By no means do we have all the answers, but we are becoming experts at this Coronacation thing. I am supposed to work from home as a public school employee. I am also working from home to start up our homestead (which actually does work well from home). I have a middle-schooler at one school, a 10th grader from a local high school, a 10th grader from another local high school, and a 12th grader/college freshman from the local college and one of the aforementioned high schools. My husband is gone most of the day as an “essential workforce member”.
So many people are saying this is like a vacation, but you know that isn’t true. For many there is far too little income coming in, others are worried about their businesses failing. We’re sitting over here upset that our internet is taking too long to buffer for assignments and video meetings. We’re upset that our yard has too much mud, snow, and ice to do much of anything, but we should be happy that we have a yard. We are slowly figuring out how to make things work better.
First, it’s best to start on homework in the morning, just as if we were at school, that way we can have our afternoons free for more fun things. Most of the kiddos have figured out that it’s best to get the most difficult or the least liked work done first. We have to accept that this is not always possible. Sometimes someone has to wait for assistance so it’s better to keep working on something else while waiting. Sometimes we are required to Zoom in (online video meeting) at a particular time. We try our best.
Second, we have to spread out our use of the internet. One kiddo likes to sleep in, but this means he also stays up really late. The internet is pretty quick at 11 pm. Likewise, it’s pretty decent at 8:30 am. Sometimes, we can we watch the required videos on our phones using the cellular data instead of the house internet. I have even learned to Zoom with my phone. Although, the youngest and I learned today that we will no longer be using Zoom after this week due to security issues identified by the school district.
Three, mute yourself while you are on a video meeting, and un-mute only when you want to talk. You have absolutely no idea what will be said or yelled in the background when you have a small house, five people and several pets all crammed together 24 hours a day. On that note, always check your shirt, hair, face, and backdrop while on video calls.
Four, when in doubt and you want distraction on a video call, bring in a pet. Other households use babies, too. Everyone is focused on that “interruption” for a moment either giving you time to think, or giving a natural break to someone who drones on and on and on.
Five, Move it, move it! There are plenty of online workouts that can be completed free at home with just your bodyweight. More if you have a yoga mat, free weights, or other supplies (bottle of laundry detergent, anyone?). Even just getting out for a walk is hugely beneficial!
Six, try some new recipes. Now that you are all home for every single meal, you need more variety than usual. You can justify take out once and a while to support your local businesses. Plan your meals ahead and buy items that can be parts of several recipes. For us, hamburg is something that I can easily make about twenty different meals out of depending on my mood and what else I have in the pantry. And, we intend to try a recipe using jello to make gummy bears for something new.
Seven, quit making plan. Every time you think you have a schedule figured out, or a plan to go outside, or accomplish a project – something will change. Often it is that someone suddenly has a video meeting that they need to “attend”, or some assignment requires more aid than expected, or it decides to snow 8”! NOTHING goes as planned for any length except that we cannot go do anything with anyone else…
We’re a bit bored. We would like to all be done with school so we could spend our days as we wish. We would like to be able to go out with people. We would like to go out and do things with other people. We are fine. We are learning, we are working, we are existing. We are finding fun, long term challenges such as the Vermont State Park’s annual challenge. You just read our top seven lessons (so far) from this Coronacation. What are your top lessons or best pieces of advice? Please leave a comment and give us your best response.