Distance learning

After weeks of people complaining that the schools were not doing enough to do online learning (I thought they were doing ok) the schools have decided it's time to start. That's all well and good but it means that starting in a few days in addition to working full time and handling our own childcare and worrying about the end of the world we are going to have to enforce several hours a day of online learning.

I have really mixed feelings about this. On the one hand it will be good to have a little more structure for my daughter, and get her away from the TV for some of the day. On the other hand I just don't know how we are going to make it work - we can't force her to do the work she doesn't want to do, especially not when we are working. And of course, although I know the teachers are going to be doing everything they can do, I don't think this will be any substitute for 'real' school.

My daughter's teacher emailed some assignments today, which were immediately rejected by my daughter. I managed finally to convince her to play one of the assigned educational games, but it was a struggle and required a great deal of bribery and threats. I don't think that's sustainable. Out of the three or so hours of assigned work, we maybe got 15 minutes in. It is going to be really difficult to get her back into the routine of spending time on actual learning. Thankfully she's a voracious reader so she's definitely still engaging her mind even if it isn't with schoolwork.

It is a huge problem without a solution. When the schools were open the parents yelled for them to close. When the schools closed the parents yelled for online schools. Now that we have online schools the parents don't have the capacity to get their kids to do it. Meanwhile my kids are up all night with nightmares and new fears they won't talk about. I am not too worried really about their academic progress, but I am very worried about their social and emotional growth, and no amount of educational app screen-time will help with that.

On the up side, we had a FaceTime session with one of her friends from school, which perked her up quite a bit. They spent nearly an hour talking, which is quite a lot for 7-year-olds. Later in the day we had another art lesson with my mom, and we have the beginnings of a lovely watercolor still life. We ended the day with FaceTime with my wife's parents, so there was a lot of good grandparent time today which helps a lot.