Ella Enjoys Her First Days of Remote Learning

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by Michael Casten |

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Our daughter Ella, who is 10, recently enjoyed the last few days of summer before school started again. During the last of her free time, she played outside, used her iPad, and chatted with friends. She watched TV and stayed up late. And she slept in and played with the dogs every day.

On Tuesday of last week, she started her remote learning. This looked much different than it did last spring. The kids are now with their teachers most of the day, and the content is like it would be in person. 

Ella’s desk in the living room sat there all summer gathering trinkets and dust. On the Monday before school started, she rolled up to her desk and started cleaning things off the best she could. Her mother, Lindsay, took care of the rest. Lastly, Ella set up her school computer and logged in to test it out. 

On the morning of the first day of school, I got Ella dressed. She was sleepy but excited. I combed her hair the way she likes it, and we brushed her teeth. We put on a shirt her mother had made that said, “5th Grade School Quarantine 2020.” All three of our kids — Ava, 13, Henry, 11, and Ella — had the same grade-appropriate shirts, and Lindsay snapped a picture of them as she always does on the first day of school.

Ella prepares for her first day of online classes. (Photo by Lindsay Casten)

Starting time, 8:15 a.m., rolled around pretty quickly, and Ella logged onto Zoom and signed into her class. Everyone was excited to see the faces of their friends online. Their teacher immediately started attendance and the day’s lessons. The students were given breaks throughout the day, and the school day was over at 2:30 p.m. For the kids, it was a long day!

Ella said she enjoyed her teacher and was happy with the kids in her class. She enjoyed the first day of activities, many of which were focused on getting to know the other students. After school, Ella chatted online with friends from different schools.

Although the learning environment is different this year, we are confident Ella and her siblings will do well despite the differences in logistics.

After each day of school, Ella organizes her desk for the next day. She does any homework that was assigned and talks about her day at the dinner table. So far, she is enjoying fifth grade and will be sad to leave the elementary school next year for junior high. She’s had a great “career” at her school, and we are certainly proud of her.

Ella and her classmates communicate with their teacher via Zoom. (Photo by Lindsay Casten)


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