Educating the Youth of America

April 9, 2020

Patience is a virtue. A virtue I’m lacking. So day one of e-learning when all three children were shouting questions and concerns was enough to send me in a downward spiral. There’s a perfectly good reason my children go to school to have people WAY more qualified teach them essential skills.

As the days have gone on, we’ve settled into a schedule. Everyone now understands the expectations, what needs to get done first, when we take breaks, and how to navigate the software. Suddenly I’ve found patience that I didn’t know I had, and definitely didn’t have day 1 of e-learning.

Since I’ve been working full time, Adam does the majority of after school situating and homework. The couple hours at the end of the day are spent asking questions so I can have some basic understanding of their school life but it’s been very high level. What specials did you have today? Who did you play with at recess? What did you do your project on? It’s near impossible to be super involved in every aspect of school, have a full-time demanding job and run a house all while building meaningful relationships with these people that live here.

Quarantine 2020 (previously known as e-learning hell), I’m not only teaching the lessons to my kids – I’m learning the lessons, I’m seeing how they process the information, I’m watching their comprehension grow with each day and I’m actively involved with their education. If someone had asked me if I thought I could be the patient person next to them teaching them, questioning them and encouraging them – I would definitely say no.

I did not go to school for education, I have no understanding on how to enrich the material and I’m not sure I’m giving them nearly as much as they would get in a traditional school setting. But what I am giving them is my attention, my dedication to them and my love. And sometimes my attention, dedication and love comes with at an elevated octave. But I’m doing my best and I think they are meeting me with theirs as well. It’s definitely not easy, something I would under normal circumstances reserve for the specialists.

In this strange time of our lives, I’m grateful for this opportunity. I’m grateful to be intimately involved with my 6th grader’s science project and all leading up to it. I’m grateful to observe how serious and organized my normally messy and crazy 4th grader is. I’m grateful to be able to snuggle with my 1st grader while learning all the different Cinderella stories there are out there. If life hadn’t dealt us this curve ball, I would have never gotten this chance to see my children and their lives through this lens.

Patience is still not a strong virtue of mine, but I’m exercising it on a daily basis because we all have no choice. And what I’ve found by working on it, is that once I get past the initial struggle – there’s a beauty there that I’ve never been patient enough to uncover. Once this is all over I may never fess up to this again, but I’m actually liking e-learning. This is the one and only time I’ll admit this out loud 🙂

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