Back to School

The kids school options and schedules have been in flux the past few weeks due to our state’s rising COVID-19 cases. Claire was planning to do “virtual” school this year anyway through a state program, but then our school system decided to offer it this year as well, and she opted to do that one instead.

Today was her first day of 8th grade and she liked it. She was comfy on the couch upstairs with her laptop, attending Zoom meetings for each of her classes and chatting with her friends. All of her teachers and classmates are from her middle school, Rucker-Stewart, so she knows just about everyone.

We decided to do the virtual option for Ben as well, at least for the first 9-week term. He started 4th grade at home yesterday. His teacher is Mr. Jones from Madison Creek Elementary and Ben really likes him. There are 30 kids in his class (including 2 Benjamins) — half are from Madison Creek and half are from Union. Several of Ben’s buddies are in his class. There are also two teaching assistants who will be helping out, so that the kids can break out into smaller groups to work on things.

For now I parked Ben at the kitchen table so that he is close to my desk while I’m working, so that I can listen in and help him if he needs it. I think in another week or two he’ll get the hang of everything and be able to go do his school in whatever spot he wants, like Claire does.

Ben has the same schedule every day, with the bulk of the work being in the mornings. They are phasing in this week with short days and easy assignments, but will ramp up to a full day by next week.

For now all of the middle schoolers are on a “hybrid” schedule, so Claire has two busy days full of classes on Tuesdays and Fridays, but then gets to sleep late and work at her own pace on the other days. This could change later on and the classes might be distributed more evenly throughout the week.

4th of July

Our July 4th weekend was pretty low-key. We ate BBQ and swam.

That night we sat in the driveway and watched all of the fireworks going off in our neighborhood. We did some sparklers and made s’mores over our fire pit.

Teenager

Today is Claire’s 13th birthday! She spent most of it swimming in the pool, and this evening we grilled steaks and had strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Tonight she and Ben are watching a movie together.

Pool

We’ve had our above-ground pool for 6 years. Last month we started filling it with water to get it ready for the summer, but then discovered that it had been sliced on the sides by the weed eater and was leaky beyond repair.

Pools were sold out everywhere but James kept looking around and found one at Walmart in Rome, GA. He picked it up while he was near there for work. It’s bigger than our old pool, so he had to do some digging to level out the ground for it.

We got it setup this weekend, just in time for Claire’s birthday. It looks like a giant basket, and it has windows!

Ben was overjoyed and got inside while it was just starting to fill up.

By lunchtime today it was full. The water is chilly, but it was a hot, sunny day and the kids had fun swimming.