Pandemic elearning kids gonna pandemic elearning kid
And pandemic elearning parents gonna respond accordingly
An observation: third grade is like a mild adolescence before the big one hits, a tremor, if you will. It seems like the first year where party’s over, kids. Arts and crafts and Fri-yay was so last year. Now it’s time for REALISTIC FICTION.
Anyway, if you have a child of any age who seems to struggling with GAF about elearning and/or you’re sick of fighting about it, I’m sorry to say I do NOT have foolproof tricks for you, but I do have stories from witches who are in the same boat —and some further content coming in the coming weeks with perspectives from teachers-parents. Also, I wrote a thing a long time ago trying to get “Just Babies Being Babies” (#JBBB) into the lexicon. I wish there was a clever way to adjust this for pandemic e-learning children, but clever acronym-making time was a luxury from the Before Times.
Q: Any witch wisdom on how to encourage my third grader to give a tiny bit more of a shit in remote learning and not just do the bare-ass minimum? He's not learning anything, and he's not trying, and it is making me frustrated when I bother looking at it (most of the time I'm ignoring it, which is admittedly probably part of the problem, but it's really hard to juggle work and six hours of remote learning supervision). His latest math test is a disaster. Should I care?
Many responses from witches rolled in:
"No, you shouldn't care. I don't. I have a 3rd grader too - I'm focusing on him managing through a pandemic."
"Also have a third-grade boy. In a very similar situation. I feel like it's more important for him to keep enjoying/looking forward to school/"seeing" his friends overall vs anything else and figure we can pick up the slack in the summer or whenever my husband or I might have more time to just sit with him. I feel like bearing down on him now about effort/grades is going to backfire and make us all more miserable. I think it is something you could talk to his teacher about, or maybe a school counselor if you worry that it's something *else* that is bugging/gnawing at him that is surfacing as boredom/lack of effort, and you can also check in with him gently here and there. But otherwise I think you should not worry about it. Also, third grade math makes zero sense to me."
"I've dipped into the bribery school of thought. I told my oldest (5th grader) that when he finishes ALL the Harry Potter books, we'll go to London (bahaha, who knows what will happen first, an end to the pandemic or him reading all of those books) but it's motivated him. For my younger (2nd), we use stars every day and if he gets more than what his assignments are, then he can play video games on his iPad. Little does he know he would probably play Minecraft anyway ‘cause we gotta work, but it's working."
"We are in the same boat and I appreciate you posting this because I did tell my husband so he could hear it’s not just our son. My second grade boy is now basically boycotting school work and making our lives a living hell, so no electronics anywhere for him until he does his schoolwork because I am done nagging. It may take days but I’m down for this battle. I think kids are also feeling our stress about the election/fear of winter/ sense of doom.”
"Oy, 3rd grade boys are tough. Mine is bored out of his mind, not challenged, and he is becoming increasingly miserable at the lack of social interaction while being teased by the tantalizing presence of other kids on all the Zooms. Realistically, my kid is and will be fine academically, but I wonder what the point of all this is for a kid like him, what the emotional toll of this is, and what it is actually teaching him. He's basically learning how to turn in the barest minimum and get away with it. Since school started, he's become an emotional wreck with epic meltdowns and huge anger management issues. He was totally fine until about a month and a half ago. Now he's a bundle of huge (mostly negative) emotions and it's killing us all."
"This is so hard! We don't get teacher feedback, for better or worse - but I was talking to my son's teacher the other night in Messenger and in addition to the district springing math assessments on them that need to be completed in a week’s time and are complete BS and non-scientific, they have parent-teacher conferences (which I'm sure are just going to be a bitch fest for people to say how horribly their kids are doing with this) and then once she's done setting all that up, she has 450 SeeSaw messages to look look at. I can't even imagine."
"I think you shouldn't care. The most important thing in getting through this is everyone's mental and physical health. He'll learn the math eventually."
"I have no ideas because my second grader doesn’t give a shit. I have to sit with him the whole time so he doesn’t hide under the table."
Evil Witches @TheEvilWitchesWorking on pulling together some tips for apathetic e-learners (the moms I've heard from have elementary-school level kids.) Has anything helped you either get yr kids a bit more engaged/motivated/accountable *or* helped you adjust your expectations? Whatever ends in fewer tears.
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One witchy thing
On Saturday we had an impromptu march around our neighborhood and I carried the American flag. Both my kid asked repeatedly if they could carry the flag and my husband said “No. You have everything. This is Mommy’s day.”