Although Donum Dei Distance Education has taken some getting used to for all of us, it has been such a blessing in this season. Zach continues to receive consistent, high quality education along with frequent interaction with his peers in their Zoom classes and support from his teachers. It has created a routine for him that balances at-home online learning with time for rest and play. From this routine, our family has built a relaxed schedule and introduced good rhythms in this unique season.
It has also had hidden benefits such as enabling me to get a closer look into the excellent content and style of teaching and learning that is taking place and to see more clearly where my child is up to in terms of his interactions in class, learning, and abilities in different subjects. As such, I am able to see if and where I might further support him. It has also given us more time together as family. We are eating all of our meals together and enjoying adventures outside in the afternoons, both of which have been really special! I also find I’ve been provided with more structure and incentive to help teach my younger children while Zach is working, and my preschooler is more motivated to do some work when he can see his brother there doing the same!
All of this is made sweeter by a community of wonderful parents and teachers with whom we can prayerfully support and encourage one another through this difficult season, which has been a tremendous blessing!
Here is a brief description of what our daily schedule looks like as a family and especially for Zach:
We start the morning together with breakfast and a devotional for kids about God and science. Zach then has Zoom classes off and on during the morning in the subjects of Math; Bible and History; Science; ELF; Reading; and Spelling, Writing, and Literature. During the breaks, he finishes any homework that he has yet to do; we exercise or are active in our backyard or a kid-friendly exercise video inside if it’s raining; we read books; or the boys draw or play together. Three days out of the week, Zach receives 15-minute French lessons from his Ouma via FaceTime, followed by a story for the little ones. I keep the younger ones busy with learning games, crafts, reading, or playing while Zach attends his Zoom classes—always staying close by in case he needs a hand or there is a technology glitch. ;) Dad works downstairs, then we all join together for an early lunch as a family.
Zach is finished with his Zoom classes by 2:20pm and the boys spend the rest of the afternoon reading or watching a show while their sister naps. We are sure to finish any homework that has yet to be completed and then we play in the backyard or go further afield to the beach or park for a walk or to run around. We read, play, craft, and do art projects together, and the occasional science experiment.
Our day ends with dinner together as a family, then the boys play chess with their Dad before getting ready for bed.