This was our second full week of quarantine, and things are getting more difficult. Our state (Maryland) is under a strict Social Distancing Quarantine, but will most likely move to a Shelter in Place in the near future. The internal stress we have been feeling, the change in schedule, Lee still working and feeling guilty, the threat of job loss, economy, health, etc. Bram and I try to stay active, we try to get outside at least once each day, we try to avoid endless hours of screen time, and we try to stay as safe as possible.
We did several fun activities this week!
This was our first full week in quarantine or "Social Distancing" as its been coined due to the threat of COVID-19. All schools are closed, many non-essential businesses are closed, restaurants can only do delivery and carryout, and people are told to stay home, avoid social gatherings, playgrounds, keep 6ft away from other people if you do venture outside. Its been interesting thats for sure. Thankfully we have already been through the transition of working and schooling at home, unlike many of our friends who are now faced with that. But not having any physical socialization has been difficult. Bram is extremely social and explaining this situation to him in a way that his understands and is not terrified has not been easy.
This week things with COVID-19 started getting serious, we knew closures of many of our favorite places were imminent and for an unknown duration so we tried to visit while we could. It was also a busy week for me at work with a tax deadline approaching. And thankfully Bram really allowed me to work mostly uninterrupted for long stretches of time. A lot of screen time might have been involved, but hey it worked!
Lee focused on stocking up on essentials for our house in case we were quarantined and figuring out a plan for his family's business. We explained pieces of the situation to Bram as lightly as we could without increasing his anxiety. Just explaining that there was a lot of people getting sick right now and we had to be extra careful to wash our hands frequently and may not be able to have play dates or visit many places for awhile.
Due to the Corona Virus Maryland has closed all schools, libraries, county facilities and has banned large gatherings through the end of March. Many schools are providing some remote learning opportunities but some are not at to do so.
For those now faced with unexpectedly needing to homeschool the next few weeks I wanted to share things I do with Bram that might help! I know there are lots of activity lists floating around but for another option here is what we do. We try to mostly do free play with loose parts I have at home, and LOTS of outside time (and will continue that except no more group meetups or playgrounds). But I also utilize complementary curriculum and both can work for working parents as well! I started both almost a year ago when I was working and he was at school.
It's been a month, and we've seen big changes this week. There is a process known as deschooling which "is the shift from a traditional, government-influenced institution of schooling to a less-restricted method of learning that focuses on being educated by one's natural curiosities..." And I believe that is what has happened. The past few weeks I've been trying to not loose the knowledge he acquired in formal preschool, but I shouldn't have been so worried about it. This week we did ZERO from our main curriculum...and it was one of our best weeks yet!
SO MUCH learning has happened. I was pleasantly surprised that he ASKED me to help him read license plates as we walked through a parking lot. He now asks me to read books to him or asks why something happens the way it does. Or even just watching him figure things out through trial and error.
Hes now THIRSTY for knowledge instead of it lead by me or a teacher and it's been beautiful to see.
Also we hit 15 hours outside this week!! For a total of 98 hours since 1/1/20.
I've been taking Protandim an NRF2 Synergizer for almost 2 years and have really enjoyed the benefits (like reducing oxidative stress by up to 40%!). Getting my 4.5 year old to take the pills hasn't gone well. I've tried various methods like adding to applesauce or peanut butter or yogurt without success. I made cookies last week with Protandim in them and they were a hit, but I had to bake them, and while there is no research or evidence that baking would lessen the effectiveness I wanted to see if I could find a no bake option and came across this. I modified it to include the Protandim and to make it gluten and dairy free.
Spoiler alert... they're delicious!!!
Highlights from this week:
Since he dropped naps he is sleeping in a bit longer, and I've learned if he asks for my attention I can not put it off for more than 60 seconds. Then if I give him 1-3 minutes of attention I can get another 30 minutes of uninterrupted work time. If I try to put him off he will just keep asking for it. I've also found that its important that as soon as he wakes up we have physical contact (cuddling) for a about 5-10 minutes until he really wakes up. I was asking him to lay on the couch while I continued working, but I found if he got that physical contact first it set a great tone for the morning.
Last week we completed all of the items in the weekly BR curriculum.... this week we completed 2...out of 16. But I actually feel really good about that. It wasn't for lack of trying, it was because we were busy doing other really cool things!
We spent over 10 hours outside this week and at least 30 minutes every day! I am excited for warmer weather, and definitely took advantage of the three nicer days we had this week.
Last weekend we decided to officially start a new homeschooling curriculum. We had purchased Blossom & Root Early Years Volume 2 almost a year ago, an picked through it on weekends and days off together. So we are moving on to their Kindergarten curriculum. I scrambled to find all of the books, resources and items needed to get through the first few weeks and was excited to have a new plan in place!
Although Bram isn't eligible for public school kindergarten until Fall 2021 I was comfortable starting the BR Kindergarten knowing I would have age appropriate expectations of him and could easily scale the projects as needed.
Overall it was a great week, I am really enjoying my new work role, and being able to spend so much time with Bram. The hardest part is the last hour of work in the mornings when he is just done being independent and wants my attention which is distracting. We're working through that and are hopeful he will sleep in longer and will become more independent as we go.
This was our first "official" week of homeschooling and me working remotely super early each morning. It was a learning experience for all of us!
Overall I have to say it went very well. I intentionally went into this week without any planning or pre-conceived thoughts of how it would go. I wanted to see what would happen naturally.
Most mornings Bram stayed in bed until 6:45-7:00am, then he would play for a bit, then I'd make him breakfast and he'd watch TV until I concluded at 9:00am. It was great on Monday to have a family day together, something we don't get to enjoy often.
Two major lessons learned:
is a kiddo who still lives with his parents and dog in a suburb of Washington, DC.