A Tale of Two Cyber School Days

by

Dickens, I am not.

A new cyber school Mama, I am.

Let me cut to the chase.

Tuesday was crazy hard. Like head-spinning, “what the fat was I thinking?”, hard. And, also cool.  But, truly, on Tuesday, HARD ruled the day.

It was day one of Cyber School.

There was me: all eager Beaver (and I’m not saying that ’cause I live in Beaver) to bestow knowledge onto my young wide-eyed pupil who was brimming from ear to ear and dressed in his new favorite shirt. I rose at 5:30 to read and just “be”, got Harper out the door, exercised, and then got Zane up. There was no chaos. No rushing. All was calm. All was bright.

There was Zane: all eager Beaver also, who popped out of bed, got dressed, DID HIS HAIR, ate breakfast, and was at his desk promptly at 9:00 AM.

There was the curriculum: all eager Beaver to kick our know-it-all arses. (Only, we didn’t yet know this . . .)

All started well. We were muddling through – a few computer glitches (“The screen got all HUGE, how do I make it smaller?”), a few Mommy glitches, (“Oops, those were totally the wrong spelling words. But, um, you got them all right!”), and then the storm hit.

Writing. And LOTS of it.

For as much as I like to do that thing that people say people like me like to do . . . you know, the dancing thing? To some beat? With a different drummer? I also like following rules . . . and, so, like any good cyber-school parent, I did.

To the tune of having Zane do every single assignment that was listed for the day. Every. Single. One.

And then, I broke my son.

He cried. He never ONCE said, “I don’t want to do this. Send me back to school.” Not once. But, he cried.

That’s worse.

He left the classroom and threw himself in his bed. (Yes, IN, not ON – for my son always wraps himself up in no less than three blankets. He is never ON the bed. Always completely in.) He was sobbing.

Seriously, I broke my son.

After some hugs, and questions about whether this was for him (for really, at that point, I honestly believed that this was what we were in for- this much work – all year long) we began working on the content again. We finished everything but the cursive writing.

We ended well.

“Mommy, I think we should give this a go again tomorrow.”

“I do too, Zane. We’ll figure it out.”

To Facebook I went. To PA Cyber School Facebook pages to connect with other Moms. And there, I learned wisdom. The 3rd grade curriculum IS enormous. I didn’t dream that. And I was given some GREAT advice about altering, skipping, and choosing which assignments were completely necessary for Zane to complete and turn in. I turned to seasoned home-schoolers for advice. I also took the evening to find a few group activities that Zane could do with other home-schooled kids during the week.

Today, our classroom looked, and sounded, completely different. I removed the “letter” of the law, and chose the “spirit”, in terms of which assignments we would complete. Zane requested classical music. Our coursework took us on a nature walk, which had him traipsing through a stream. I made time in the afternoon to look ahead to tomorrow and make changes.

And, by golly, I even WORKED today, along with writing this post.

Today was a super happy day. And even if tomorrow is a tough one, at least I know that days like TODAY exist. And therefore, we know we can do this.

Today was proof.

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