My School Experience with the Pandemic and Some Tips from a Former Homeschooler

So, for one of my classes I had to write a thousand words on anything. I was thinking, why not make it into a blog post type of thing.  

I know, weird intro, I just really wanted to use it. I’ll be honest, I both love and hate what is happening because of the pandemic. I dislike paying for an apartment I can’t use because I’m home and not at school and I really hate my routines and school being disturbed. It is amazing being home and with my family though. I also like the compromise on schoolwork since we are all at home. And if you know anything about me, you know I love school, but I recognize that the stress and worry of the time, along with the change of environment and way of learning, is difficult 

One of my classes (History) was already online and I was ahead so I finished that class up a few weeks ago since they changed the final exam into a discussion question. It was far easier than the exam would have been, but semi-emotionally taxing because it was about the pandemic and I needed to do numbers research and answer a ‘what will happen in the future’ type thing. Thankfully I did it when the numbers were still low and my mom hadn’t gotten used to me being home and thus not talking about the news so I had the info I needed and have now been mostly blissfully away from news. Two of my other classes are Englishrelated and mainly discussionbased so we are doing our final projects and weekly discussion boards. For Fiction Techniques this is our last day of class since the second part of the semester was devoted to workshops and we are out of people since half the class (mostly those who didn’t care about writing) took their satisfaction as/is grade and dropped. French is the most difficult still, despite the final two exams being a little easier, our teacher isn’t doing zoom classes or videos and has instead added extra weekly assignments for us to do as we learn the material ourselves. I had tried learning French online in High School. I royally failed and it isn’t going much better this time around. Thankfully, that class is S/U for me and pretty much everyone else should hopefully be in a similar boat come fall when French ll starts. Iwould all be easier if I had a better workspace though. That is where I believe a lot of people have issues outside of the whole ‘motivation and focus while at home’ thing.  

I have experience homeschooling but that was when I could go into my mother’s Real Estate office and had a little office/workspace of my own with a desk and wide sided couch. It was an IKEA couch and the wide, flat sides were perfect to put my computer or notebook on depending on what I was doing, plus it was super comfortable. I had a pillow desk for my lap and a table in front of my couch with space for my computer and/or notebooks as well as a lot of pens, sticky noteshighlighters, water, etc. My desk was brilliant as well, another IKEA item, long enough for two chairs so I could spread out and right in front of the sliding window I have which went into my mom’s office. I did my schoolwork there from 7th grade when we got that office (I’ve been homeschooled since 4th) until I went to college. I know how to homeschool with the proper set up. However, since I am stuck at my house, I have nothing but my bed to do my work on. Sure, I could go downstairs and work at the island or kitchen table, but there are loud dogs and my family, who since are all home, are all watching shows or news (myself included when school is over). They are in Real Estate thus can’t do half of what they normally would and what is left is stuff they know by heart and randomly timed phone calls. It is incredibly distracting and impossible to concentrate.  

On that note, here are a few tips for working and/or schooling from home.  

To start, if you have a desk/office, use it. Trust me, it will be way easier to focus if you have a designated, non-chill related place to work. Kitchen tables work as well, but only if it is in a quiet, non-distracted area. Someplace where you can focus is far more important than having a table to work at 

Having a routine is good, it is incredibly helpful to some people, but it isn’t end all be all and doesn’t have to be super strict. I wake up around 8 AM every day, though that is mainly because of my cat, and the 3 days a week I have discussion boards/other assignments due which I work on shortly after I get up. I wake up, look at my phone for a few minutes, wash my face/brush my teeth, grab breakfast and water, and then come back upstairs, sit-up in my bed with my computer, and do my discussion posts and French study. I do what I need to do for the day, sometimes I spend extra time and do things early, specifically my French study) so I can spend less time on it the remainder of the week, and then the rest of the day I do whatever I want. I end up working for about 1-3 hours depending on what/how much I am doing. In the afternoon, especially Tuesday-Thursday, I tend to do my 5 hours of work for my UROP professor (another thing ending this week because our contract is over) and my hours (around 6) for my work study. You don’t need to keep specific hours, but you do need to stay on track. You can do this with a calendar, lists, sticky notes, or in your head, but try to find things to aim for each day and stick to themThis also just helps you stay sane.  

I know this isn’t much, but I figure it is a little different than a lot of things you have heard about what to do right now. I hope it helps and remember to stay safe.  

Oh, and apparently I cant submit my final project assignment yet so this will just be a blog post because some of this info would be helpful before the end of school and thus shall be posted now.  

I might end up with a longer homeschool/online school/work from home list later.

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