How My Kids Are Schooling Me About Distance Learning
It's been one week since my kids' school announced that it was closing through the end of spring break, April 20, due to coronavirus prevention measures, and I'm not going deny that this news inspired an immediate sense terror in me. I mean, of course I love being with my kids, but not 24/7! And home schooling a third grader and a first grader? No thanks. Coupled with the social distancing mandate, I just wasn't feeling too confident about how to handle this new reality.
Distance learning started Monday and, as I suspected, playing the roles of both teacher and parent is hard. Even with all of the materials and resources provided by the kids' teachers, I'm finding that teaching takes a ton of time, patience and planning. And then there's the issue of balancing my kids' needs with my own work and home tasks. But despite my trepidation, I'm finding that my kids' understanding of the situation — school closed (and everywhere else), events canceled, vacation postponed, no play dates—and their general acceptance of it, has surprised me so far. I wouldn't say that my kids are eager to start "home school" every morning, but they are, at the very least … amenable. And they are present and participating in the process. I don't know what more I could ask for on that front.
So far, social distancing isn't proving quite as difficult for the kids as I thought it would be, either. The girls have spontaneous dance parties DJ'd by Alexa. They write letters to their friends in the neighborhood, delivered to their mailboxes by scooter for "PE class." They have FaceTime play dates. Our 7 year old has taught my husband and I how to play two new card games — "slapjack" and "trash." My husband is building doll furniture with the kids. We had movie night on a Wednesday. And miraculously, the kids have been getting along, well most of the time at least.
As it turns out, I'd have to say my kids are teaching me how to deal with this situation, rather than the other way around. I'm finding ways to squeeze my own work in at various points in the day — thankfully, I'm a freelancer with a more flexible schedule. I'm asking the kids to help me out a little more often with chores around the house. I'm learning how to slow down a little more and be fully present in the moment. And I'm trying to accept that things may not go back to "normal" for quite some time. I can't promise how I'll feel about all of this "togetherness" next week, but at the present moment, my kids' resiliency and understanding has left me with a sense of optimism and hope, and a true appreciation for those whom I love most — my family.
How are you coping with juggling work and kids during quarantine? Share with us @BritandCo!
Lotus Abrams is a San Francisco Bay Area-based writer obsessed with beauty, travel, vegetarian cooking, and Mid-Century Modern architecture and design.
Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
For the fall session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our nomination form right here. The deadline for scholarship nominations is September 27th — it's time to take the leap!
Beyond the scholarship, Office Depot is all about helping you accomplish more. Whether it be the start phase, growth phase or keep businesses going phase, Office Depot offers a full suite of business solutions, including services and products, to help you work from anywhere, organize and save time and help build your brand.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)