In Round Three of “school at home” — distinct from homeschooling, which I would never personally choose for my kids — it’s increasingly difficult to find upsides.
It was easier last spring, when the experience was brand new (and the school day was largely unstructured) (and the kids didn’t miss their friends like crazy) (and I wasn’t working). It’s a lot harder now that it’s been made routine.
We’ve played a few rounds of “what do you mean they aren’t online during class” and “you have now earned the privilege of me checking in on you every five minutes.” Every single day plays out like a complex game of Working Surface Duck Duck Goose. Curiosity and enthusiasm has been replaced by crankiness and ennui. It is possible I am projecting, here.
But we find (make) lemonade where we can. With two long-ish breaks during the day, there’s enough time to 1) go from one house to the next (in a divergence from our usual week-on-week-off routine, my co-parent and I now switch up kid-minding duties daily; see also: have jobs and want to keep them), and 2) make stuff and bake stuff.
Today it was the classic “gâteau au yaourt” from Bringing Up Bébé. A recipe literally designed to be assembled by toddlers. In other words: perfect for our late-stage pandemic attention spans.
Into the oven at second break; a happy warm treat half an hour later.
And yes, we tested it using a pumpkin carver, because we might be weary of all this — *waves arms at the world* — but we still hold pretty fast to our “no unitaskers” rule. We’re not monsters.