How My Family Braved The Challenges of Remote Learning and Survived
2020. What a year, am I right?! From the upsetting passing of basketball star Kobe Bryant, to the threat of crazy killer hornets, to Covid-19 changing every aspect of our lives, not only did this year usher in social distancing and the oddity of wearing masks, but it also brought a change to the school year with remote learning. A student’s new best friends have become their computers, Zoom and Google Classroom.
One of the most interesting transitions for my family was deciding how five people, in a total of five schools/businesses, with five separate Zoom meetings, all occurring at the same time, would have enough internet, space and silence. Let me tell you, the struggle was real!
The week of Aug. 17 marked the first week of remote learning for my younger brother, Carl, who is a freshman in high school; older sister, Claire, a sophomore in college; and I, a senior in high school - all while my mother and father worked from home. We all thought we would stroll through this week with no problem, but we learned the hard way that it was going to be quite the opposite.
First, we made the discovery that we surely did not have enough space. Between my mom’s constant, very audible talking on her business meetings, my brother and sister’s unceasing Zoom classes, and my dad’s laughter on his business calls, our seemingly big house was becoming very small. Although we have a second floor, there was little to no internet connection there. So, we were all forced to work downstairs and make do.
As the week progressed, I watched our entire house being transformed into a small business. Before my eyes, both dining room tables were transformed into cubicles with my brother sitting diagonally to me at the main table, and my mom and sister sitting behind us at the extra dining table. High stacks of papers, textbooks, notebooks, computers, pencil cases, and more were littered across the table, absorbing all space left for its purpose: eating. Everywhere I looked, someone was on a call, making a Flipgrid video, completing homework, or just trying to take a break from the craziness of our new existence.
Throughout the weeks that followed, we tackled our remote-learning and remote-working problems head-on. We started with space and disorganization. We went on a search far and wide, from the land of Office Depot to the kingdom of HomeGoods and finally the palace of AtHome, in order to find an office desk. Apparently, desks are as hard to find as toilet paper was at the beginning of quarantine.
After much searching, we found, bought and assembled a desk at 1 a.m. - just to create more dedicated workspaces. The next thing we did was reestablish the dining room tables as dining room tables and create places where we could store our supplies. Both helped bring peace back in my household.
Still, some days were tougher than others and called for a midweek treat like going to one of our favorite restaurants. We survived this transition and know that we are ready for the next challenge remote learning throws at us! Now, as we continue our work-from-home and learn-from-home existence, we're more organized. We each have our own space, and we've discovered being together isn't such a bad thing at all.
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