School year

…so we begin Academic Year 2020-2021

Today began the first day of the rest of the academic year, 2020-2021. It actually turned out to be quite alright. I am glad I didn’t stress over it as much as I read some other moms dealing with anxiety-causing issues. For the most part I was quite chill. I WAS curious to know what other parents were doing with their kids but I never worried too much. If the school district had decided to do away with remote lessons and hold in-class sessions, I was ready to un-enroll J and start homeschooling him, regardless of the stress and anxiety THAT would have caused me. 

Thankfully, common sense prevailed and they extended the remote learning sessions from 5 weeks to 9 weeks. What happens at the end of 9 weeks will help me decide whether I actually do end up homeschooling J for real. 

I started the day with trying to log in to Canvas, the platform the school is using for remote learning. I faced numerous issues logging in only to get a call from the district announcing that there had been a statewide issue with Canvas and that they would call back once it was fixed. I kept trying every few minutes and was able to log in way before they called to say things had been fixed. 

Once I logged in, I was able to browse around a little and find out who J’s first grade teacher was going to be this year. At 9:00 a.m., the teacher called to introduce herself and discuss the Canvas platform a little which even though I am quite familiar with, was helpful given that they had a new learning resource for lessons this year. 

I checked the dashboard and there were a bunch of things that he needed to get done today even though the submission deadline was midnight on August 23rd. I know that J is motivated by results and incentives. He is not the kind to work for work’s sake. He needs to know that there is a goal to everything he does. Most of the time I try to work this to my advantage but how do you instill a love for learning, in and of itself in a 6-year-old? Telling him about my own love for learning about everything I possibly can and the fact that I was always like that from as far back as I can remember is not something I see working. In any case, now knowing that there is a teacher, who is NOT his mother, and that there are real consequences with regard to whether or not he will be promoted to 2nd grade next year, he did take everything seriously. 

To his credit, he was sincere in his efforts and did all he could to get his work done that included two long math lessons, a long Arts session, and a short introductory reading/writing session. Then, of course, me being me, had him do a few pages of Language Arts from the many academic books I have got for him. For a change, he actually enjoyed doing these pages today. Phew!

For E, my focus today was alphabets and numbers 1-9. She did great. She practiced and even when she felt like giving up, got encouraged by my motivating words and kept going strong. I was so proud of her.

Of both, actually. 

E even got to take breaks and play with what she calls, my “Indian Barbies” – they are actually dolls from different Indian co-cultures. Today, she played with a Bharatnatyam doll and an Assamese tea picker doll. She also played with Mathlinks and a numbers board – we did numbers up to 20. 

We ended the day reading about Geography. I want to introduce Social Studies early to E and so this was a joint session for them both. I made it fun by reading them the first two chapters of this book. We’ll continue the rest tomorrow. 

All in all, I had a great day with the kids, a few hiccups and a couple yells notwithstanding. Not sure if I am looking forward to the rest of the at-home school year but qui sera sera.

Suchitra

A former Communication Studies professor turned a somewhat reluctant stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), I blog about my adventures raising two multiracial kids. I write about parenting and living a multicultural Indian-Canadian-American HinJew life with honesty, a few tears, lots of laughter, and gallons of coffee.
Blogger at: www.thephdmama.com
Follow me: @thephdmama

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2 Comments

  1. I’m glad your local school district decided to stick to remote learning, however stressful it is for you. My older daughter is looking at home schooling her oldest, who has respiratory issues, but the state paperwork alone is enough to make her wonder if she’s doing the right thing.

    I think it’s a lot harder to teach elementary school students than college students, even if the material seems simpler. The attention span is shorter, the frustration threshold a lot lower. It does look like you’re off to a good start, though!

    1. Thankfully, NC is a very homeschool-friendly state so if I do have to file paperwork for J, it should be a straight-forward process. Good luck to your daughter – it can be daunting. We survived our first week of remote learning despite some tears, and some yelling, but also lots of hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Phew!

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