When the Covid-19 crisis first started becoming a real problem here in Ontario and the government shut schools down for two weeks following March Break, I knew without a doubt that Nathan would not be going back any time soon. Originally we were told April 6th then that turned into May 4th and just recently it was announced students would not be returning to school however; no additional information has been provided on if that means for May or the rest of the year. I’m someone who thrives on routine and stability. I need to know what’s happening from one day to the next. I like predictability and I find I have a hard time with adjusting to new things. I’ve noticed that Nathan has very similar traits. He likes knowing what he’s doing every day and there’s definitely a subtle change in him when his normal routine is interrupted. At first I was really unsure how he would handle being stuck at home with me and his siblings everyday and not being able to see his teachers or his friends and while there have been some days filled with tears or outbursts, he’s managing this all surprisingly well.
We’ve officially been distance learning for two weeks now and I think that forming a daily routine for us has helped keep both myself as well as Nathan calm and relaxed. Typically, Nathan is the first one up in the morning and that time varies between 6:30-7:00 am. He knows he’s allowed to take his tablet to the couch and watch Netflix until I get up with Sage which is usually around 7:30 am. Eli wakes shortly thereafter and our day begins. The boys watch some t.v. while I get breakfast ready and have a coffee then once they’re finished, it’s teeth brush and get dressed for the day. After that they come sit at the kitchen counter, Eli with the Leapfrog and Nathan with his work books that I purchased online at the end of March (linked at the end).
Over the past two weeks, I’ve realized that it’s incredibly hard to concentrate on the daily tasks Nathan’s teachers have assigned for him if I’m trying to split my time between three kids. He’s only in senior kindergarten so his “work” is still more play-based learning but it definitely involves help from an adult and since Kurt is still working, it falls on me to help him get the work done every day. There’s usually one language and one math assignment for the day both of which are easy to do when it’s just me and him focusing on it. His teachers have been really awesome and have said numerous times that they know this is difficult for everyone and don’t expect every child to complete the activities every single day but I’ve made it a point to get at least one of the two done every day.
During our morning “class” Eli will play or watch videos on his Leapfrog while Nathan works on the Scholastic dry erase books which is is obsessed with. If he does more of the math sections in his books, then in the afternoon when both Eli and Sage are napping, we will complete his language activity assigned by his teachers. Or if he decides he’d rather practice his writing and spelling skills, we’ll focus our time on the math portion of his school work. So far we’ve been making this routine work for us as best we can. It’s hard on everyone involved. Nathan misses his school, his teachers, and his friends. I miss the time I get to myself when both Eli and Sage are napping and I also miss the alone time with the two of them. And I know as much as Eli loves having Nathan home, he also enjoys his time with only me as well. So it’s been an adjustment for sure but we’re making it work one day at a time! Not every day is perfect but we’re all doing our best.