This phase of lockdown can be translated or synonymised as slowdown, hogdown, bellydown or routinedown. But apart from these ‘downs’ there are also highs and upgrades. Cooking high, sleep high, cleanliness high and family time high.
Having experienced my incapability of homeschooling my child, I did recently enroll my son in online classes. What might just have been one of the biggest moments in a father’s life- sending the child to school, came to me conveniently or as my son says ‘easy peasy’ through this phase.
No doubt it’s different from the formal school, I mean it’s really bringing the school home not like going to school. However, apart from marginal differences, like no uniforms, bag, classrooms , playgrounds & circle time, the outcomes of going to school are still intact.
We are up in time ready just the way we would have otherwise been.Instead of storming out of the house post breakfast, we take our seats in our respective corners with our computers and laptops.. For the first week I sat with my son actively hand holding him, but now he does not really need it and has found his way through learning in this digital way. As a family we break for lunch together after which my son usually gets to playing or reading as suggested by his teachers and my wife and I resume work.Late noon or early evening between my wife and I, we take out time to sit with our son to revisit the concepts he has learnt during the day. The teachers have been sending pre-recorded instructional videos and DIY home based projects and assignments. We try and assist him in his assignments but kudos to the teachers who have meticulously designed them in such a manner that our intervention is seldom needed. With restricted movement we try to incorporate a little evening walk or a balcony/terrace picnic. Our dinners are spent talking about how we all spent our day and exciting highlights of the same.
In the past week my son has been inquiring about how this new big school looks and what are the big new classrooms in reality. He has been to a play school before and my wife and I had troubled nights convincing him how beautiful the school would be, how much fun would he have. Each morning it was like the ‘first day of school’ all over again. This went on for a month. We were prepared to face this again since it was going to be a new school now and a lot of preschool attractions like a ball pool, class teacher on the gate, getting to wear your favourite cartoon t-shirt would be absent. Well the downside of this pandemic, He never really started formal school but the flipside is that he is eagerly waiting to explore it. Having seen and familiarised himself with the teachers and peers in pictures and videos, I feel he is much better prepared to face the school in reality in future. Coupled with discussions on his classmates and narratives of these video lessons, an interesting development has been in his acceptance and expression of ‘going to big school’ soon. Last night as we read a story he mentioned ‘ I like this book, maybe I’ll take it to big school when I go and show it to my teacher’. One evening as my wife and I were deciding on who would cook what that day for dinner, taking on from the concept of taking turns my little boy added ‘ Papa one day you will drop me to big school and next day mumma’.
All in all the learning is nowhere restricted and as we can see it is positively impacting our ‘going to big school’ enthusiastic son. The online intervention though videos, worksheets, story lists have also helped in restoring our family schedule and routine in place owing to which we are having a great family time whilst working and studying from home. Facing the hardships that we did earlier for his pre school is no more our worry as he is waiting to take that flight. Taking admission in a formal school that is currently equipped to deliver online assistance has been a great decision I feel. Without breaking the continuity I hope I will soon see my son sitting just as curious, intrigued and excited facing the real teacher and his friends instead of the laptop screen.