Still summer…

It’s the end of another school at home week. These weeks are just merging into each other now.

School at home has gone pretty well over those whatever weeks. Son has adjusted well to it. He’s been pretty relaxed but we have a cloud on the horizon. Next week the school is starting to bring in virtual classrooms and live teaching via Microsoft Teams. Son hates the thought of being videoed. He really struggles with it. Plus with the other kids present he will retreat into his shell again. So this new teaching development has filled him with dread. The technology will work. Will it work for all kids. Will it work for those kids with special educational needs. That’s a bridge to cross next week.

The other thing which has stood out is observing the impact a slight change in school routine can have on our son. And it’s not just the virtual classroom idea. Sudden and unscheduled changes in teaching style, teacher, timetables…. All these have a major impact on him. He becomes deeply unsettled and stressed out. This really compromises his performance. I’m not 100% certain schools are aware of the impact these things have on kids on the spectrum.

But back to this week. What has this slightly bewildered parent learnt.

  • Son can walk, eat, drink and use his iPad at the same time with ease. I struggle to walk without crashing into walls.
  • Two words have the immediate effect of sending me into the kitchen to eat junk food and find coffee. French and Drama….
  • How many lessons does a kid need just going on about how to make puff pastry. Surely Food Technology can find another food to look at.
  • Apparently the term for you arm hairs standing on end is Piloerection…
  • When I get the feeling that I am right and the science teacher is wrong on magnetic fields, it’s probably best to fact check my knowledge first……
  • Occasionally giving a kid a little constructive feedback on work might be a good idea. Most teachers do. Unfortunately some teachers give nothing back. That’s something like 13 weeks with nothing. Really…
  • Practicing tennis in the garden is difficult when you can’t find any tennis balls.
  • Practicing tennis in the garden is difficult without balls and it’s chucking it down.
  • Practicing tennis in the garden is difficult without balls, in the rain when you can’t find the tennis racquets.
  • Online French classes seem to drain the iPad battery much quicker than any other subject. This is bizarre as French vocabulary seems to have exactly the same effect on me.
  • It’s rather emasculating when your Son decides to film his own art cartoon project. The words maybe getting the cartoon in focus might be a good idea do sting….
  • When your son has Dyspraxia and Dad has basically got the artistic talent of a Brussels Sprout – trying to free draw a pie chart on the iPad is basically a waste of time.
  • iPad voice recognition works with hundreds of languages but can’t handle anyone speaking with a Yorkshire Twang. For example how difficult can it be for a machine to understand someone saying ‘Royalty’. As hard as Son tried the iPad kept hearing Roll over and when I tried it heard Reality. Remind me not to try it with a word like luck.
  • I can’t remember how to programme the microwave or where I left the TV remote control but somehow I can remember school calculus. How is that possible.
  • The school has done a great job in getting the school at home IT working. But it hasn’t cut down the paper usage. Since the project started in April we have used up a full ream of paper….

So another week down. I get the feeling next week will see the return of the really sarcastic parent….

71 thoughts on “School at home week something

  1. Great post
    I opped out of the virtual classroom and told my daughter teachers that I would be taking over for the rest of the school year. This gave the time to find her strength and weaknesses; we have been doing great so far.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m definitely of the view that ‘live’ online teaching should be optional for kids. Schools should make it available but there are many ways to learn and if it doesn’t work for some that shouldn’t be a problem. It’s not exactly ‘tried and tested’ at this point. Then again if the lessons are like the meetings I’ve been in (bearing in mind I work in a school) then a lot of teachers are still getting to grips with the technology and most of them (including me) are switching their mics and cameras off for meetings so no reason students can’t do that as well for the lessons.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am still giggling about the tennis balls.

    My daughter got some great news. Isobelle has funding to go to a private college. Only 36 pupils, 2 – 3 to a class. She will have her own T.A. for the first term.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. It’s a dream come true. At 16 she can’t do simply arithmetic, money or tell the time. My daughter works with her on these all the time. What she learns 1 day is forgotten the next.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 1) Have son wear a Guy Fawkes mask😉
    2) ask the Cap’n where the balls are … or… have the cartoon characters(art) act out (drama) the tennis game(P.E.) 👍😂

    Ben’s teachers want to do Zoom meetings with him… 🤣🤣🤣🤣 I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This made me both smile and cringe. I feel for you and for your son. School seems like a torturous endeavor on the best of days. I would not blame sarcastic Dad for showing up at all.

    My hubby uses talk to text on his cell phone and it gets it wrong much often than it gets it right. He doesn’t have a Yorkshire accent. It’s the demon technology attempting to drive us completely insane. Yup. That’s my take on that.

    I learned something new (again) while reading your post. Piloerection sounds like a word a person may use while writing something for a pornographic publication. Thank you for enlightening me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘I’m not 100% certain schools are aware of the impact these things have on kids on the spectrum.’
    Putting aside kids and spectrums, this says it all about every person in the country right now. I don’t think a single scientist or politician has a clue about how people actually live as they twat on about this and that. . BUT see the rest of your post?? Well this may sound nuts but it cuts through so much espesh the Yorkshire accent and the pastry bit, I wouldn’t worry. I’d just shut the door and get on and the hell with it all. YOU know what counts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yes it is… Now the latest re the schools..up here too, is that maybe kids will go back one day a week. OR they might go back one week on and one week off??? Not one journo is asking.. Okay? Will parents get a tax rebate on this? ( Because the chances are they are going need it to pay to have their kids looked after the other days since they are wanted back at work to get the economy on its feet) I think you can guess from this what the next thing I feel they should be asking is. Just who the hell is going to mind these kids??? And don’t say parents will be working from home. Taking your good self out of the equation cos I know you are not in the lap of luxury brigade, an awful lot of people who work from home are middle class, So this is going to hammer whose in low paid jobs. who go out to work. Also what employer is going to keep paying you to work from home while you homeschool and mind your kids??? Truly I am in despair at the mess that is being made up and down this country right now. Careering out of control utterly sums it up. You are so right. I want to run screaming from it. And I don’t imagine I am alone.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s hilarious …

    I know some French lol … I know a lot of bad words which we call “French” sometimes lol… (excuse my French lol) … and I do know some actual French – but not very much …and what I do know, is dirty lol

    And secondly – how is that even playing tennis? 😄😄 no racket, no balls lol Oh my god! Too funny

    And you kill me every single time you use that word “chucking” – I don’t know what it is with that? But is very funny – very funny descriptively fitting word!

    Would the school be ok if he did a quick check in and then covered the camera with a sticky note or something? That way is fast but he still there and as long as he’s still participating… I don’t think that be bad and if you request that for him. ?? Would they do that? You are the parent and the one teaching… is he ok participating ? Giving answers or being included in discussions?

    I don’t like to be on camera either. Totally understand that!!!

    He could wear a mask? That helps some. And seeing as your school doesn’t seem to give much leeway with things… that might be a good alternative?

    I just like my privacy I would not like that either. Even if they know me… I don’t even like FaceTime !!! I hate FaceTime!!! Worst invention ever!!!!

    My sister in law LOVES FaceTime 🤨😄✌️ Oh my god! It drives me nuts … I don’t wanna be on camera lol … I hate when anyone wants to FaceTime omg

    Yeah I’m with him! I wouldn’t like it either

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I am… I’m always ok… am a survivor ✌️ I just panic and freak out sometimes lol … but I get through it lol – I survive ❤️

        Lol… FaceTime is just too invasive for me lol … I am not a millennial … but I barely even like talking on the phone – only if someone is ultra important to me … otherwise text only lol … Facebook is just off the charts for me lol – do not like that one bit!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I meant to be speaking about FaceTime not Facebook – but I don’t like either one so whatever lol ✌️ Tomato/tomáto

        I have a Facebook I haven’t been on in about a year… I have an Instagram but have never ever posted and I can’t even remember the password lol I never use that… I hear it is pictures – I wouldn’t like it.

        I stay away from all of that – have always hated being in the picture in general and don’t trust the internet with my photos.

        I like this right here, way better!! ❤️ “peaceful”

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I was thinking of you when I saw a vid of a car’s voice command completely failing to recognize “home”. It guessed “university”, “chinese food”, and some 3rd not-even-close item.

    I hope school surprises us all by getting miraculously better for your son (and you!).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I just found your blog and I just love your sarcasm! I think us English folk are possibly famous for it, though some take themselves far too seriously. Life is so much easier with a good dose of humour, keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Another week of successfully managing is cause for celebration!!! Woo hoo Dad! 👏 Every week everyone learns. (I forgot my college Calculus the moment I walked out of my last class, hated it so much!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So, TEAMS has been our main platform for delivering instruction virtually, and it has worked beautifully for all kinds of learners. Our students, and perhaps your students, do not HAVE TO use video. Students can sign in with an avatar/name and keep their video/webcam turned off. In fact, some of our students don’t even have a webcam or camera enabled computer. Also, students do not HAVE TO use their microphone to respond. Students can respond via the chat box.

    (Forgive me if you already know this next part about TEAMS.) TEAMS has two versions of virtual presentation, TEAMS Meeting and TEAMS Live. The Meeting version is two-way interactive. The Live version is basically presentation mode where all the participants are not on video or microphone. The teacher is sharing their screen and presenting material. The teacher can ‘call on’ participants and answer questions accordingly. It is entirely possible that your son might like virtual instruction better than in-person because he will have a “buffer” as it were between himself and the teacher/other students. He just might also and paradoxically participate more via this mode of instruction because the level of participation is entirely in his control.

    We were (pleasantly) surprised by many students who had an entirely different and more positive school experience via virtual instruction. Many “quiet” students felt more empowered to participate in instruction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank Malia for this. It does give me more hope. The bit that does worry me is that the classes are being recorded and will be reviewed by the teacher and senior staff. The reason was looking for bad behaviour and inadequate participation. That’s like a red flag for our son.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I was still teary from your other post when I started reading this, but it ended with a smirk. Love that Summer photo. It makes me think tropical storm. At least tropical sounds summery.

    Liked by 1 person

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