Distance Education – I do nothing all day!

“What do you do all day?” I get asked often! WHAT DO I DO ALL DAY? I feel offended when refering to my son doing distance education.
Friends want to meet up for coffee, take our kids to the park, have a long chat on the phone on a weekday… MY SON IS IN SCHOOL – Are you deaf? I have to wonder.
Obviously people think that distance education is where my son and I do absolutely nothing all day long – obviously!!!
Obviously I wake up of a morning and I say to my son “Time for school” And then our day is spent doing nothing??
Yep, I tell my son the grass is green, the sky is blue and we need food to make us go to the toilet in order to survive and then our days lessons are over? Obviously???
Let me tell you what actually happens… and believe me, i’m 2 years in and still trying to wrap my head around it all … because it’s rather confusing and entails a lot.
My first year of doing distance education was humiliating. I was sent 2 big post bags, 2 post boxes and a clear container full of stuff. The books had a guide for the teachers to teach the lessons with answers to everything except the exams. So of course I naturally think i’m his teacher and we get set off to do all our work everyday. I also assumed it was to do in our own time and have it handed in by the end of the term by Easter to get graded.
I get a call a few weeks later asking why my son wasn’t attending any of his classes. “What bloody classes?” Does the school have x ray vision or camera’s set up in my house to know when we’re doing our lessons or something? Nope, turned out he was suppose to go to classes online with an actual teacher and other students.
You see, I’d received quite a few emails.. ok, I lie – A LOT of emails from his school with his timetable, links to his website, emails and blackboard for his classroom. I barely ever checked my emails back then. Maybe every 6 months or so unless I had to. So I go through all these emails. There’s like 50 of them at that stage. It was a lot to get through but eventually I worked out my son was suppose to login into a website called the learning place, then go to the blackboard and login with his user name and password where he entered a room with a teacher on camera and his class all had headphones and camera’s too. WOW! It takes around 10 – 15 mins per lesson to login to the application and download it every time. He had 3 classes a day online with English, math and guided reading. He also had science one day a week online. In the midst of all that I’d get piles of emails of stuff to print, work sent and all. It’s a lot to keep up with and hard not to get confused or lose any emails in the process. I have to organised them all into folders so none of them get mixed up with others. His online classes go for an hour each. I have to sit with him to ensure that he pays attention and does his work. I’d like a dollar for every time I’ve tried to go for a shower while he’s in a class and come back to find him at his lap top playing roblox! “NO SETH – BACK TO CLASS” I’ve learned to stay vigilant to his side now. In between online classes I have to teach him spelling mastery, history, geography and CLC which generally involves civics, music and digital technology. It’s really really hard and takes up a whole day. We often go way over 3pm. On a few occasions we had to work till 7pm at night just to keep on top of things. Sometimes we even spend holidays and weekends doing school work because it is really hard.
So basically I wake up at 6.30am – 7am every morning, ensure my daughter gets off to school with everything by 8am, have my son in his online classes by 8.30am and then I do nothing all day long! And that is how distance education works :))

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