Keepin’ the Faith on the Homefront: Meet the Beckwiths Part II

Rooms rearranged, desks cleared off, pencils sharpened…we were ready for the first day of school. And then, Isabelle’s bridge broke and her tooth fell out. Second from the right. The floodgates opened. Now, her classmates would see her jack-o-lantern grin on Zoom! Not an auspicious start for all, but the Beckwith girls dove right into post-spring break online learning.

After week one, tricks of the trade are already emerging:

  1. Listen to pre-recorded lectures on 1.5 speed.
  2. Keep to your schedule. If your math class is usually at 10am, sit down at 10am and watch the pre-recorded lecture (at 1.5 speed, of course).
  3. If you are a middle schooler, you MUST wear these cool blue light glasses to protect your eyes from extended screen time. Who knows if they work, but they are cheap on Amazon and super stylish!

  1. Teachers, please don’t use multiple platforms during a class. You lose a few kids with each toggle.
  2. Small group work? Winner, winner, chicken dinner. It’s social and people aren’t talking over each other.
  3. Tests are harder because they are open-book, and that’s “not fair.”
  4. Schedule lunch dates. This is mostly for the younger set. And mom, don’t try to join in on the fun. That’s your cue to leave the kitchen.
  5. Exercise, exercise, exercise. It may be the one thing that gets us through this crisis. Posey’s school schedules 40 minutes for PE and offers suggestions for activities. One activity is playing tag with your parents (really?).
  6. Parents, do your part to support teachers and say NO to hooded sweatshirts. They are distracting and disrespectful. (Stepping off the soapbox now.)

  1. Some teachers/professors require their students to have their cameras and audio on at all times–to encourage engagement, I’m sure. My girls are offended by this practice. They are now devising ways to make it look like they are there sitting there when they are not. Their plans are intricate and require advanced technology. I appreciate their creativity but do not condone the idea!

The elephant in the room is that their father/my husband is working the “front line,” a term I have come to despise. He is rarely home, he is stressed when he is, and he belongs to everyone but us. This is a new and uncomfortable dynamic and the undercurrent of all that is transpiring in our household. But we will remain flexible, supportive and his shelter in the storm.

Two weeks of online schooling down for my eighth grader, twelfth grader and college sophomore. ?? weeks to go.

p.s. Family dinners are so last week. We are more than a month into this period of self-isolation and “connecting” at the end of the day is overrated. Let’s be honest, we are starting to get on each other’s nerves. We have even contemplated eating in shifts. I’ll let you know how that goes.

About The Author

Susanna Beckwith, MALS