Back in April, I wrote a blog titled, “What it means to them.” I asked my grandchildren what Continuous Learning meant to them. For the three in elementary school, I received a pretty mixed bag of responses.
Since then, summer has been upon them and school, well what it might be like, is soon to resume. I heard my three oldest grandchildren tell me last spring that the best part of the Continuous Learning was getting to meet with their classmates via Zoom.
For them, it was a sense of connection, which became even more important as the summer progressed. My oldest grandson, Dean, who is ten felt the pain of not seeing his friends because of Covid-19. As everyone was told to stay in place, Dean knew why, but that didn’t make it easier to accept saying, “I just don’t like this isolation stuff.”
Dean turned ten in April, and for his birthday he got a new bike. He and his siblings could ride them in the street in front of their house, but it wasn’t the same as riding with friends.
It was a couple of weeks ago when some of the restrictions were eased, my daughter contacted one of Dean’s friend’s mom to see if they could get the boys together for a bike ride. Both parents agreed that social distancing would be part of the deal if the boys agreed. Dean was ecstatic at the opportunity.
The boys spent most of the afternoon riding up and down the streets in the neighborhood and just catching up on all they had missed.
Logan, my eight-year-old grandson, was more comfortable spending time with Dean and Hazel and his parents who are both in education. As the restrictions eased Logan has been enjoying the small family gathering that include his cousins again. Logan has also collected a number of four-leaf clovers that he has found scouring the backyard.
Since then, the football season is about to begin, and my two oldest grandsons are itching to get started. It will be bringing some normalcy to their lives again and an opportunity to catch up with teammates.
My other daughter’s oldest child, Kenzie, dealt with her isolation a little differently. The family had an old iPhone that still worked, and her dad connected it to the home WIFI. When you give a seven-year-old a working iPhone that has FaceTime you might imagine what’s next.
I can’t tell you how many times Mimi got a FaceTime call from Kenzie as well as her Aunt Sarah, Aunt Bernie, friends… you get the picture. You noticed I was not included. Fortunately, I have an Android, but that didn’t deter her from wanting to talk to Pappy Pa if I was around Mimi at the time.
Being home for this extended amount of time seems to have been easiest for my two youngest grandchildren, who are both now four.
A joyful learning experience they both shared was their families both planting their first vegetable garden. This seems to have been very popular with many families in the Midwest this year, myself and my wife included.
All the tomatoes, squash, green beans, watermelons, carrots, cucumbers, and MORE are growing well. Ethan eats the pickling cucumbers right off the vine with a grin on his face, while Hazel jumps for joy showing off her zucchini that is SO BIG! Both of the little ones can’t wait to go back to pre-school to see their teachers and make new friends.
This year has been trying for all, and we are still dealing with what’s next. School for my grandchildren begins at the end of July. All the precautions are being put into place. They are fully aware of what to do with wearing a mask, washing their hands frequently, and social distancing as they have been practicing for months.
That said, the isolation will no longer be the issue. The challenge will be the major changes in the school and classroom routines, but that will be another blog.