Here at the Schneider Haus, which, along with a residence, has also become a working office and the site of Amelia E. Schneider Elementary School, we have moved to an open office/free addressing system. Amelia has her “classroom” set up in her bedroom, but sometimes that drifts downstairs to the kitchen table or dining room table.
I have an office, but sometimes my laptop is stationed on the counter while I’m making lunch, or I’ll do Zoom presentations or conference calls in our back guest/play room. On nice days, I’ll even move the work outside to our back deck. Thursday morning, it was very nice outside and Amelia and Henry decided to follow suit and set up their workstations outside, as well. Amelia clearly had a lot going on. Important calls and what have you. Henry prefers the workability of the tablet over the laptop.
It was a productive morning for all. Amelia had school, I had a few conference calls, Erin was getting some things done…we were all in motion. Afternoon came and Amelia had some homework to get through. While Erin was trying to get Henry down for a nap, I sat with her to help.
There are days when the reality that work, school and life are all in the same handful of rooms is just fine and we all just go with it. By the afternoon, this wasn’t so much the case. It’s been a busy few weeks and I was definitely flagging a little that afternoon, but nothing compared to poor Amelia.
She has been an absolute champion dealing with the whole home school thing. She participates in her classroom activities, and has been great about getting all her homework done. The end of the school year is next week, so the finish line is in sight, but Amelia has really been having a hard time finding the motivation lately. I had to ask her to get 5 assignments done, and she just wasn’t having it. Her posture at her temporary sofa workstation says it all.
I really feel for her. I know having to do all this work at home is unfair and it sucks. She misses her teacher and the dynamics of the classroom. The assignments, while of course of educational value, can be confusing, the technology cumbersome and the activities can seem out of context with each other. Everyone, parents and teachers alike, are doing the best they can with a completely insane situation, but it is undeniably hard on the kids. It is becoming harder and harder to help her find the spark to get through it all.
I’m sure other parents are experiencing similar things. It breaks my heart to watch her struggle to plod through these things. Of course, we all know how she feels, but I was hoping to not see her cope with burnout and the grapple with the madness and pointlessness of it all until she is much older and going through some kind of Pink Floyd phase
I was struggling to find the spark that day, too, but we worked on it together and Amelia finally picked up a little momentum doing an assignment where she wrote an opinion piece. I told her that I could post her essay in my blog
, and she was excited about that. The assignment was choose whether you’d rather have a pool or trampoline at your house and write about why.
It’s a controversial topic, and she chose pool. She makes a good argument for it, too. However, in the interest of maintaining journalistic integrity here at Ps and Q, I will note that we already have a trampoline, which may have skewed the opinion somewhat.
Amelia got through her homework and I got through my work-work. After dinner, the kids had some Oreos which perked Amelia up further. A little sugar rush always helps.
I am thankful for her sake that the current school year ends next week, but then of course we will face the challenge of summer in some version of quarantine, and the prospects of more of the home school in the fall. It’s daunting, but I am trying to take it one day at a time. Looking up at my headline, I see there have now been 60 of those. I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering how many more there will be.