Two weeks ago we got the news every parent dreads to hear; our son was a close contact to someone with COVID, and we had to quarantine for two weeks.
Initially, I was upset. I had so much work to do and I didn’t have time to be at home for two weeks. After I thought about it some though I thought, “Oh, I have an early childhood degree. I can do this homeschool thing! How hard can it be?”
Boy was I in for a rude awakening come the next morning…
The morning came and we got up at our regular time and got to work! Right away I ran into trouble. My son didn’t want to work. He wanted to play on his tablet. I noticed that the teacher had assigned some work on paper and some on the device, so I thought, “Ok, since you want to work on your tablet why don’t we do some of the work on the device!”
I thought that would solve all the problems, but it didn’t. What my son really meant was that he wanted to play games and not do schoolwork. We struggled with this battle for days! He was doing OK with math, but reading and writing were like pulling teeth. I was so perplexed! Reading and writing is my jam! I am a librarian and a teacher, so why could I not get my own child to do his school work?
Week one passed with a ton of struggles, and I was so glad when the weekend came so that we both could have a break. Not only was I working with him on school, I was still doing my job from home. I knew in week two something needed to change, and as luck would have it the teacher had a lesson about the importance of kids limiting their time on devices.
This was a turning point for us!
I was able to use this lesson and have the best conversation with my son about why we can’t always be on a device, and why it is important to do other things like getting outside and even playing with toys.
After our conversation, my son went and found a 100 piece puzzle and worked on it on his own, and was able to complete it. This was the first time he has ever been able to complete such a large puzzle, and he was so extremely proud of himself. We took a picture and sent it to his teacher, and I thanked her for her timely lesson. We really needed it at that moment. Afterward, he did another 100 piece puzzle, and then we worked together on a 500 piece puzzle for the next few days.
I was able to bond with my son during a time where we were pretty tired of one another, and he was so happy at what he was able to do.
We are actually going to frame these puzzles and hang them in his room. Hopefully, it will continue to be a reminder for him that he is capable of anything, and the importance of putting down his device once in a while.
Now I am not going to lie the quarantine was hard, but we also were able to find some good from it too. I learned a lot about the type of learner my son is, and how I can help him to be more successful in the future. I learned the areas he needs help in, and how those areas are my specialty.
It was a good reminder that not all students learn the same way and that we all need to step away from devices every once in a while and do things with our hands. It was time for me to slow down and be with my son as well, and we got to learn about each other again. I learned that my son has a super calm personality, which is a nice balance to my crazy sometimes. He is also ridiculously fun and crazy smart.
So parents, if you ever get the dreaded phone call, try to remember how much good can come from spending time with your kids again. As adults, we don’t often get to step back from our work and play with our kids. There is something special about seeing the world through their eyes and remembering to not take life too seriously.