Thursday, April 2, 2020

Virtual School

This kids have officially made it through two weeks of virtual school.  It was so hard!  Honestly, way harder than just homeschooling or sending them to public school.  I am impressed that the teachers were able to put this together so quickly, so good job to them!  But it was rough for us at our house.  I think it would have been fine if trying to teach one or two children, but with the six it really felt insane.  
Scarlett and Leon Both had work to do on the computer from their classes and neither of them could do any of it without help.  They had lots of meetings where they got to chat with their class and teachers.  That was pretty cool.  But it is a lot of me trying to find the right links and help everyone at the same time.  The teachers did a good job writing clear directions, but both Scarlett and Leon really needed me to read the directions on what to do for them.  Leon had about an hour of work that he needed help with every day and Scarlett, three hours.  That isn't counting the reading that I like to do with them.  It would have been a breeze if they were just a little bit older.  Tucker did his online class without any help from me and it was great.
My problem with it is that I would end up teaching (or at least facilitating) three science lessons (Tucker and Penelope do it together), where as if we were all just homeschooling it would have been the same lesson for all the kids.  The same goes for history.  I'm debating just having the kids do half of the virtual school and half homeschool.  It was just hard for me to keep up with it all.  I also have a hard time not doing things that I think would be good.  There are just so many resources right now and amazing learning opportunities right from our homes I feel guilty for not teaching the kids everything.
Calista had a grand old time doing whatever she wanted pretty much unsupervised.  The first few hours alone she managed to cut a big chunk out of her hair.

 And get into the chocolate frosting.
 There were a couple things the kids had to take pictures of and send in that way, but mostly everything was done by watching online videos and filling out google docs with their answers.

 Scarlett has been able to meet one on one with her reading teacher and she gave her the assignment to put sticky notes all over the house lableing things with either a, "b," "d," or "p.:
Meanwhile, Tucker and Penelope are doing the same workload they had before but with a lot less help from me. 
 It works ok for Tucker.
But Penelope's lessons are meant to be with me the entire time.  She has barely any work that she just does on her own, so it is difficult.

It is just such a crazy time in the world right now.  I am grateful that the teachers put this virtual schooling together.  So far it has been two weeks, with spring break next week.  After that we will go back to virtual school for an indefinite amount of time.  I'm sure with time we will find our groove and get the hang of it, even if it does mean not doing every assignment that is given.  The second week was starting to go better than the first.  And I am also having Scarlett and Leon learn to type, so once they can do that things will go much smoother.

I also have concerns for how much time kids around the world who are doing this will be spending on the computer.  Hopefully it won't last long and be an issue.  But even already in Scarlett's class kids are meeting unsupervised throughout the day, and the teachers cannot turn off the google meet room, even when they are not in "session".  I'm also concerned about the children that are meeting individually with teachers and their parents are not supervising it.  It just seems like a huge potential problem and opportunity for any creeps out there.

I think virtual school has huge potential.  I really hope this opens up more options and opportunities for homeschool families in the future.   There are online homeschool learning options currently but barely any that use the public school system and I think more and better options are needed.

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