How I Survived The First Month of My Kids’ Online Classes
I always dreamed of homeschooling my kids. But we can’t manage because, us, parents are both working. And getting a tutor is an option but very expensive. It’s like paying a teacher for two kids, what can we expect? So during this pandemic, somehow, it came true. But it’s terribly draining and I still don’t know how I survived the first month of my kids’ online classes.
Honestly, I will not say that I did it alone. My younger sister was the one who did the hard work. I only do major subjects and the rest, it’s my sister’s doing. She’s also studying online so thumbs up for managing it on her own mostly.
What Happened to My Kids’ Online Classes during Our First Month
So my kids have asynchronous and synchronous classes. Two hours daily is allocated to synchronous classes and their teacher tackles two subjects. The remaining four hours for asynchronous, parents will take over and teach the published lesson through Google Classroom.
Teachers issued like three assignments per subject daily so that would be six per day and deadline mostly was within the week. It was during the first two weeks and we really had trouble adjusting. They lessened the assignments, activities and practice tests, thankfully.
They informed us during orientation that they will provide modules every start of the week and parents will submit by the end of the week. But then they did not provide the modules. Instead, they ask to copy and answer the assignments available online. Then scan and upload to Google Classroom too.
So I had to buy printer with scanner because the kids were complaining. Besides, it took them several hours just to copy. It’s just practical to buy one, unfortunately my old printer already gave up and needed replacement. One other thing, we cannot follow 11:30am to 5:00pm schedule because I am working, so is my husband. My sister, on the other hand, also have the same schedule.
We oftentimes start when I am available after work, usually 7pm and finish depends on kids’ capability to absorb the lessons. When they’re unfocused, tired (sometimes crying), we just finish what we started and we’re done. The rest we just recover during weekend.
Tips to Survive Your Kids’ Online Classes
Let your kids wear uniform. Although I find it ridiculous that they are still required to wear uniform, I think it’s helpful. Why? Because it sets the mood.
Synchronous class starts from 1pm. So I ask them to have early lunch then they take a shower, dry their hair and change to daily uniform. Since they’re only 7 and 8 years old (both in Grade 3), so relieved that they’re both in the same level by the way, we need to do these kind of things so it will sink in. That they need to start classes and meet their teachers and classmates online.
And they need to actively participate in the discussion. If they are wearing their PJs, I think they’d be sleepy or inattentive. Of course, casual clothing is fine but it will just eat up our time trying to decide which one to wear, right?
Accept that this is the only way our kids will learn during this pandemic, do our part as parents. Basically it’s unfair! We’re paying same tuition fees for 1 or 2 hours of online classes. Parents do the rest. But what can we do? Don’t enroll them and let them play all day with their gadgets, toys or whatever they do at home. Enroll and get a tutor that some may not afford. Or just accept that this is a pandemic, we did not prepare for this. No one expected it. So just accept and do our part as parents.
We already graduated from primary education, we can do this. It’s our children, certainly there’s nothing we can’t do for them. We can’t ask for discount from the school because I think they paid for trainings and seminars for this online schooling. Maybe they invested for some software or bought some computers or paid Google for apps. If you are really curious, then write them a letter and ask.
Follow the timeline. In Google classroom, there’s a To-Do section where you can see daily due dates of exercises, activities and assignments. You can keep track of the progress and status including the scores.
Download Google Classroom on your phone. The teacher set a deadline and if you are logged in (I don’t log out by the way) you will be notified. I suggest you do the task ahead of the given schedule so you won’t end up with a long list by the end of the week. So that by weekend, your kids can relax.
In case you missed the synchronous class, ask for recorded video. Power interruption (Hello, Batelec), Internet provider scheduled maintenance, these are the most common reasons my kids missed their synchronous class. Sometimes, their classmates accidentally remove them from Google classroom, unable to rejoin. Notify the teacher immediately and ask for the recorded video. They send it within the day and you can let your child watch it. Pause and explain if you think they’re not listening.
Encourage your child to participate. One time, I noticed that they were not listening and perhaps they assumed they’re just watching a movie. So I often observe and they instantly become attentive. Then eventually, it comes naturally. They already participate and raise their hands if something is not clear.
Look at the brighter side
I only look at the brighter side! They are safe at home. Don’t have to buy them new uniforms, shoes, socks and bags. I can budget their “baon”. They don’t have a choice, they can only select from what we have at home. They usually ask for money and buy food at the canteen. And I save a lot of gas money.
But of course, I am not judging other parents. Maybe some may have other issues I am not aware of. Certainly some may have difficulties which I don’t have. I can only speak for myself. But I really don’t like the academic freeze. I just don’t want them to stop learning even if I have to be an employee during the day, teacher during the night. This too shall pass. Let’s just survive this year and hope for a better, virus-free tomorrow.