We are homeschooling again, and looking to be doing so for another month. I am, by turns, grateful that we have the resources to support Caleb (technology, adult assistance, school supplies), and talking myself off the edge. I’ve been eating salty and crunchy things late into the night, while trying to lure the cat into my lap. I’ve been trying to talk Jon into getting a second cat. I read somewhere that once you get three cats, you’re officially neurotic, but I figure we still have some room.

 

Virtual school this time around is actually virtual school, as opposed to before, last March to June, where we didn’t see Caleb’s teacher for three months, and she instead put out a weekly list of links to YouTube videos and worksheets that I was in charge of doling out, and he was otherwise basically feral. Now he has a teacher doing zoom lessons, morning routines, giving the kids instructions on constructing booklets in which they write and describe parts of their community, small groups for guided reading, there’s music class and gym class and Caleb is doing jumping jacks and pushups and scaring the cat away. It’s all chaotic, but also really nice, that Caleb still has interaction with his teachers and peers, in this structured way. He has homework that has a lot of leeway, which is what we need. He’s got a notebook where he does his writing and math questions, where he glues in things that his teachers assign. Caleb is sort of a kid who zones out, and the largess of being able to hide his comic books and paper airplanes and doodling has left Caleb wide-eyed, looking down. I spend most of my time telling Caleb to focus.

 

Every few days we do a big clean up where I manically recycle everything, and stack up all of the comic books in an angry pile, and demand to know why I’m the only one sharpening pencils.

 

In any case, we are managing.

 

Caleb, paying attention.

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January 25, 2021 — Liz Chan

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