I was one of the biggest advocates for remote learning until my 15-year-old shut down due to the lack of social interaction. In the beginning, things were going well.
I was posting videos of how great things were going, and then after six weeks, my daughter shut down. She would no longer do her work, and after pressing her too hard, she ran away for half of the day.
It was an eye-opener. We had two children learning from home due to remote learning. Both girls are in high school, and both had different reactions to remote learning. I printed the work out in their learning room and handed it to them while explaining everything they needed to know. The one that graduates this year did a great job. Her teachers were surprised when she arrived back at school because she was one of their best remote learners.
However, the 15-year-old was a different story. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get her to work. Her grades were declining, and she was in danger of getting kicked out of her advanced classes. After being grounded for not turning in her assignments one day, she just said she no longer cared. She told me she was trying very hard not to start back self-mutilating.
Even though she had prior asthma issues, I had to make a decision. I had to figure out which situation was the immediate threat, and that answer was her mental health. After she was in school for about five weeks, one of her friends caught COVID. We had to quarantine her because she was around the child. After taking her to the doctor and getting her a test, she was fine.
She didn’t take her mask off around the child who had COVID, and she was only around her in the hallways. This is perhaps what stopped her from getting sick, or it could have been that kids do not spread it like adults. Today her grades are better , and she can reconnect with her classmates. It has made all the difference in her mental health. Was it scary, Yes. However, I wasn’t about to watch her commit suicide or go back to cutting due to my reluctance to move forward.
At the end of the day, this is a struggle that all parents will have to embrace. However, parents will not have to deal with the ramifications of missing out on needed instruction or social interaction. Talk to your schools and find out if they plan to deal with protecting your child from COVID. If you feel like they aren’t doing enough, bring it up with the school board, but don’t just wait it out. Waiting could come with a price.
We often hear people talk about their majors and their successes as a right of passage. We think about all the years we invest in college and hang our certifications and degrees on the wall, but I want to bring your attention to the most important major. I am talking about the major that requires 18 plus years in the making and continues to grow even after we are no longer around.
We are our children’s keepers. Like a guardian protecting their sacred interest, we protect our children. We fight for our children when the world often tries to cast them aside. I know this because it happened to our 19 yr old after we finally settled down from our last duty station. It had been a hard 14 years for the girls due to their father’s constant deployments. We were like many other military families, and my middle child suffered for it. Did you know that there are countless children of military parents who are on some form of medication? There are a lot of children diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and an uncanny amount with ODD. When Ariana was 7 we had a military cop who talked to us about getting her a second opinion due to the alarming amount of things he had seen with meds and kids. The very first medication they placed her on was Concerta. She became so unstable that she was running out of the school and house. Her school asked me to come sit with her during instructions to help keep her from running out of the building. We took her off the medication and all the behaviors vanished.
By the time we settled down, she had been in four schools in three short years. It was enough to make her shut down. She started school in Savannah, GA. Then, my husband deployed to Korea. After he was in Korea he got orders for Fort Campbell. The girls and I went ahead of him by four weeks, and then the unthinkable happened. He was redirected to Fort Bliss.
After he got to Bliss, his back gave out. They performed back surgery on him that left him 90 percent disabled. It was a horrible surgery, but there was nothing we could do. He could no longer lift 25 pounds, so he was no longer qualified for the Army. We moved to Garland, Texas, which was our final school after the madness settled.
Ariana shut down around that time. She was no longer interested in communicating with people. I informed the school that I thought her behavior had something to do with the numerous moves. However, we both agreed that something needed to be done because she wasn’t communicating.
The school gave Ariana an IQ test, which stated that she had an IQ of 65. I informed them that her IQ test was off, but they refused to believe me and said she would re-test later. The diagnostician stated that there was no way that the test would be off enough to make that big of a difference. I insisted that tests were known to be biased and that moving created another set of variables. Ariana was performing acts that were well above her 65 score, but people often think parents are just being parents.
Ariana entered Special Education and gained freedom from Special Ed English and Reading. After we moved her to another school, she was removed from speech too. We had her re-tested, and she was indeed higher than the 65. She scored high enough to have the intellectual disability label removed.
She lost time with math due to her moving back and forward. It created a problem, but she was able to regroup. We found out last week that and she was accepted by two colleges. We never let Ariana hide from work. She has ADD/ADHD and is not medicated due to her past issues with medication, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing well. She said from day one that she wanted to be a chef, so she will be attending Lamar University in their BS in Hospitality program which, is also a culinary program.
She was scared and didn’t want to apply to any universities because she didn’t think she could get it, but I told her to apply anyway. She has been in her culinary program for 3 years now. She has been through it all! From getting attacked to fighting to overcome educational hills, she has continued the good fight.
To those of you with children who are suffering from similar issues, never give up. Stay centered in their education and stay alert. Always monitor the work YOU see them doing. I remember at the start of the school year when remote learning was getting underway. I talked to one of her teachers who didn’t know us as a family. He informed me he would be her economics teacher. He later said that if she just attempted the work, he would pass her.
I politely told him that was unacceptable! I told him that I needed him to push her just like he would encourage any other student. Economics turned out to be one of her favorite classes because it involved money. I purchased books on economics and even quizzed her on definitions! She understands that we are great not by accident, but we are great because we try hard to overcome.
I have informed her that she might find herself studying in the library often as she attends the university and that she might need to get tutoring at some point. Yet, the tutoring is free, so it is hers for the taking! I will miss those moments of teaching extra lessons, but the phone is never too heavy to pick up.
For those who have followed her growth and story, thank you. She did it! Never give up on your kids and remember the most important major, is the one called parenting.
My sister and her husband are 7 days into their quarantine. Now, my cousin and her husband have both tested positive with my brother-in-law’s sister being added to the outbreak. There have been two community deaths due to the virus on top of our cases. At least three of the people infected in my family at this time, are members of the education community.
This is a sad situation. I wish Trump the best, but part of me is so angry right now. Opening up schools was such a bad move. If he gets better he needs to rethink the steps he has taken to thrust COVID back into the mainstream. It is one thing to get COVID from going to a party, but another thing completely to get it from working. Keep in mind, Texas schools are not closing when they get cases. Cases are rising again and nobody seems to have the strength to say it’s time to back up.
A lot of people keep chanting about mild cases of COVID as if mild cases are a walk in the park. These so called mild cases can come with 101 to 104 fevers that last for days. My sister and her husband are still having fever and they are on day 7 or 8. Tell me what flu ever made you have fever for longer than a few days with medication? That is the difference. My family has pneumonia brought on my the COVID which is due to the inflammation inside their body. When people talk about about COVID 19 being the cause of death and then things like pneumonia being the real reason, they do not understand that COVID causes the pneumonia. If you would picture a bite from a venomous snake and think about how the venom attacks the body, you would understand how COVID attacks the body.
If you have been wondering why America has an anger problem, look no further than our leader President Trump. Trump’s debate performance last night cleared up so many questions regarding the recent chaotic atmosphere in states across America. Trump’s telling the Proud Boys to “Stand Back and Stand By” showcased an allegiance with the group, which is known to cause as many incidents as their rivals. With his link now reinforced by those little four words, people can no longer defend the President against causing some of the unrest.
Biden was annoyed by the tactics of President Trump. While he might have said some out of character things here or there, he still managed to talk policy. People watched the debate because they wanted hear about policies that would help move the country past COVID-19. Instead we got a one-sided show. One person was trying to talk policy and the future of America, while the other was trying to talk about anything other than policy.
The 90 minute debate felt like 180 minutes by the time it was over. Trump was an absolute mess. If he wasn’t responding like a ten year old, he was giving Biden grief about his son being a drug addict. There are numerous people in America with mental health issues, and substance abuse issues. To hear a president talk down on a population of people by judging them at their lowest moments shows just how uncaring he is about his citizens. Not only is it disrespectful to bring that type of hardship into a conversation, but it speaks loudly about the mindset of the person doing the talking.
America has a problem and the only way to solve it is to replace Trump as President. The people of this country deserve better and America cannot stand four more years of this sort of leadership.
As for my own struggle with COVID-19. My sister and her husband are now on day 5 of their quarantine and her husband’s sister has now also tested positive for COVID-19. These are the issues we needed to hear Trump address. The country needed to understand why he opened schools, only to turn around and see many of them come back with cases of COVID. Trump has no defense and this is why we are seeing him push attention to anything other than the failures, he has helped to bring to our country.