Pandemic in Pictures: Park Perambulation

Okay, I admit, I couldn’t resist alliteration in the title, even though it’s a bit absurd. All that to say, with playgrounds closed…

Pandemic: Closed Playground
Although it looks like a purposeful stride, he didn’t continue on to the playground.

…we’re getting more creative with what to do outside. Fortunately, we live in a place with lots of good woodsy parks. Woods are God’s playground, and kids have played in the woods forever. Although I wish Benji could play with other kids his age, rather than a couple tired old adults who already spent the day and their energy on lame work, still we attempt to play in the woods. On Monday, Ian took Benji to a woodlands near our house, and they had a great time. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Learning Continues

With schools closed for the duration, we’re creatively thinking about how to keep Benji learning and occupied during the day. At the moment, I’ve arranged standing daily classes or chats with three people, each of whom is teaching Benji something they specialize in. Thus, he’ll be learning some about history, writing, and French from my uncle; art, storytelling, music, and some script writing from my mom; and Pokemon from my sister. Just kidding–although they probably will talk Pokemon a lot, Colleen and Benji will be working on writing to answer specific questions, too. TBD. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: A New Normal for Saturday

On a pre-pandemic Saturday, we have a pretty regular routine. I leave for a bike ride between 8:00 and 8:30. Ian and Benji play around the house, watch videos, then often go swimming. I arrive home during Benji’s “quiet time,” between 1:00 and 2:00. When Benji “gets up” (scare quotes intended, since unless he swam for a couple hours, he probably wouldn’t actually sleep), we go for a hike, often meeting my parents, my in-laws, or my friend Ellen and her pup Lakka. Every other week, Ian goes to his D&D group while Benji and I are out, so sometimes Benji and I do a date night of eating dinner while watching a movie. Otherwise it’s play around home, eat dinner, and go to bed. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: School at Home

This week marked our third week since schools closed. On March 4, a parent volunteer was confirmed with a case of COVID-19; I picked Benji up about 10:00 am, and our school district hasn’t opened since. Meanwhile, other school districts have closed, and in my heart I’m preparing to not go back to school at all this year.

Even so, learning goes on. One week the school district did the “Classroom in the Cloud,” but to be honest, that didn’t work very well and put huge demands on us. This week they quit that, and we did our own curriculum. We’re trying to do math, reading, and writing every day: Math online through a platform called i-Ready; reading to himself, not a problem; and writing, it varies. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: At the Park

I mentioned the other day how good weather has kept us sane so far. It seems nearly all of Western Washington has joined us in taking advantage of the sunshine. I don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many people consistently spending time outside.

Normally, bike commuters dominate the Sammamish River Trail during late afternoon hours on workdays. But now when I go for a bike ride, I see far more people recreating on trail than usual at that time. Families fill parks we previously found empty or lightly used. People walk or jog by our house far more frequently than before. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures Project

Starting today, I’m going to (try to) post a picture (almost) every day of what life’s like here in the quarantine zone. We’re not technically, officially quarantined yet, but Mom’s been tested for COVID-19, and while we wait for the results, we’re keeping separate from everyone. After we get the results — hopefully tomorrow — I guess either we keep with quarantining for 14 more days, or we resume our regularly scheduled social distancing, which at least allowed me to meet up with friends for bike rides. Continue Reading >>

Survived Another Week

Don’t worry, we’re still kickin’! Kickin’ a bit more than usual, perhaps, after a week of “Classroom in the Cloud,” a very jazzy marketing way of saying “Parents navigate a zillion different sites and logins to do inferior homeschooling of their children.” Sorry, that sounds critical of our schools and teachers, and that’s not what I want. Benji’s teacher is in an impossible position. She has to “teach” almost 30 first graders reading, writing, and math and her only tools are recorded videos, the ability to assign work online, and the ability to “like” or comment on a student’s work. Continue Reading >>