourned. He loved school. He’s on the highest honor roll for a reason. Watching his sadness just made me more angry.

Anyway, I’ve given up the anger and false hopes and am making my own plans.

My first step is shoring up the biggest problem. He has no structure or routines in his day. He pretty much just sits in his bedroom all day waiting for assignments to trickle into Google Classroom and listening to music. We need to break up that time with various goalposts of activities that always happen at certain times.

Today, we put up our first goalpost. At 11:00 am, we’re going to do yoga as a family (not Jonah though). None of us are regular yoga people, but Ian could use it as a stress reliever, and Steve can’t touch his toes. We found a video with a dude giving beginning lessons. Then lunch. Then Ian can do his waiting around and music listening for a while. 4:00 is becoming the time when we take him out for a walk.

That’s all so far. Not that impressive yet, I know. But I think the plan is to do this gradually. Every day or two, I’ll institute a new policy/program that provides structure, information, exercise, or a (virtual) social opportunity.

To figure out my next steps, I’ll lean into my academic background and take a look at some old kooks — the 1800’s educational utopian writers. I’ll share as I go along.

As we’re trying to take care of Ian, we have a different plan for Jonah. He has plenty of school, which moved from lecture hall to the laptop without a blip. He needs something to do this summer, but it can’t be too stressful. Like all Gen Z kids, he’s already had waayyyy too much.

The remedy for too much stress will be career exploration classes for Jonah. I’ve been chatting with the community college about opportunities for him this summer. Jonah has always been interested in drafting classes, so he’ll take autocad. Maybe something with Homeland Security or Python Programming. No worries about grades or credits.

How am I going to work, while I take a stronger control of my family? I have no idea.

11 thoughts on “Raw Clay (Plague, Day 50, April 22, 2020)

  1. I sympathize so much with your frustration over how to help Ian; neither of our two at home have any special needs, but even just for them, finding patterns and schedules that actually motivate them and give them a feeling of movement is enormous worrying, and infuriating. Certainly the Zoom classes from our school district doesn’t provide anything like that.

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  2. oh i feel for Ian. not having the opportunity to learn is heartbreaking.

    i need someone to give me structure. it’s impressive how much of the day can get lost without it. the rest of the family has some, but don’t . maybe i’ll try the yoga on a schedule.

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  3. My daughter and I have been doing yoga out in our yard, toward sunset. It’s been lovely, just what I needed. We’ve been using Yoga with Adrienne.

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      1. Um, I think you’re going about it wrong. I could definitely get my husband to do yoga with me with the right non-dude instructor.

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  4. We have a whole lot of structure around here (and a lot of gaming).

    Strictly speaking, we don’t need to do as much cleaning as we do, but it’s really nice having a cleaner house since we’re here nearly all day every day. It’s also probably the most exercise I get.

    We’re going to have to rethink things in the summer, though, as a lot of natural structure will disappear then. One of my plans is to have the 9th grader train me. I’d just want him to do Wii exercise stuff with me as an accountability partner ($2 per 15-minute increment is the usual).

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