There really is no normalcy anymore; or, at least, it’s not the same as it was before the middle of March. By the time this blog will publish, it’ll be around 90 or more days of no school and bizarre work hours and having to keep distance from so many people that we love. But, it’s also been 90 or so days of becoming closer as a family and spending more time at a slower space and learning a lot about what we’re all capable of and what’s really important.
We’ve settled into a groove that is more or less a consistent new normal.
I begin my day early, usually waking up and getting out of bed around 530am or so. I take care of a handful of small daily tasks while my coffee is being made — dishes, pets, my daily to-do list, printing out schoolwork or e-mails. I respond to as many e-mails as I can, check my calendar for the day, take care of some Rising Tide Society work and try to knock out a couple of behind-the-scenes things with my assistant Kristina. I used to spend my morning time with workouts, but it’s harder for me to have quiet uninterrupted work time than it is to sneak fitness in, so that’s one of the biggest changes I’ve made.
My morning time is also filled with a meditation, some quiet and relaxing music (I’m loving the Acoustic station on Amazon) and a lot of taking it easy and appreciating little things like the smell of my coffee, the birds outside the open windows.
I usually get until about 8 am or so before it’s time to close the laptop and get ready for the day and get the kids ready for the day. We do breakfast while talking together and a morning dance party (an essential in our house) and then usually shift to schoolwork around 9 or 930am. (Both kids help out with a couple of small chores each day, too, in the morning).
Addie can handle most of her schoolwork on her own, with me peeking over her shoulder and answering questions now and then. She has freedom to do as much or as little of her weekly work each day, but often times, she wraps up by Wednesday morning and spends the other mornings doing Specials work or on-her-own art time or some extra reading.
Zach needs a little more hands-on time from me to help him navigate the online programs and find his work but has been doing really well adjusting and handling his work. He does math practices, online books with comprehension questions, sight words and more. He takes little breaks with a program called “PebbleGo” which gives information and shows videos on different topics (he loves the animal ones). We also practice the day, date, weather, address and phone number.
I go off of how the kiddos are doing, but most of the time, we wrap up school work between 11am and 12pm and then do lunch before what I call the “afternoon freedom” — essentially six or more hours (sometimes right up until bedtime) of mostly outside time. There’s bike riding and scootering, swinging and a lot of walking. We have also been going to a neighborhood stream that the kids love. We can spend hours there. We’ve been on some hikes and both kids like to help me with caring for the gardens and plants.
Some of our dinners are pretty easy and laidback and a lot of them are eaten on the front porch or back deck.
Bedtimes are later than they’ve ever been, but even with that and the major lax in scheduling in the afternoons, both kids really do seem to be thriving.
In a pre-Corona world, there was a lot less talking, bonding, adventuring and definitely nowhere near all of this activity and outside time.
Our days fly by and I’m usually exhausted, but I’m also usually really happy with where the days have taken us.
It’s a new normal, and we’re doing OK.