School is out for summer

posted by Jeff | Saturday, May 30, 2020, 12:15 AM | comments: 0

Weird times indeed for school. Simon's spring break this year started on Friday, March 13. That was also supposed to be the day we would take a weekend cruise to celebrate the break and my new job, but with uncertainty about being able to return into the country, we opted out. As it turns out, Simon never went back to school.

The school-from-home scene started a week after the end of spring break, when the county district decided to give it a whirl. All things considered, they did an OK job given the circumstances, when not every kid had a device to connect. They'll resolve that next year regardless of the situation. If there was a blessing in this mess, it's that the state decided to abandon standardized testing, which was amazing. (That reminds me, Simon's previous psycho principal I'm sure was devastated, as testing was everything to her. I have her emails, from a FOIA request, that show this.)

Diana was out of work at this point, since she works the front-of-house for our local performing arts center. I started a new job, so she took on the role of home teaching liaison. It's important to point out that this was not "home schooling" in the traditional sense. What it really was, was assignments created by the teachers that essentially became homework. The teachers did some online video stuff with them almost daily, but it wasn't quite the same as in-person instruction. There was a lot of burden on parents to make sure they did the work and learned the material, and this was assuming that each family had robust Internet access and a computer. With Simon's school, being in an affluent suburb, I'm sure this worked out, but in inner-city areas, I suspect it was not the same.

If anything could be said about this arrangement, it's that Diana deserves to be mother of the year, and I'm sure that millions of other parents could be given the same distinction. She saw first hand how hard it was for Simon to engage or just give up. It was clear why so much work was coming home. As he continues to develop and grow up, she could see that his meds for ADHD were not particularly effective. Over the two months, we abandoned the primary drug he was using, and used only the 3-4 hour booster that he was getting midday. That was, surprisingly, more effective.

It ended this week, which is a blessing and a curse. School at least provided some structure, but now we're on our own, and summer camps are not a thing right now, as you would expect. Diana has already committed to at least some math practice throughout the summer.


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