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Summer Homeschooling

Monday, July 06, 2020

Welcome to day 1 of ESY homeschooling!

One of my twins was enrolled in Pre-K for kids with special needs (the official name is "Disabled Pre-K" - don't get me started), but then the world fell apart and after going through 2 months of meetings and evaluations to get the child admitted to the program, the whole thing swtiched to a remote-from-home class, at the beginning of their 3rd month of enrollment.
The week after the school year ended, we had a zoom meeting with the child development team to discuss where our child would be placed next year for Kindergarten. As it turns out, each school in our township offers different programs, so based on the kid's needs they are placed in the school thought to be best for them. My kid was placed in a special program - it's not in our home school, but at least it's in the next closest school. Hopefully, the bus ride won't be too much longer. We also managed to submit an appeal to get the other half of the twin-ship placed in the same school (mainstream classes), so they won't be completely seperated, which when I brought up the topic was met with 5 year old terror from both kiddos. So, *phew* - big sigh of relief.
During this meeting, they also told us that child 1 would be enrolled in summer school to better prepare for kindergarten. At which point 3 months of dreaming about the end of homeschooling while working from home full time came crashing down around my ears. It was SO CLOSE.. I could taste it. Ah well. At least we got a week off before the 4th of July.

So, this morning, we had our very first kindergarten-type remote school day.

Here's what I've learned so far:

- To start with summer school is now called "ESY" - it stands for Extended School Year.
- Special needs 5 year olds on Zoom are an awful lot like some of my co-workers on remote conferencing platforms - (Not meant as a compliment to the kids so much as a realization of why I'm slowly losing my mind).
- Remote Pre-K was much easier than Remote Kindergarten: Pre-K remote learning was all loosey goosey, "Do what you can - Aim for 3-5 activities on this list; Watch the morning video; Record a short reaction video; send a photo; rinse-repeat with a Zoom call on Friday morning." Kindergarten is NOT this. It is no joke. It's 4 scheduled hours from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, with on-line activities to be submitted; multiple video conferences a day; scheduled break times; and a reading app to be downloaded & used (apparently, my children should each be "reading" 2 hours a week? wha??? Ummm.... what if I haven't taught my kids to read yet? Still getting through the details on this, but I really hope that me reading to them counts, because otherwise, YIKES! I am BEHIND).

As daunting as the first day of remote ESY kindergarten was, we got through it, and better than I expected. Hopefully, my kid will get into it a little more, and require less prodding from me as the summer goes on. I blocked the morning on my work calendar, and after all of the time I put into homeschooling, I decided I needed to make the morning a vacation day, but I can't really do that for 6 week straight, so, we'lll have to figure something out.
It's also a little harder to get my child to engage on a remote platform, let alone a remote platform with a teacher and class mates that she's never met before.

It's going to be an interesting summer.

Fitness goals & tracking:
I did not track at all this weekend - I didn't even think about it. (whoops - still getting used to be back here).
But, I think I made good choices overall, as far as food, and I spent a good deal of time outside gardening, and running around with the kids, so, I think I did ok.
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