On the night before the 2021-2022 school year will begin…
Like “social distancing” became part of our vocabulary, “learning loss” are the new words being tossed around to describe the concept that children are “behind” after a year of remote/hybrid/pandemic learning and will need to “catch up” in the coming year.
All of my “memories” popping up from this time last year reflect our first few days of Shelter in Place in Illinois. Schools were closed and remote learning was mostly independent work (which was a disaster). I made a schedule for my kids and tried to keep them entertained through the volume of free content made available by different companies and individuals as they tried to help parents that were adjusting. There were YouTube art classes, virtual museum tours, and sing-a-longs. Our energy to engage in these activities waned quickly as the weeks of isolation dragged on.
Just shy of one year since my kids have last seen the inside of a classroom, my kids will be returning to school next week.
Remote learning has been a struggle. From the early days of trying to establish a routine to changing techniques to keep my kids engaged, it has often felt like a losing battle. I kept telling myself that it won’t be forever, but I have also spent more time crying on the phone to the teachers (and principal) than all prior years of elementary school combined. The longer the year dragged on, the more it felt like a toll on our mental health.
We are now 11 months into this pandemic’s direct impact on our daily life. I told my 11-year-old the other day that we are “living history” right now. Some day, entire textbooks and documentaries will be produced about the year 2020 and beyond. I compared it to how World Wars I and II stretched on for years, with no particular end in sight at the time.
As if “living history” is supposed to be some sort of consolation for the havoc this pandemic has wreaked on our lives.