Overnight, millions of parents became homeschool parents and hundreds of resources started popping up on social media feeds about how to effectively homeschool. Organizations like museums and aquariums are offering web-hosted events and YouTube homeschool videos have gone viral. All the energy and creativity individuals and organizations are putting into making the abrupt transition a little easier is a blessing, and a testament to our collective well-being that we get through this together, even if it’s virtually.
Homeschool pros have posted schedules depicting how to set up a homeschool routine. To challenge the well-intentioned approach, others have posted more realistic versions of what homeschool and working from home for the majority of us who are unprepared will look like. Here’s my take:
• 7-7:30 a.m. – Coffee, agonize over how to work/teach.
• 7:30-8 a.m. – Wake up, cajole kids to get out of bed, even if they aren’t “going to school.”
• 8-9 a.m. – Breakfast; break up fights over breakfast cereal, toothpaste and toys, kick them outside, get half an hour work in if lucky.
• 9-10 a.m. – Academic time. Try to get kids to read and/or do math in silence while you answer work calls emails, etc., get interrupted, break up fights, kick them outside again, get an hour of work in if lucky.
• 10-11 a.m. – Household chores; walk them through step-by-step chores, get no work done.
• 11 a.m.-noon – Make lunch, huge mess, clean up, get no work done.
• Noon-1 p.m. – Recess/PE: listen to them complain that they already had to go outside twice, make them hike up a hill with you to get exercise.
• 1-2 p.m. – Creative/science experiment time, make a huge mess, clean it up, get no work done.
• 2-3 p.m. – Choice time (let them use a digital device), get one hour of work done if your internet can handle all the bandwidth.
• 3-4 p.m. – Garden chores. They are good for about 5 minutes, send them on a bike ride, release aggression with a garden tool, do all the yard work myself.
• 4-5 p.m. – Quiet play time: break up the fighting, chaos ensues, separate kids, get no work done.
5-6 p.m. – Dinner prep; teach kids to cook! Older kid bosses little kid around, tears and tantrums erupt, send older to time out, wipe tears, start dinner over open a bottle of wine, check text messages from family who are constantly texting about COVID-19.
• 6-7 p.m. – Eat dinner, clean up mess and chaos, get no work done.
• 7-8 p.m. – Bath and showers, bedtime routine, get no work done.
• 8-9 p.m. – Put the kids to bed, fall asleep alongside them.
Total work time: one hour, maybe. Total “school” time: one hour, maybe.
The North Central Community Regional Library system has closed its branches. Still, the library has a wealth of resources online and offline available. This includes access to all kinds of digital resources including e-learning, e-books, audiobooks and video streaming. But you don’t have to learn online. Old-fashioned books are still available through the library. You can order books, albeit online, and they will be delivered via the postal service, so there’s no reason to miss out on reading for you or your kids.
Other activities at the Methow Valley Community Center will be at the discretion of the individual tenants, so check with your instructors about classes. The PUD office will be closed, and the gym will be closed to the general public. Terry and Pam Hunt will continue individual music lessons.
At the Methow Valley Senior Center, in the event you find yourself purging and spring cleaning, the Rummage Room will be closed until at least March 31. They are asking that people hold onto their donations until after that, when re-opening will be re-assessed.
Seniors are our most vulnerable population to COVID-19, so by limiting access from the general public to the facility, the Senior Center will continue to offer meals to seniors (as of Monday), but will move to a grab-and-go/take out and/or meal delivery set-up. Details as to how that will unfold are developing. Check their Facebook page for information, give a call to 997-7722, or check in with Okanogan Transportation and Nutrition at www.octn.org.