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.