Let me start by saying that this has truly been a restful season for all or at least most of us. Personally I know that I’ve never had more time to sit back, paralyzed with anxiety, just allowing my thoughts to spin and spin into a vortex of panic. But now I have so much time for this! #blessed
At the center of the vortex is the question of how, perchance, my kids might possibly attend school this fall. Just to the side of that mental explosive device is the question of how I might become an excellent and engaging remote learning proctor, assuming we end up all, or partly, remote.
Right now in my district we can choose either hybrid or remote – a decision which is binding – and also apparently not binding because there are lots of times throughout the year where you can change your mind. But, also, binding.
I filled out my selection of “hybrid” on the “survey” I was sent (which, as an aside, didn’t really appear to be a survey based on the fact that it was actually a binding decision sent to the school district).
Or until you change your mind. Or until the state changes its mind. Or until the colors on that new color-coded map the state just put out alerts us that we are no longer a “green” town but are now a “red” town in which case I assume we are now fully remote and I am a homeschool teacher (which, again, dream come true all around).
I know, I know. Last Spring wasn’t “homeschooling.” It was “crisis schooling”! World of difference there. This fall everyone is way more prepared and not at all about to have a nervous breakdown.
It’s still not “homeschooling,” but now we can look forward to remote schooling our kids. Which seems kind of a lot like homeschooling based on the fact that it’s happening in our homes.
Otherwise, a world of difference. I know.
Based on the fact that we Americans don’t seem to be particularly good at sustaining our focus and also on securing lightweight fabric masks with a cheerful attitude, I have to assume that at least part of the year I’ll be managing a classroom in my basement.
This has always been my dream, as I’m sure it’s always been yours. Particularly because I have an unfinished basement, which is nothing if not cozy. Did I say cozy? I meant damp.
It’s not that I don’t wholeheartedly look forward to reliving the nightmare that was last Spring but for even more time since we get to start in September and not all the way in March! It’s just that I think I need a little better prep this time if one of my stated goals is to not gouge out my own eyes before Thanksgiving break.
With this in mind, I’ve decided to create some magic in that damp basement. Sure my 6-year-old has the opinion that it’s “scary” down there. I will work past that. Scratch that, he will work past that. But I’ll help him by making it look less like a scene from a horror movie and more like a quaint one-room schoolhouse, assuming one-room schoolhouses weren’t so at home on cute prairie hills, and were more frequently associated with crappy basements.
I’m kind of kidding. I have high hopes for this DIY renovation project I’m embarking on. Nolan is not going to believe the magic that his scrappy mom can create with a drill bit and functional dehumidifier.
In his defense, the current situation is less than dazzling. (Here is the “good” part of the basement. The photo a few paragraphs above is the bad part of the basement). I plan to dazzle him with makeovers of both, assuming I can maintain my stamina and cheer. That is dubious but I must hope for the best here.
In any event, my kid has no idea what I’m capable of when armed with a home design mission and major anxiety.
All joking aside, the world is an absolute dumpster fire right now, but I am determined to get set up for better success this fall.
I need to create a more functional “school” space for Nolan if I want him to understand that he’s not just hanging out and that school is really back in session. I felt ok with kind of half-assing it in the Spring, because that was short-term and I was still like “what’s a pandemic?”
But now that it’s come to my attention that pandemics are indeed quite disruptive and unlikely to just *POOF* resolve themselves, I need to harness some energy and the very, very little that’s left of my sanity and make sure we are in a better position to handle the fall.
Here’s my plan:
- Convert the newer part of our unfinished basement into a little school room for Nolan and a few neighbors in the same class.
- Fix up the older and decidedly crappier looking part of the basement as a playspace for my toddlers, lest I find myself home with all of them at once (day care and preschool are presumably about to start back up for them, but I’m not holding my breath about anything at the moment).
- Become a very, very patient and warm remote learning proctor, albeit one with no credentials.
I’m going to share the updates of the spaces over the next few weeks, so if you like that sort of thing be on the lookout. Maybe it will inspire someone else to turn their own shitty basement into a Montessori wonderland, eh?
The sky’s really the limit this year.
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