Remote Learning Mornings

We intend to get up at 6:30, but we’ve slept through the alarm multiple times. We’re always up by 7.

I go around and collect the kids’ clothes for the day from their bins and toss them down from upstairs. Then I get dressed and come down. Meanwhile, Jamie takes the kids down and starts to give them applesauce, yogurt, meat sticks, or cereal.

Jamie usually gets four of them dressed while two of them are getting themselves dressed. I do the kids’ hair one after the other (and Lola takes her turn hopping up on the foam cube to get her hair brushed, too).

It’s about 7:20 by this point. Jamie takes the toddlers to their preschool while I get a good breakfast on the table for the older two. My second alarm of the day goes off at 7:35 so at that point I get the iPads up and running and get those two set up for their first Zoom session of the day.

Of course as soon as we get this down, the older two will be going to the actual school for school and will have to adjust our routine, but this is what we’re doing right now.

Thoughts on the first week of remote learning

All I can say is I really hope E&M get in during the first phase of in-person learning (starting 9/8). Zoom classes have been fabulous for Fritz and Adrian. For pre-k and kindergarten, it’s not so great. I have 14 alarms set on my phone (two for Adrian, one for Fritz, one for waking up in the morning, and the other ten for E&M’s on-line times). So pretty much my day is spent making sure the right kid gets on the right device and that homework is completed and submitted on time.

Fritz really likes a couple of his classes, especially Animation. He’s already gotten lots of homework over the course of the first week, and, as would be expected with Fritz, has gotten it all completed on his own without being reminded.

Adrian is surprisingly engaged in his classes and is participating and working hard. He got a 100% on his first test, an oral one in Spanish. He’s not great at remembering to actually submit his assignments that he has completed (we’re all still learning how to use Google Classroom). He has said he wouldn’t mind going to class in person, but I’m waiting until phase 3 or 4 before letting the older kids go simply because of exposure to more people over the course of a day.

There were quite a few technology hiccups the first week, some were our fault, like Adrian’s laptop needing a new battery (which arrived yesterday) and so when it came unplugged a couple times he lost connection with his class and our internet going down for a couple minutes kicking Fritz out of Zoom, while others were not, like M’s pre-k teacher’s internet going down for one morning and the district website crashing the first morning from all the people trying to log in at once. But even those hiccups weren’t so bad and were only minor inconveniences rather than huge problems.

Really my only true complaint is that Zoom just isn’t an appropriate way for 4 and 5 year olds to learn. Well, that and trying to keep two active little ones plus two babies (the toddlers go to preschool just before E&M start their school day) quiet and occupied all day is not easy. But so far so good for Fritz and Adrian and good enough for E&M.

Favorites at the Beginning of the 2020-21 School Year

Fritz (9th Grade, age 14)
Favorite food mushrooms/sushi
Favorite movie Men In Black
Favorite book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Favorite song Barracuda by Noisestorm
Favorite subject Animation
Favorite activity Coding/Gaming
Favorite color dark blue
What want to be when grow up a coder

Adrian (7th Grade, age 12)
Favorite food homemade mac and cheese
Favorite movie Hamilton
Favorite book The Giver
Favorite song Non-Stop (from Hamilton)
Favorite subject Science
Favorite activity play video games
Favorite color green
What want to be when grow up I don’t know

E (Kindergarten, age 5)
Favorite food popcorn
Favorite movie Iron Man
Favorite book School
Favorite song Iron Man
Favorite subject Science
Favorite activity color
Favorite color red
What want to be when grow up police officer

M (Pre-K, age 4)
Favorite food cereal
Favorite movie Wiggles
Favorite book That’s Why She’s My Mama
Favorite song Power Rangers
Favorite subject Science
Favorite activity do my workbook
Favorite color pink
What want to be when grow up big

One more weekend…

We have one more weekend of summer vacation. School starts Monday. We have met E and M’s teachers (via Zoom). We have gotten Fritz and Adrian’s schedules and collected their books from their schools. Fritz has even done the pre-lesson for Seminary (that doesn’t start until the 25th and will be lessons on his own four days a week and a Zoom class one night a week until we can return to activities at the church at which time the weekly Zoom class will be in person). Now we just have to figure out who will use what technology and where we will set them up, get out the school supplies they’ll need at their computers, and then wait until Monday morning at 7:40 (E), 8 (M), 8:30 (Adrian), and 10 (Fritz).

Getting Ready for Pre-K and Kindergarten

E and M like workbooks so we got them each one to get ready for pre-k and kindergarten. M is constantly asking if she can do some pages in hers. It’s one of her favorite things to do right now.

I also contacted the elementary school principal and explained the situation and said I know they have to use their birth last name on anything official, but asked if they could use our last name since they are using it socially now. She said they can do that and she’ll pass that info/request along to their teachers.

In 2015…


This goes extra for us. Not only did we not guess we’d be pretty much just staying home and wearing masks when we go out thanks to a pandemic, we certainly didn’t guess we’d be foster parents and wouldn’t have come up with adopting six kids five and under in our wildest dreams. Add to that the adventures of public school on-line and in person rather than homeschooling and I think it’s safe to say, as my friend put it, we win at this meme.

Adrian’s Classes Are Picked

Adrian picked his classes for 7th grade and a couple days ago his counselor called to get his schedule set. He’ll be taking regular language arts and reading, honors math, general science, TX history, PE, Spanish, and robotics.

We’re still waiting for a call from Fritz’s high school to complete his enrollment. They’d better hurry up. School stars in a week and a half.