Peace on Virtual School Days

You would think that I had mastered virtual learning after last year’s voluntary insanity (we opted for 100% cyber learning last year). But today we had our first snow day, and the kids were expected to log in for what our district calls a “Flexible Instruction Day.”

Any mastery I learned from last year has subsequently flown out the window and disappeared into oblivion.

With LM2 in kindergarten this year, we had two virtual kiddos and LM3 found herself with a house full of opportunities for destruction.

I want to first commend the teachers for being prepared for the snow and this new FID. Our instructions for the day were very clear and organized. The kids had plenty to do this morning, and their assignments were great for independent learning.

But physically transitioning between the assignments and actually getting my kids to DO any assignments proved trickier than expected. No one wanted to focus while the snow called to them. No one wanted to be on their iPads after last year’s traumatic memories.

In order for the kids to hear their instruction and focus, I separated them by floor. 3 floors for 3 separate kids meant Mom getting a bit of a workout. Which isn’t a big deal until someone is screaming at the top of his lungs from multiple floors at once.

I forgot to eat enough breakfast. I didn’t have all the materials prepared for the kids and did a lot of scattered running…and yelling.

I couldn’t get everyone satisfied. And there were kiddo tears everywhere, paired with, “he hit me!” and “she took my book” and “I need my planner!” and “I’m hungry!” and “where is my charger?” and “I’m not doing this math!” and “I’m not showing my work!”

Seriously, people? For real?

I finally got LM1 on track writing a personal narrative, ditched LM2s cut & paste activity and got us set up with water colors and classical music at the kitchen table.

Then I put a Pop It toy at the center of the table.

“Every time one of you says something nice like ‘please’ or ‘thank you,’ you can push a pop,” I said.

Then I started us off by telling LM3 I really liked her sloth drawing.

Everyone got real quiet and concentrated. Once our task was a game the kids popped every pop they could until it was done and we could make hot chocolate.

This was my route back to peace today. It took a few hours of mayhem until I thought of this, and the road forward felt mostly unpleasant. But then, saying kind things to each other and digging up a little peace from inside ourselves was simple. Some days I just bring it back to the basics and it makes a big difference.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace.

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