Monday, July 6, 2020

Finishing Up the 19-20 School Year in COVID-19 Quarentine!

The last few months have been pretty crazy!  Moving to distance learning due to the COVID-19 quarantine was a huge learning curve for me (as a teacher) and for my kids (to navigate managing their own time to get their list of tasks done each day), but we made it through the school year!  I didn't have time to blog much then, but I will do a "catch all" post here that takes us through the end of the school year....

Ready to start distance learning!
 Kiddo Workspaces:

Larkyn did most of her work at the kitchen island

Colton set up camp either at the kitchen table, or on an exercise ball rolled up to the living room coffee table (so he could bounce around a bit!)

Summer spent most of her time working on the couch.

 The kids grew in independence, making and cleaning up their own lunches each day, as I had my office hours with my high school students over their lunch time.  They enjoyed picnics both inside and out, depending on the weather :)

Rain or shine, we tried to get out for a break mid-day and after "school".  Since playgrounds were closed, the kids took turns "leading" our walk/bike ride and picking where we explored that day.  They also picked if they biked, walked, ripsticked, roller bladed, walked the neighbor's dog, or skateboarded.  

Walking the neighbor dog, BeBe, became a HUGE highlight near the end of quarantine.  The kids spent hours playing with and walking this cute little pup!

Because we didn't have a set time we had to leave the house, I let the kids do a lot more sleepovers :)

Because all the hair salons were closed, Daddy tried his luck at cutting both Colton's and his own hair!

At Colton's request, and Daddy's expert abilities, Colton's quarantine hair style became a mohawk.

New hairstyles weren't only left to the boys, however, Larkyn loved wearing this wig all over....including roller blading outside and perfomring a distance learning dance for her music teacher.....and she also enjoyed using her hair chalk from Grandma and Grandpa T to dye her her many shades of the rainbow :)

 The crazy didn't stop at hairstyles!  We had a lot more time for spur the moment contests like trying to get an oreo from our forehead to our mouth.....

Daddy nailed it on his "egg" toss....

I taught the girls the Quadratic Formula on one of our walks, and it was pretty cute to see them randomly break out in song!  (FYI: I used this video in one of my lesson videos with my own students!)

With these three around, it just IS crazy :)

One really cool part of distance learning was watching the kids' teachers go above and beyond, from the time they spent making videos for the kids, to stopping by our house to deliver books, robotics, candy, birthday wishes, and more and they were all so creative in finding fun ways for the kids to connect both with them and with their friends.  Larkyn's kindergarten teacher does a unit on chicks each year, and the kindergarteners usually get to have chicks in their classroom and watch them hatch.  Because the kids couldn't see the chicks hatch in their classroom this year, Mrs. Davis opened a zoom meeting when a chick looked like it would hatch, and invited the kids to watch!  She even opened up her garage for the kids to safely come and meet the chicks after they hatched.  It was a definitely highlight!

We so appreciated our Southview teachers, that for teacher appreciation week, we made three big signs, put them on our driveway, and invited the kids' classmates to "stop by" with their own marker and sign the sign.  The kids had a blast "seeing" some of their classmates and delivering the signs!

Mrs. Duncan (Colton's teacher)

Mrs. Davis (Larkyn's teacher)

Mrs. Sherman (Summer's teacher)

Eastview (where I work) administrators personally delivered signs all over the twin cities to each EVHS  teacher at their home - pretty amazing!

The kids' school, Southview Elementary, put on a "reverse" parade where kids could decorate their vehicles and drive through the parking lot waving at their teachers.  The kids LOVED it and Colton even got in the newspaper!

 Quarentine even affected the toothfairy!  Summer had to leave her tooth on the front door to keep the tooth fairy safe, lol :)

Summer wasn't the only one to lose a tooth during quarentine....Larkyn lost her FIRST TOOTH!

My favorite part of quarantine was the extra time we had to spend, arts and crafts, outside time....just being together.  With Paul and I both working from home, the kids doing school from home, and all sports/church/activities cancelled or done from home, we literally were together 24/7.   For me, as a mom who LOVES having my kids around, this part of quarentine felt like a gift.

While all activities were cancelled, we did not give up the most important priority in our life, our faith in Jesus Christ!  We continued to do devotions each morning (I loved that we didn't need to hurry!) and we did church and Sunday school at home.  The kids zoomed with their small groups on Wednesday nights, I zoomed with my youth group girls weekly, and Paul continued his church meetings via zoom.  Paul and I continued our small group Bible study via zoom as well, and we each finished our BSF Bible study using the on-line tools provided.  While the world around us was uncertain, our faith in the Unchanging One kept us grounded.

We had planned to redo our kitchen in the spring (and knock out a wall!) before all of this quarentine stuff hit, and while it did get pushed back, it really was/is the perfect time for a remodel as school and work was all remote!  So, when we started the demo on May 21st, we deceded to temporarily live at my parents cabin in Wisconsin for the end of the school year/beginning of summer.  It worked great as a "home away from home" while the workmen came and went, and each week we would stop home and check on the house, mow the lawn, etc.   The house is still in progress, but I will post some before and after pictures when it is completed.

Long story short, we finished off the school year at the cabin, and that is where Larkyn had her virtual kindergarten graduation!

Grandma and Grandpa T zoomed in from their home to watch! 

Grandma and Grandpa K were also able to celebrate with Larkyn!

Our kindertarten graduate!
We did it!  We finished off the school year in a most memorable COVID-19 quarentine!  What a school year to remember!


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