Still studying, but ‘some days just sheer madness’

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 10:00am

The closure of in-person education for K-12 education as a COVID-19 precaution has posed unique challenges for local parents suddenly finding themselves with lesson plans and kids at home all day. Many parents are feeling the schools’ support.

In a phone interview, Lisa Pettis Wright of Wiscasset said the teachers “are amazing at answering questions.” Daughters Makynlee, in third grade, and Tayia, in second grade, were working with their mother to complete their lessons. “Getting the packet (of assignments) was overwhelming,” Wright said. “The teachers have been great with giving us videos and help with the lessons.” She said the kids’ favorite lessons are science and math. For science, older sister Makynlee is working on a unit about moss so they have spent some time outside, as well as checking out informational videos online.

The sisters’ day begins with breakfast and a look at their pile of assignments for the day, with a paper for each subject. Their mother said they’ve been having music lessons online which really excites them and then midday, they have recess and spend some time outside looking for signs of spring, their overall science unit. When asked what advice she would give to other parents working on lessons with kids at home, Wright said: “Breaks, even if it’s just 10 minutes. You can tell when they are starting to get frustrated with a lesson and it’s better for you and the child to take a break and go back later.”

Likewise, Amanda Kellett and her husband Michael, of Alna, have found that a routine and schedule have been key. She said in an email interview, “Some days this works better than others, but when the routine is successful, it allows dad some much needed dad time during the day.” Kellett works at Wiscasset Family Health and Michael has been able to take unpaid leave from Bath Iron Works. Son Jack, 4, attends Edgecomb Eddy School and Amanda Kellett said the staff has been amazing, posting fun videos on the school Facebook page including yoga, puppet plays, and videos expressing how much they miss the kids.

Plus, she said the school has “done amazing with providing school work packages for completion at home, free breakfasts and lunches, and free donated supplies if needed.” She has received multiple emails from the principal and Jack’s teacher “keeping my husband and me well informed with a feeling of unbridled support.”

Jack and brother Lincoln, 2, have been learning some very useful skills during their time at home. “When free play starts to turn into wrestling matches between brothers, we have found that structured free time like learning how to load the dishwasher, helping to fold and sort laundry, going through toys to donate and learning basic household chores helps keep them entertained, and leaves them with a feeling of pride and self-confidence,” their mother said.

Summing up the current situation, she said: “Bottom line is it’s hard, messy, and exhausting. Some days, it’s just sheer madness but, we just take it day by day during this time of uncertainty.”.