So, we are what, 10, maybe 20 years into this pandemic by now?
Do you guys remember when we could, you know, do things, like send our kids to school and hang out at bars? (Not that I would hang out at bars while my kids were in school. If you hang out at bars while your kid is in school, no judgement). I’m just saying that once upon a time, like this time last year, the world was our oyster. Now? Yeah, now not so much.
I haven’t written a chatty post in awhile because I’ve been busy, like all of you, running a homeschool and trying to work. Which brings me to the point of this post.
I had an epiphany a few weeks ago.
I’d noticed that I was feeling pretty good, actually, about how the remote schooling was going. This is due, in no small part, to the homeschool setup in the basement and the arrangement I have with my neighbors.
We have a little “pod” (remember when we didn’t know what pods were)? Ah, those were nice times. Anyway, we have a little pod of kids that have been clustered together for basically this entire pandemic. We each take a turn running the “homeschool” classroom downstairs.
This is working out great, partly because it means we each only have to cover 1 day a week (for now anyway – I feel like we could go fully remote at any time, and then…yikes).
It’s also working out great because in this setup, the kids treat it much more like school, versus like they were in the Spring, which was basically a free-for-all.
Now the kids start “school” at 8:20, pack their lunchboxes, raise their hands, and have “recess”.
We even have a calendar helper each day! And a “cozy corner” for reading! Like…..in actual school.
But none of this is my main point or epiphany. My epiphany is this:
Because I’ve really reduced the time I’m on social media, and because I deleted my social media apps from my phone, I have had basically no idea how anyone else was feeling about the way our town is running remote learning.
I’ve been blissfully unaware of the feedback from other parents. Clueless! I just learned recently that a lot of people are really fired up because the kids aren’t getting enough live instruction during remote days. Apparently there is a lot of venting on the Facebook pages, as there always is.
And here’s the thing: I agree that there isn’t enough live instruction time. But – I’m not worked up about it. And I am 100% sure that I would be really upset about it if I was tuning in every day to hear everyone else complain about it.
I’m not saying the complaints are unwarranted. I don’t want to give that impression, because I know a lot of families are struggling to make remote learning work, and I think the kids (mine included) could benefit from more direct instruction. The frustration is legitimate.
I’m just making the point that I hadn’t fully realized how much my own emotional state and even interpretation of events was being colored by constantly tuning in to see how everyone around me felt about it.
I know that if I were reading every day about how much more my town “should” be doing, I would get agitated.
Instead, it’s gone more like this:
I notice that we don’t have as much live instruction as I would like. I’m aware that not all of the canned curriculum sent home is stellar. But I really like my son’s teacher. I really like the Principal at his school. I feel confident that we’re doing the best we can at home.
And that’s it! That’s how I’m experiencing things right now.
I’m experiencing them first-hand, versus through my normal filter, which is so heavily influenced by what I read on social media. As a result, my baseline of agitation is way down, and I’m finding that I can focus more on the things in my control.
I’m able to relax into the experience at home a little more, and I don’t feel the need to rage against the machine, as it were.
The pandemic is long, and hard. The election is stressful. The world is stressful right now! But by tuning out lately, I’m more available to tune in.
For now, that’s a much more pleasant place to be.
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