Month: August 2020

Summer’s Last Hurrah

School was going to start remotely. I needed a way to switch the kids’ brains into school mode, to let them know summer was done. So I proposed that we mark the end of summer vacation with a few themed days. They excitedly agreed, and we settled on a Harry Potter Day, a LEGO day, and a Freedom Day.

Harry Potter Day was easy with our household stock of supplies. The kids dressed in their robes and made a puzzle of the house crests. We watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Jack and Sam have been reading the books aloud together and only finished the first one a couple days before. So it was fun for Sam to watch the movie for the first time. Jack and I were so pleased with the bright colors, fun and mystery, and low stakes of this movie. Later in the franchise it becomes so dark and grim. Still, Sam had to cover his eyes during the troll scene – it was a little too scary. Afterward we made mini treacle tarts.

LEGO day was also easy to do on a whim. I picked up a Jello Jigglers kit at the store as a special treat. Otherwise the kids occupied themselves with “Master Building” their own creations, played Lego video games, and watched the Lego Ninjago movie. We had Lego shaped pizza for lunch and sandwiches on Eggo waffles for dinner.

The last day (above) was Freedom Day – a repeat from the start of summer. It meant the kids could do whatever they wanted all day (aside from usual safety rules) until 5pm. Sam stayed in pajamas until dinner time and had Teen Titans Go on the TV for literally hours. They slugged around the house and didn’t have to do any chores or go outside to play. They were in charge of their own food too. I think Sam ate nothing but frozen yogurt tubes until dinner. Jack made a few more smarter choices about getting dressed and eating a varied diet. But he indulged in a marathon of youtube videos by the Carlin Brothers and Mark Rober.

The kids had a memorable last few days of vacation. Much fun.

First day of (remote) school

Today was the “first day of school.” It was really about 3 hours of online orientation between the two kids. Some with parents listening, mostly just the kids. We elected to do face-to-face school this year. I’m really on the fence about it, but the kids want to return very badly. They promise to follow all my guidelines and requests for their health safety and they understand that I might switch them to 100% remote if the protocols planned by the school are not actually being performed.

Either way, all students are starting with 2 weeks of remote-only. The first in-person class day is scheduled for the day after Labor Day.

The mood in our home was lackluster. We tried to make it feel special, but it just isn’t. Maybe tomorrow, when they both have a full day of remote school scheduled, it will feel more real.

They each have a desk set-up with computer and headphones and basic school supplies. They got to meet their teacher and talk to their classmates a little. The motto at our school for now is “start slow to go fast.” I can tell the teachers have learned a lot from our chaotic switch to remote learning in the spring. I hope this goes well, and I hope they can be safe in the classroom.

August activities

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