Planning for the Future

Today, the older boys school announced that they will be closed until April 14. By the afternoon, one of Harlan’s schools had come to the same conclusion. We are staring down one month of no plans. I still have to teach (online) until March 30, and I intend to do so, but it was blow after blow to the kids. No more hip hop until mid-April. No baseball. No indoor soccer. Harlan will have a very small birthday party at the park tomorrow. Just a few close friends who we spend all our time with anyway.

Seamus is grieving school routines. He likes learning, he likes going. Within minutes, he was hatching a plan for a home-schooling co-op among the neighbors. It was cute. We have one set of neighbors who have declared that they will only be with themselves. I’m just not there yet. We have to go to the store occasionally; I think the kids need to be outside; and I also see that the guidelines are for social distancing, but they don’t say keep yourself at home if everyone is healthy. I may regret it, but for now, we will continue to see our friends (maybe not in houses) but we will not be isolated.

Here’s the plan, sort of:

  1. Academics: I ordered workbooks for all the boys. They will do two subjects per day in their workbooks. Every day will include 45 minutes minimum of reading, then the older boys will tell us about what they read. Each kid will have a journal, in which I give them a writing prompt and they write. I think these will be interesting in the future. I’m going to rely on the teachers to send appropriate math work for the kids, and I’ll make sure they do it. At least we have a white board at home for them to play with.
  2. House work: We will clean out closets, check for bed bugs (eeek…another story for another day), donate toys and books, sort hand-me-downs, and set up a place to do their work. We will go to get some materials to start our garden. Each kid will be responsible for some aspect of meal prep during the day. We will fix our broken window. Maybe we’ll put up another shed, since we’ve been cleared to stay in this house as long as we want!
  3. Extra-curricular: Seamus and Gilbert will practice their instruments. We might get some more material and make another pair of pajama pants. We will work on our 4-H record books and speeches.
  4. Exercise: Porter will continue to practice his moves. I’ll try to teach them some yoga. We will go on a family bike ride. I’m sure there will be lots of yard ball: basketball, soccer, and baseball.
  5. At home: We got a couple of new games: Pandemic, Survive, and Love Letters. I’m excited to play these with the boys, and to learn some new ones! We could really benefit from a Lego extravaganza, in which we attempt to put together all the Lego sets we already have.

Parts of this will be fine. I hope that we, as a nation, figure it all out. I try to imagine what this would be like if I were in my 20s, or 60s, or as a kid. I just don’t know. 9/11 was so abrupt. AIDS/HIV, I was pretty young and don’t remember much, but I do remember fear, with a dose of removal. This is hard because things are changing rapidly, and people want to do the right thing, but we’re not sure what that it.


1 comment

  1. Sounds like good plan. This is going to be a defining experience for everyone. I think like the Blitz in London, something a bit scary, but a shared hardship. The journals a a very good idea because it is so different from what we were used to.

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