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The Challenges and Blessings of Virtual School

Virtual online learning this past year has both been a challenge and a blessing. Here’s why.

Challenging Days

I didn’t feel like doing any online learning with my son today. It was cold and raining. I had not slept well due to my frequent visits to the bathroom. I felt nauseated. All I wanted to do was sleep.

The thought of spending another day learning about the adaptations of frogs didn’t seem all that appealing. Why was this something my third-grader needed to know? It’s not like this information was going to be useful in everyday life, I thought.

Nevertheless, I got my son up out of bed early and began the day’s scheduled curriculum. My son wasn’t feeling very enthusiastic today either. By the afternoon Math session, he was feeling very much done for the day. His ability to remain focused on the day’s lesson was diminishing rapidly.

I began to feel very frustrated. I felt embarrassed. Could my son’s teacher sense my frustration on the other end of the Zoom call? It was more than possible that she could have detected that my frustration was building.

It was clear that I was done for the day too. I had reached my limit.

Somehow amid all the unwanted aggravation, we managed to make it through the rest of the day together. Another day of virtual online learning was completed. The task was done until tomorrow when we would begin again. Hopefully, tomorrow would have a better outlook.

Days of Blessing

There have been many days similar to this one. There have also been days where it’s been a blessing. There have been days where we’ve laughed, hugged, gave high fives, cheered together when my son accomplished a difficult task. It is especially encouraging when he completes an assignment on time.

There have been days when everything went smoothly. My son would be focused and on task. On those days when he actively participates in the class zoom discussions, earns extra ClassDojo points for raising his hand, and answering questions is always a good day.

My son was even recognized as CEO (Chief Example for Others) for the month of December 2020. As a mama, I was so proud of him for being an example to his other classmates. I am proud of him for participating in class, raising his hand, and for completing all his assignments on time.

That moment made me realize just how vital my role is as a parent in keeping my son accountable for his actions, attitude, and completion of his assignments.

Even though all of his accomplishments have been in an online class setting and not that of an in-person classroom setting, it taught my son the importance of recognizing that it doesn’t matter the circumstances. The rules and guidelines required for online virtual learning remained the same.

Getting to Know My Son Better

Virtual online learning has been challenging, but it has also been rewarding.

As a mom, I have had the privilege of seeing my son flourish in ways I never imagined. That is something I would have never witnessed had it not been for the closing of schools.

Being present with him every day and as an active participant in his academic growth and learning, I’ve had the opportunity to read with my son, write with my son, draw with my son and learn with my son.

I am so very blessed. I have been able to participate in so many things with my son. So many of which I also enjoyed as a kid and now as an adult.

For example, art, reading, and writing have always been a joy to me. I have had the opportunity to do these fun things with my son and so much more during his virtual online learning time.

All except for Math. That wasn’t my favorite subject in school. I was never very good at Math. Even with that being the case my son seems to do well at it. Put it to you this way my son has taught me a thing or two. He’s so smart and a great artist.

I am just so incredibly amazed by his creative and artistic abilities. His talents reach far beyond that of a typical nine-year-old boy. He is truly gifted. I see the makings of a future artist. The joy of seeing his creative talents develop into higher and deeper depths has been another blessing. One that I will always be grateful to have experienced with him.

Lessons Learned

I will always treasure the time I have spent with my son these past few months. I have learned a lot during this pandemic.

The most important thing I have learned is the gift of time and spending every precious moment with those you love. Even if those moments are all wrapped up in the daily challenges of virtual online learning, it has been worth it.

Let’s be honest. It can be challenging to attend to life outside of the home, like grocery shopping, doctor appointments, and many other things to maintain the household. Having the strict schedule of having to be online all day five days out of the week from early morning to late afternoon makes it very difficult to accomplish other daily tasks.

For example, finding the time to take a shower. Most days, I am without makeup, and my hair is all rolled up in a bun. Thank goodness for weekends. That is when I can at least wash my hair and get some much-needed rest.

However, all in all, it has been a blessing. My son is more than worth it. I’m cherishing the time I get to spend with him every day. Someday he will look back and remember this time we had together bonding. I happen to believe that the best thing about our time together is that it has also given me a chance to teach him about the Bible.

Our talks and teachings about Jesus have been a priceless gift.

Who could ask for more than that! As a parent and as a Mother, this is what I am prepared and called to do right now. However, I have seen the limitations of virtual online learning and the benefits of it as well.

I’m certainly not saying that the pandemic is a blessing. It certainly isn’t! It has caused so many sicknesses, death, loss of jobs, loss of businesses, heartache, and suffering, and the list goes on and on. My husband, middle son, and I myself have all had COVID-19. It isn’t something that we ever want to experience again.

Unexpected Blessings

It has been the most challenging year I think many of us will remember and want to forget. I speak for myself when I write this, and you might not agree with any of it. However, as I am learning new ways to navigate life and living amid a national pandemic, I have become increasingly aware of the rare gift that I have received through such a challenging time. And as such is a rare opportunity to view life and living through a different type of lens.

There have been many rare and unexpected gifts along the way. Sometimes we have to look a little harder to see that which seems more like a burden rather than a gift, but they are there.

For me, virtual online learning has been one of those gifts. The gift can often be-overlooked when seen with eyes blinded by that which has often-times become so immersed in life’s circumstances. You most certainly do not want to miss those blessed rewards that are right there in front of you.

Tina Seamon

My name is Tina. I am a believer in Jesus Christ, a mama to the three amazing boys, a devoted wife, a writer, a poet, an amateur photographer, and the creator and the author of the website , a faith-based blog. I am also a contributing writer for Her View From Home & Radiant Sisters. It is my daily prayer that God will continue to bless me with the truth of His Words, so that they may become expressions of His goodness. Today, and always may He use me as His instrument to inspire and spread His Love. It is my desire to boldly share the truth of God's Word while unashamedly expressing my heart, always with the hope that others will catch a glimpse of His.

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