COVID-19 Diaries: Virtual School

Photo by August de Richelieu on

It is late Monday morning. It is also a long weekend. I should be cooking, instead I am seated at the breakfast table, two iPads, two dated planners next to me, my Macbook open to a spreadsheet, my iPhone showing me the schedule for the child whose planner I am attempting to fill.

I have the day schedules from A through F. I have two kids in the same grade that do not have the same classes. It is compounded by the fact that some classes are live zoom all the time while others follow a different pattern.

This effort was triggered by a notification on my phone announcing one of my children had an F in a course for week 1. I was taken aback. It was week one. All my children did was created shareable folders on Google Drive. It turned out the file was named incorrectly causing a failing grade.

The first week of school was chaotic. I had a tutor come in to oversee the girls in the afternoon. The failing grade, the missed Zoom sessions, the unsubmitted assignments, told me what I already knew. Short of me sitting with the girls all day, there was no way this school thing was going to work for us.

The effort to track each child’s classes, live vs asynchronous, what work was due when took me all morning. After I was done, I made a run to the nearby Target and picked out stationary caddies. I also picked out notebooks and masks while I was there. The effort from the morning was satisfying. I reworked my schedule at work. Saathi adjusted his work desk to be next to the girls as they made their way through their schedule for the day.

It has been just one day. It feels like we have a better grip on what virtual school will look like for the next few weeks. It does not feel any easier, just a little clearer on what we have to navigate.

I sent the tutor off with her check politely explaining my children needed more than what anyone but me can offer.

There is joy in clarity. There is a new found purpose to my day. There is a semblance of routine and structure to our lives. The road looks long but at least I feel like I can see what is ahead.

How has your week been? How are you navigating this new normal?

3 thoughts on “COVID-19 Diaries: Virtual School

  1. It has been 3 weeks for us.

    My 8th grader is generally very organized so she has settled in quite well.

    My 5th grader is a little playful so I check on him now and then.

    Overall I can’t complain. Not the ideal situation , but we have fallen into this new routine.

    Things will get better as you move along. ! Don’t worry!

  2. Its been a long time for us – about 3.5 months since schools have started in India. And i have realized, like you did, that short of sitting with my 5th grader, I have no choice. And I am still struggling these many months down the line.

    The 9th grader – i am just hoping he is working on his own. I really don’t know.

    I am beginning to wish it would be safer for them to go to school. Atleast I can finish office work when they are away and concentrate on their work when they are home. But thats a long way away i guess.

  3. Been 3 days. already missed one assignment(didn’t see it buried). Going to be interesting one. However we have the same pattern for all classes with their own calendar for kids. So kids can click on the link and join. Hang in there!

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