I have to be genuine with you in stating that I must (absolutely MUST) blog some of this lessons learned stuff out of me. It’s oozing out over the brim of my ever-waking thoughts. So, I must come out with some of it in today’s blog post. The specific subject matter, in question, has everything to do with virtual schooling for my sixth-grade son. Yes, I have a middle schooler — third time around. My two adult children have been there and done that, but never in a virtual school setting. My adult children also never middle schooled during a global pandemic of astronomical proportions either. So, this year’s schooling experience is all so very new to me. New year, new challenges.
And although my son is participating in a virtual school setting, his school decided to incorporate a somewhat hybrid component, starting this school year. So, the students have some weekly in-person instruction that they’re faced with, amid the challenges created with a global pandemic. (I’ll keep my personal feelings about the timing of this addition to myself.)
However, my overall feeling about this school year is that I’m thankful for my son to be living it, and I’m getting to experience this first-time rodeo right along with him. Furthermore, I’m starting to rack up some more “lessons” and we’re just 4 weeks into the school year. But, I’m ready to share; because I have a feeling that some of you out there may be experiencing your first-time rodeos as well. And you may need a little school-aged relatability to read here and there.
So, since I’m kind of preoccupied with all-things-middle school, I might as well work with what my brain is completely absorbing right now. We’re reviewing area and perimeter in math; working on developing thesis statements, topic sentences, and supporting information over a book we’re reading; learning how artifacts tie into history in social studies; and absorbing information on the brain and nervous system in science. Notice how I used the word “we’re” just now?
No, I’m not doing his school work for him, which is slightly tempting at times. But like my son said himself, he’s a sixth grader now. I just need to let him be a “big boy”. Hee. Hee. No, I don’t do his work for him, but I do make myself a presence in his educational journey. His teachers do have interaction with him during their office hours (if students would like a little more instruction or have questions). But these times are not meant to “teach” the curriculum.
The middle schoolers are learning on their own, for the most part. And yes, they do some activities with their teachers during their in-person sessions at school. But again, they’re learning the school content pretty much on their own. So, momma comes in to play a lot more this school year than in the past three, where Little Man had a teacher instructing him all day (whether he was attending a brick-and-mortar school or doing school through distance learning).
Needless to say, I’m there to make sure that he’s setting daily/weekly goals to get work accomplished, developing good study habits and staying on task, utilizing note-taking techniques to capture the main points from his online materials, comprehending what he’s reading and applying it in his daily tasks and in testing, and mastering competencies before moving on to new material.
His teachers and assigned mentor will also be instrumental in helping him to successfully achieve his educational goals. But you might as well throw momma in the bunch too, because I’m doing a bit of literal homeschooling this year. And, I must say that it’s somewhat fun, even. It’s amazing how much knowledge you can pick up on the second time around. I’m a sixth grader again. Whoo hoo, back to school!
Well, let’s just say that I’m soooooooo looking forward to telling you what I learn from learning with my son. It should be an adventure for sure. But don’t you worry. I don’t plan on giving up “new product development” Tuesdays. Actually, I’ve been so busy with Untitled Book #2 audio clips lately that I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the new product development going strong yet. I believe I have one more audio clip for Untitled Book #2 to post; and then, I should be on to adding more to the “Creative Entrepreneurship Basics” series, where I’ll still be sharing what’s going on on the new educational products front. I have a feeling that some of my greatest ideas will evolve from this school year’s experiences with my son.
You’ll just have to keep checking in to find out. I should have some interesting content for you, though. Look for:
- Mastering the hybrid learning experience
- Typing is key for the virtual learner
- An in-home school work setting that sets a student up for success
- Schedules for the virtual learner
- Goal-setting for the virtual learner