Lunch and Learn…

Steve is fully embracing our remote learning schedule. He has taken it upon himself to institute lunch and learn lessons.

A couple times a week during lunch, he brings out the whiteboard and he teaches the kids about finance and business. Sometimes it’s teaching them concepts (revenue and expenses), other times he’s teaching application, applying it to the small scale businesses their friends are running. They are learning about the stock market and at what rate they would evaluate a business and be willing to buy in.

Hallie and Hunter have had friends over to do school and they too jump in and get involved in the discussion. It’s unconventional, but they’re learning and I love it.

Our last first day of preschool…

Today was a great day. This kid has been waiting patiently for his turn to start school. Everyday his siblings have logged in and attended school and he kept asking when he would start. Today was that special day. And what made it more special was that his was in-person – his siblings are a little jealous.

Last year when we dropped him off for his first day he cried and cried. This year, he said goodbye and shut the car door and didn’t look back. A year makes all the difference!

I’m not sure who was more excited about today, me or him! He has been surprisingly good over the last month while his siblings have done school from home, but he loves to hop in and out of their videos and be silly in the background. Preschool will be a great break for him outside of the house.

The theme for his preschool this year is Trolls. Every year it’s a new elaborate theme and the teacher goes all out. Including sewing personalized backpacks for each of the kids and she even included a brush so they could brush their troll’s hair. She does everything next level.

He is going to be heaven – preschool with his buddies – life could not get better for this 4-year-old!

Science camp…

It’s hard to remember what life was like pre-corona. But then I come across pictures like this and a flood of memories comes back. Hunter went to science camp with his school back in March. They were gone the few days before the school shut down for spring break. They never returned to school. Hunter had no idea he was living his best life with his friends. The day after this we left for spring break and days after we returned home everything shut down and wouldn’t see his best friends for over two months.

These pictures are bitter sweet for that reason. I’ve been sitting on them all this time, hoping Hunter might make an appearance and share his experience. But after 5 months, it’s time to get them posted.

Science Camp

Life pre-corona. Where you could jam 100 kids on a bus and no one thought otherwise. You could bunk it up with your friends and there were no masks. You could learn in person.

I went to the parent information meeting for this back in January. I sheepishly returned home and informed Steve that I had signed him up as a potential chaperone, but they were not going to be able to take everyone that signed up. He was less than pleased. I don’t think many are jumping out of their seats to take off work to go chaperone a school field trip. As luck would have it, he was chosen to go along with several of Hunter’s friends dads.

Science Camp

Hunter was so excited leading up to it – his teacher did a great job of prepping them and building the anticipation.

Steve was far more jazzed about the experience when he showed up the first day and realized it was the very same camp he attended when he was in elementary school – and all the memories came flooding back! They were all smiles the whole trip.

Science Camp
Science Camp
Science Camp
Science Camp
Science Camp
Science Camp
Science Camp
Science Camp
Science Camp
A walk down memory lane – Steve’s cabin he stayed at when he attended as a kid.

In the end, I’m not sure who had more fun, Steve or Hunter. Picking up Hunter from the bus and hearing him with all his buddies recount all their favorite moments was the best. At times they were laughing so hard it was hard to make out what the story was actually about. They told of jokes and skits and songs and activities. Hunter’s eyes told me everything I needed to know – it had been better than anything he was expecting. Having his dad there with him was icing on the cake.

First day of school…2020

I wish I could report vastly different results of our second day of remote learning. Unfortunately, I can’t. Luckily, I have these sweet faces that brighten my day (when they’re not yelling “mom” for me to come fix the 100th technological glitch they’ve encountered, only to realize the issue in on their teacher’s side.) And anyone with a kindergartener or 1st grader at home, trying to keep them engaged through mindless webex meetings…you have my sincere apologies.

Is it Friday yet?

Remote learning day 1…

If I had to choose a photo to describe the mood for the day, this would be it:

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies over here and our first day of school went much worse than I could have imagined. It put us all in a mood. Every. One. Of. Us.

Technology for 4 students (three of which are elementary age) is always going to have it’s challenges. Hallie’s schedule although corrected days ago still left some issues when she was trying to log into classes that teacher’s didn’t have her down for. Cannon’s laptop provided by the school is too old to manage a live streaming video so after an hour of trying to get him connected – we finally sent him to a friend’s house who was in the same class. (funny enough his teacher didn’t realize this and although he kept raising his hand to participate the teacher wouldn’t call on him. Finally towards the end of the day the teacher asked his friend if her brother wanted to say something. They both giggled and the mom popped on to clarify that Cannon was not her brother and indeed in the class and of course she felt bad for ignoring him half the day!)

Neither Bennett’s or Hunter’s laptops were able to work with the live stream so after missing the first half of the video Bennett moved to my desktop and Hunter on a work laptop. Of course Briggs was trying to hop in every video which wasn’t so cute to his siblings and he kept asking when he gets to go to school. I ran around from one kid to the other fixing problems. “My video just quit. The link isn’t working. She said to click here and there’s nothing there. How do I fill this out? It just keeps saying loading.

Hunter was bummed that they didn’t do anything. Only half of Hallie’s teachers even provided instruction. And Cannon’s class only seemed to talk about feelings (which I see from the schedule is the topic for the whole week – clearly a theme they felt they needed to address strongly this year.)

They were only “in” school half the day and it felt like an eternity. It left us all in a somber mood the rest of the afternoon. We’ll call it a funk.

I am bound and determined tomorrow will be better. I had concerns before starting this process and today did not put those concerns at ease. Praying technology is on our side and we can work through this very kinky process. It was very apparent today that this cannot be a long term solution for our family, I’m just hoping it gets better when they actually start to learn things.

The redeeming moment for the day – first day of school pictures with some cousins – definitely the highlight. A sense of normalcy on an abnormal day.