We had all-out rebellions at our house this week

Our kindergartener, Nayvie, rebelled against going to school Tuesday.

School starts in 30 minutes and our kindergartener won’t eat her eggs, or brush her teeth, or let my wife comb her hair.

Despite some strides in helping Nayvie learn at home in recent weeks, she relapsed Tuesday with an all-out rebellion over going to school.

I don’t blame her. Increased cases of COVID-19 prompted our school district to recently adopt a partially at-home learning model. For the last two weeks, Nayvie and her two older sisters have been on schedules to attend school Monday and Tuesday and learn at home with two working parents the rest of the week.

The back-and-forth has pulverized any sense of routine for the girls and complicated an already hectic back-to-school season.

We’re a month into the school year and still struggling — and could be for some time as the coronavirus pandemic ravages our hope for normalcy.

And now it’s my “turn” to convince Nayvie to get ready and in the car, my wife, Nicki, tells me.

I start with a softer approach.

“It’s like pulling a tooth,” I tell Nayvie, who lost her first one weeks ago. “A little scary at first but you’re glad when it’s over.”

I could tell the comparison fell flat when she crawled under the table, insisting that she wouldn’t be going.

Hiding under the table.

We’re not above the occasional use of force in our home. I snatched her from under the table and held her tight while Nicki finished getting her ready.

Fifteen minutes later, the girls were off to school. They barely arrived on time.

Our frenetic schedule augments the struggle. And we learned Friday that Nicki’s grandmother had died. Nayvie spent Monday — a school day — at a funeral with her sisters and not with a friend she made at school last week.

Fortunately, their teachers agreed to let them attend class with a different cohort on Wednesday — something Nicki and I kept from Nayvie but slipped to Emerie, who exploded Wednesday morning at the news.

She screamed. She kicked. She wept during breakfast.

She went to school.

On Wednesday, our first grader, Emerie, refused to go to school.

She was mostly calm by the time I walked her to class. Then, a hiccup.

“I’m scared,” she whispered at her classroom door, fighting tears.

I hugged her, nudged her into the classroom and walked away.

Like pulling a tooth.

We’re not the only ones grappling with the back-and-forth of remote and in-person learning. At least two other Idaho school districts — Idaho Falls and Ririe — last week temporarily moved students from in-person to remote learning.

Other schedules are more complex than ours.

“We are preparing for two days a week in school, one day virtual and two days of ‘half virtual,'” EdNews reader Alex Sloan wrote in response to our struggle to get the girls learning at home last week.

Our district is set to bring students back full-time this week. With cases of COVID-19 climbing across East Idaho, who knows how long that will last.

How’s it going in your household? Keep your thoughts and suggestions coming on Facebook or by emailing me at [email protected]

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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