I’m probably going to delete this later.
Remember back about a month ago when monitoring screen-time was all the rage? 😶
I don’t know if I should shrug my shoulders, roll my eyes, or cry.
I wrote a post last night about how we’re going to implement a daily, two-hour homeschool routine.
I didn’t publish it and I won’t.
Because it’s futile. My efforts are dismissed and outright rejected.
The kids have heard nothing from their schools, or their teachers, in two weeks. Partly because one week was Spring Break and partly because the teachers’ unions intention was to begin a strike after Spring Break. The teachers are in a labour dispute with the government and I have no idea when, or whether, or if, a resolution has arrived.
I do know the complexities of moving schoolwork online will be mind-boggingly time consuming. My partner is doing it for his college classes so I can see first-hand what the challenges will be.
Which is why the elementary and secondary school teachers are relying on the parents to do their part by homeschooling their kids.
I get it. I am willing.
My kids seem to treat this pandemic as some sort of extended vacation. Despite extensive talks and invitations to participate in coming up with solutions, they think school is boring and they’d rather not do it. (I can’t really argue with them. Both have good grades and no academic issues. But this is not the time to just avoid, or quit, their education. They’re in the middle of the school year which ends at the end of June.)
They are old enough to spearhead their online education with minimal supervision at 12 and a half, and 15. I don’t want to, nor do I need to, give hands-on lessons. But I can, if they want me to. I’m more than happy to come up with a variety of exercises we can do as a family. Including cooking and baking and gardening (which is science, math and biology).
I directed them to some provincial modules the Ministry of Education released, but they don’t want to do them.
There are some other online sites giving them access to practicing aspects of some subjects, like math and science, as well as French (they are in immersion), at least to stay in it, but they don’t want to.
There are some fun activities and inspirational ideas coming out of the internet (and my own head) they could use to inspire themselves as a form of mental stimulation away from screens…
But they don’t want to.
Having said that, there is a silver lining. While one kid is relatively self-sufficient and partially interested in a loosely defined homeschooling routine, the other one concerns himself more with how to find contraband. He is obsessed with trying to outsmart his mom’s food rationing obsession.
I admit I’m struggling.
Last night’s meltdown is just another example of how difficult things have been for my adolescent boy. It seems I have lost what little respect he still had for me because we ran out of chips. He never did have “any of the Ruffles or Jalapeno Miss Vickie’s” (which his dad ate) and “that’s not! fair!” (cry me a river) 🙄
He is deeply offended and hurling insults. Mostly at me. (I never had a single contraband Pringle chip, if we’re keeping track. Not that he asked if he could take them. Not that he offered to share them. But I digress…)
There is absolutely nothing I can do which I haven’t already done. He can’t and won’t listen to reason.
And before you suggest I teach him how to make home-made salty snacks, I’ve already done that, too. Offered, that is.
The whole situation breaks my heart. This pandemic is so hard on an introverted teenager who was just beginning to come out of his shell a little bit halfway through grade 9.
Common sense tells me traditional, in-class school will not resume prior to summer vacation, and neither will his sports. I also suspect a new lifestyle will emerge as we enter the fall aka cold season with possibilities of localized epidemics re-emerging, so unfortunately we’re in this for the long haul.
Take a look at how long it’s taking other countries just to reach the peak… (or not. I don’t care. Believe what you want.)
I feel l equipped, and prepared, to make the best of what promises to be a very different new normal going forward. But, for at least one of my kids, the reality that this situation will have lingering, and prevalent effects hasn’t entered his conscious yet.
All of this, and more, is the reason why monitoring screen-time is the least of my problems now.