The great thing about virtual schooling is that it doesn’t necessarily change your routine very much, especially if you’re in the habit of getting up at around the same time everyday anyway. Your kids likely already have chores that they’re expected to complete, and many parents have them engage in activities throughout the day anyway, just to keep them busy. That means that the transition from “summer” to “school year” isn’t as extreme as it is for traditional brick and mortar schooling parents. While you’re looking over your materials and getting familiar with the curriculum and the OLS, they’re looking over mile-long supply lists and wondering if they have everything they’re supposed to have. While you’re waiting for a kmail from a teacher to let you know who you’re going to be working with this year, they’re looking over a classroom list and worrying about whether or not their child will have friends in their classroom, or a teacher who will be understanding, or who will be consistent enough. You’re glancing in the fridge to make sure that you won’t need to make a grocery run this week. They’re making sure that they have the stuff on hand to pack lunches, or small bills on hand to pay for school lunch.
Your supply lists are drastically different. You have to make sure that your computer is working, that you have a working microphone and speakers. Parents of kids in brick and mortar schools need dozens of supplies. You need only supply your individual children with the supplies that they will need to finish out the school year—supplies that will likely make it the entire year without being lost, since you won’t be leaving the house with them particularly often. There’s no need to pick up seven boxes of Kleenex, or ten packs of ten pencils, or Clorox wipes, or hand sanitizer (unless these happen to be on your list anyway). You only have to worry about the materials that your kid will actually use. On the other hand, if you’re one of those parents who assumes that everyone else will take care of providing the materials…you might actually have to go school supply shopping. Luckily, the list is fairly short.
Parents whose kids are going back to a brick and mortar school are breathing sighs of relief. They’ll have a little bit more freedom in their days, and might actually be able to get things done! You’re looking at a to-do list that only increases with each child and wondering if you’re ever going to have time to get it all done. They can kick back and read a book, catch up on Facebook, or write an email without being interrupted. You might never get to finish an entire page without someone tugging on your sleeve, needing you to help with a lesson.
It’s a whole different world—but it’s a vastly rewarding one, especially once you get past the hitches and bumps in the road over the first few weeks. You’ll get to be involved with your child’s education as never before, and with any luck, you’ll soon discover that it’s a very valuable path for both of you.