Bizarre world at-home school starts Monday

There is an old movie trailer where people are running away from something and screaming their heads off - maybe The Blob movie, I don't really know - but it's been used in promos or advertising over the years as a recognizable example of a hideous monster or something nobody wants to face. That is exactly how I feel right now about virtual/at-home pandemic school which starts for us Monday morning. It's coming for me y'all and I'm scared!

I thought after my four kids barely crossed the finish line of homeschool crap in May that it was all over. That I wouldn't ever have to do that again. I wouldn't have to mess with another zoom meeting or fraction ever again! I kept telling the kids back then, "just a few more days, and then this will all get worked out over the summer. This will all go back to normal in the fall," I promised them.

I was sorely mistaken.

I've moved them here across the country to a new area, a new neighborhood and a new school where they don't know anyone. Coronavirus sure put a kink in our plans to get out and meet other people and get to know kids or attempt any kind of normal life before school started. Yes, so many other kids are in the same boat, I know. But their boats are at least surrounded by people they know like family and friends to help them navigate the waters a bit. My kids are in a single solitary dinghy with me as their inadequate, unqualified captain. This ship is most definitely going down Titanic-style.

Our new school is implementing homeschool/at-home learning at least until mid-October, when they will reassess whether or not kids will go back to in-school class time if at all. I had wrongly promised them over these summer months, "this will all be better once you get back to school and make friends." My heart (and anxious mind) started racing when I got the email about this schoolyear's start up plan. The words "zoom meetings," "assignments," "homework progress," "tests" - all became a blur and I only saw a flashback of my frustrated youngest child in tears because mommy sucks at multi-tasking as teacher and mom. I don't have the patience. I don't have the knowledge for questions about eighth grade algebra, or fifth grade math (actually third grade math might even give me a run for my money). I don't want to go back to anxious teacher-mom mode. It's not healthy for me or my kids. They miss friends, children their age, teachers, learning and interaction and praise from educators who are qualified to do this. Who are good at this.

There is no answer, I know. That's the ONLY thing I know to be true right now - no matter which way you sway, either "YES, SEND KIDS BACK" or "NO, KEEP THEM HOME" you are fought with opposition and uncertainty. I know other parents share this frustration, especially those single parents having to do it alone. I hate that this has become everyone's 'new normal' - and I'm no stranger to testing out 'new normal' for my family either. All I know is the growing anxiety and unhappiness I feel that are headed straight for this home on Monday morning is as hideous a monster as I can imagine right now.


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