Loading...
Podcast Episodes

Episode 236: Virtual school: how to set your kids up for success without driving yourself crazy!

If you click on the links in this post and buy something, we may earn a small commission.

Hit “Subscribe” on the player to access the podcast through your favorite podcast app!

With many districts turning to virtual school or a blended in-person/online school model, this school year is going to be very different for most families. So we turned to someone whose kids have been through just about every kind of home and in-person school there is, and she gave us some great advice!

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO AN INTERACTIVE TRANSCRIPT OF THE EPISODE

Thanks so much to our sponsor, KiwiCo! Get your first box FREE: KiwiCo.com/Parenting

An unexpected school year

For so many families, this school year is starting in a way few of us expected. While some school districts are trying to carry on as if everything is normal, most are trying either going completely virtual, with all students learning from home, or some kind of blended model, with some kids in school at least some of the time. And many schools have already had to change their plans.

Chances are good that you’re going to have your kids at home a lot more this semester than you’d anticipated, possibly while you’re also trying to work from home. And unlike the chaotic way a lot of us tried to deal with this situation in the spring, this time we need to settle in and try to make a success of it!

But how do you do that without driving yourself crazy? How can you be both parent and teacher/helper and employee and all of the other things you need to be?

Regular A** Home Schoolers book cover

Our excellent guest, Even Wilson, has some experience with this. Her kids have been through basically every combination of in-school and at-home learning over the years, and she’s developed some coping skills that have helped her whole family thrive under different conditions. In fact, she wrote a book about it, which you can pre-order here!

 

Eva Wilson

From Eva’s bio:

Eva Greene Wilson is a wife, mother of 3, author of two children’s books and one book on school at home, illustrator, graduate of Howard University School of Law, the owner and editor of SocaMom.com® since 2011, and the founder of the first fully virtual conference for the Caribbean diaspora, The SocaMom® Summit, in 2020.

She homeschooled her three children while she was a full-time law student and working as a blogger. Whether it was reading before events, speaking at a conference between classes, or studying for exams while on a blogging trip in the Caribbean, Eva found a way to make it all work. Her children have attended brick and mortar schools, public and private, homeschooled, virtual schooled, and will be remote learning at two different high schools for this school year.

This Week’s Links

Intro (00:00:11)

Rebecca Levey

Amy Oztan, Amy Ever After

Andrea Smith, technology guru extraordinaire

Eva Wilson, author, Regular A** Home Schoolers

Interview with Eva Greene-Wilson (00:01:41)

You can pre-order the Regular A** Homeschoolers book now!!

Bytes of the Week (00:30:26)

The Absolute Best Way to Make Pesto, According to So Many Tests, by Ella Quittner — Food52

Braun MultiQuick Immersion Blender

How to Dry Herbs: Four Techniques You Should Know, by Linnea Covington — the spruce Eats

Rosemary Salt recipe — ThatDudeCanCook on TikTok

Freeze & Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil, by Faith Durand — the kitchn

Analon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Deep Square Griddle/Grill Pan

Hestan Culinary

Borgen on Netflix

Subscribe!

Have you subscribed to our podcast? Never miss an episode! If you’re already a subscriber, we’d really appreciate a rating and review.

Are you following us on Facebook? It’s a great way to see what we’re reading (including articles that might show up in future episodes), ask us questions, and give us feedback.

Transcript

Please note that this is an automatic transcription, and has not gone through its correction process yet; apologies for any errors.

Episode 236: Virtual school: how to set your kids up for success without driving yourself crazy transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Download the “Episode 236: Virtual school: how to set your kids up for success without driving yourself crazy audio file directly. This Episode 236: Virtual school: how to set your kids up for success without driving yourself crazy was automatically transcribed by Sonix (https://sonix.ai).

Episode 236: Virtual school: how to set your kids up for success without driving yourself crazy was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Rebecca:
Welcome to Parenting Bytes, this is Rebecca Levey. I’m here today with Amy Oztan of Amy Ever After.

Amy:
Hi.

Rebecca:
Hello. And Andrea Smith, our Technology Guru Extraordinaire.

Andrea:
Hello.

Rebecca:
Feel like I haven’t talked to you ladies in a really long time.

Andrea:
I know you’ve been a Traveling Wilbury.

Rebecca:
I know it’s been a long end to the summer, and unfortunately, that means it is ending and school is starting, except not as anyone hoped it would start or as anyone envisioned, including, it seems, the school districts themselves. So today on the show, we thought we would have on an expert who can help us navigate what this looks like to be doing remote school, not to be confused with home schooling, remote school, because someone else is dictating your curriculum, your goals, all that stuff, probably, hopefully, maybe even your kid’s schedule. So we have Eva Greene-Wilson on the show today. She is an author and blogger and she’s been through every iteration of virtual home schooling, remote schooling, you can imagine. She’s absolutely so smart and so on this. And we had a really great conversation. I think you’re going to love all about how you can stay sane and actually hopefully create a productive, successful beginning to the school year for your children remotely. We will be right back with Eva Greene-Wilson.

Rebecca:
We are back with our guest, Eva Green Wilson, she is a blogger and author and author of the book Regular Ass Home Schoolers, which we

Amy:
It’s

Rebecca:
Totally

Amy:
A great

Rebecca:
Appreciate

Amy:
Title.

Rebecca:
Is a great title. Eva, thank you so much for joining us today.

Eva:
Thank you for having me.

Rebecca:
You know, we Andrew, his son is in his 20s, Amy has a sophomore in college and a junior in high school, I have two girls starting college. We’ve all experienced, while Amy and I have experienced a taste of what it’s like to have remote schooling going on in your home, but you have done every single facet of remote schooling, whether it’s virtual remote home schooling. I mean, I’m kind of in awe because I think I think parents around the country are really falling apart. I mean, people are really, really, really having a hard time with the fact that for many school year has yet again started online. How know how did you get into that? How did you approach it?

Eva:
Well, I’ll I’ll start where I am right now, I am in Chicago and they have decided to do fully virtual for the beginning of the school year. And I say they because I sent my children right back to public school, right when, you know, we moved and I said, I am going to, you know, move on from the home schooling life and then guess what happens first. Chicago has a school strike and the kids are looking at me. I’m looking at them. I’m like, I didn’t know I thought you were going to have you know, you are going to have your experience, your high school experience and then a pandemic. And so I’m like, all right, look, so, so yellow, just destined to be at home with me. Maybe that’s what it is. But I did not opt for homeschooling this year. I’ve been there, done that. I actually do have a T-shirt, but I wasn’t going

Andrea:
Knomo.

Eva:
To do it again. And it’s very, very different what we’re doing now. The remote schooling is very, very different, I think, because school, brick and mortar school is designed in a certain way. It’s designed in a way that it kind of tries to figure out what everybody can do. And there’s a baseline of what everybody can do. Like everybody can get to this building. Everybody can sit in this desk. Everybody can look at these books. Right. And then now we’ve been forced into this thing where everybody’s desk is different. Everybody’s you know, the temperature in the in the room is different for every person. Right. So, you know, that’s where I am now, where it when it comes to virtual schooling or I guess it’s called remote now, everybody has a different term for it, but it’s remote schooling now. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m not doing home, not doing virtual school necessarily. I’m doing the remote public school option. So, you know, we’ve had to come up with a few different things to to make this work. But as far as how I started schooling at home, I like to call it that because I’ve done, like you said, every different ways this can be done. I’ve tried it. I call it school at home because, you know, if it’s remote, it’s you’re doing your school at home. If it’s a curriculum, you’ve come up with yourself, you’re still doing your school at home. So that’s my my overarching term for it. But I brought my daughter home at four years old. She was in brick and mortar school. Like I said, I love school. I love school. That’s not with me at my house. I love

Rebecca:
No.

Eva:
It outside. This is this is not a lifestyle I chose for myself, but we sent her to school at three, did not know what was going to happen. I found out that she was gifted and she was not able to continue socially. You know, her her academics could not keep up with her. Well, her mind, I guess, like her social, could not keep up with her brain. So

Amy:
Mm.

Eva:
She came home. And then my other two boys, they’re like, oh, I’m good. So they stayed there for a while until they, you know, had some challenges and needed to come home. So that’s how everybody ended up at home. I did not read a book and say, oh, my gosh, I’d love to sit home and play Legos with my kids, know that that never happened. So

Rebecca:
I’m

Eva:
That’s

Rebecca:
So

Eva:
Kind

Rebecca:
Glad

Eva:
Of how I

Rebecca:
To

Eva:
Got

Rebecca:
Hear

Eva:
Started.

Rebecca:
That.

Amy:
Yeah,

Eva:
Work,

Amy:
Seriously.

Eva:
Work. I’ve always homeschooled out of necessity. It has never been. I just want to sit there and look at you guys. I mean, I love them. I do. But so that’s where I started and that’s where I am now.

Rebecca:
So it’s so interesting because I think one of the things you touched on, which is what a lot of parents are grappling with, is this is not home schooling. This is not you saying here’s our curriculum. I’m now going to figure out how this can best be delivered to you and how we’re going to organize our day. It’s actually the school system saying for the most part, here’s how your day is going to go. Here are the milestones. Here’s what we need to achieve now. Hey, you parents at home make this the best possible situation for your kid to achieve all this.

Eva:
Right, and it’s it puts kind of an an individualized picture up there that you weren’t expecting, right. When you send your kids somewhere, they control that environment, but they’re now giving you only a piece of the control. And that’s very, very difficult for parents who’ve never done it before. This is the time when you find out, especially if you have multiple children, that they truly do learn differently. They have adapted to learning in a static environment, in a classroom with all these other children and one teacher. And, you know, this is how this is. The windows are closed, the air is on, the heat is on. Like they have kind of adapted to that. But when they’re at home, you’ve got two different kids. Some of them, like mine, go to two different high schools. Right. So they’re used to you know, they have different like the the mood of the schools are they’re completely different. The children that they’re used to being around completely different. So now I’ve got these two kids that usually I only have to worry about. Well, I know this kid has texture issues and doesn’t like soft food. And then this kid. So you wonder who has red sauce on their thing, who has

Rebecca:
All

Eva:
Alfredo

Rebecca:
Right.

Eva:
On their pasta. That’s all I have to do as far as individualizing things. But now one kid is like, well, I don’t like this desk. And the other one is like, well, can I just do school in my you know, in my bed? And and then the school says, well, I want them to do it at this time, at this hour. And a lot of it has to do with what the school’s agenda is, and that is to get the children back into school and not kind of not disrupt that routine so you don’t have control over where they are. You just kind of have to just kind of take whatever they’ve given you, you know, and that and that can be very, very hard for parents and teachers because teachers are used to having a controlled environment. They’re used to saying, all right, this is my seating chart or this worked for me last year. I can use it again. This is new for everybody, especially if they haven’t done any sort of remote teaching before. So

Rebecca:
Yeah,

Eva:
That’s

Rebecca:
And

Eva:
Where

Rebecca:
You all

Eva:
A lot

Rebecca:
Need

Eva:
Of the problems come in.

Rebecca:
A little grace for everybody, I guess, right now

Eva:
Yes. Yes.

Rebecca:
I, I wonder, you know, it’s interesting. My daughters also went to two different high schools. And, you know, one of the things I found having twins before when they were in the same schools when they were younger was I always got this dual view of how teachers did things, you know, and what maybe not fair to compare, but you do. And with two different high schools, it was the same just seeing not just teaching, but how the schools were approaching the remote learning. There’s a lot of flexibility for schools and how they’re going to do it. How are you creating sort of schedules for your kids are working with your kids within those boundaries the school is placing on them? Like, what would be your advice to a parent who is looking at what the school says and as you said, knowing that your kid is a certain kind of kid in a certain kind of learner?

Eva:
Wow. OK, so we’re dealing with that now with, like you said, the schools have different approaches. I have one child who has all of her books. She has her schedules for her day, her b’day and her, you know, the full day of learning. She’s got all of those things. I have another student who has absolutely nothing other than what classes he’s going to take. That is it. So I would say to put the big rocks in there because they don’t normally they didn’t when they’re at home and they’ve been home all summer, a lot of them have not been able to get out and do stuff like that and, you know, get out, get air. They haven’t been able to participate in their sports. My daughter’s a gymnast. She’s been doing her gymnastics by Zoom. Right. So if you could put in the things that the kids care about. So if your child is, you know, preparing for cross-country, hoping that that will take place this year, think about a time within the schedule if the school has given you a schedule within the schedule that you can say, all right, this is a time where you can at least get on the treadmill or you can take a run around the block if you’re in the city or if you’re in a neighborhood, you can take a run through the neighborhood just to get some kind of energy out because they’re not getting the same stimulus that they got in that classroom.

Eva:
You know, they’re paying attention to the teacher for the most part. You’ve got some kids who are, you know, thinking about the what they’re going to have for lunch. They have the stimulus of the kid next to them who might giggle at the teacher. They might you know, they’ve got different things happening around them. But at this point, they’re actually still sitting in that same place. So I would say to try to put those big things in there that they can look forward to because they’re not going to get to look forward to sitting at a lunch table with their friends. They’re not going to, you know, look forward to that little piece of gossip that they’re going to share in the hallway in between classes. So try to think of ways that they can look forward to something while they are at the house.

Rebecca:
Oh, that’s such a good tip, you know, you don’t think about these poor kids, how it’s those small little social interactions I think people think of in terms of the big ones, but they don’t think in terms of like just the kid next to you who shakes his knee all the time or the,

Eva:
Right.

Rebecca:
You know, your friend who passes you a note. You know, I was saying to my husband today that there’s there’s no serendipity anymore for these kids. There’s no one you just bump into in the hallway. Remember, you wanted to tell them something or, you know, someone just sort of invites you over spontaneously and you have that. That’s a huge part of school.

Eva:
Yes,

Rebecca:
So

Eva:
Yes.

Rebecca:
How so when you’re balancing the academics, right, like you, if you’re lucky enough to have a school that gives you a schedule that’s great, like you have some sort of template and probably less arguing with your child, you have a third party when you’re one of those schools that’s like here’s your worksheets, you know, good luck, get it done. You know, what do you do for that? What do you do to really create that structure for your kid without your kid sending you?

Eva:
Well, one of the things that I had to think about a lot is the hat being a kid’s teacher and being their parent is very, very difficult. It’s not like you can change T-shirts and they say, OK, well, now you know, you can now. Now listen to me about this particular thing. Right. And, you know, you’ve been you tell them all day, you know, brush your teeth, wash your face, get your breakfast, all of that. And then they have to hear you say, all right, get your worksheets. Are you. It’s a lot for them to take in. And that separation is kind of nice for them. Right? They kind of get to put. All right, this is mommy being mom. This is teacher being teacher. But it’s hard for them now. So what I would say, since we’re talking about children who are primarily tennen up, give them some sort of autonomy when it comes to that. My daughter really, really loves Google Calendar. It makes her feel like a grown up. She’s been using it for a very long time and she’s able to kind of put her schedule together and then she can sync it with my calendar and say, what do you think about this? And kind of make it a team sort of effort so you get a chance to take off the mommy hat. And it’s not going to be a full on teacher hat because they’re tired to listen to you. Let’s just be honest. They don’t want to listen to you any longer. So if you make it a kind of a collaborative effort and say, well, what do you think? How do you feel? You know, make it like we’re lucky, you actually have a chance to design your own day. And they’re like, oh, wait a minute. Yes, I do. I can I can. You know,

Amy:
Hmm.

Eva:
Now that you don’t have to do now that they don’t get to decide when math is, when do you feel like math is a you know, when you feel like you’re good for math, do you feel like starting with art in the morning, do you feel like, you know, starting off the day reading part of your English assignment, what is it that makes you feel most productive during the day and giving them that kind of responsibility of, you know, kind of crafting their day is really cool, especially when you’ve got the kids who are starting middle school and they’re or they’re already in high school and they’re used to just getting their schedule and working their stuff out. They’re going to appreciate that rather than you standing over them like some weird overlord telling them what

Rebecca:
Right.

Eva:
They’re supposed

Amy:
So.

Eva:
To do. You know, from the high council, who’s giving you these worksheets, you know?

Andrea:
What do you do if your kids wake up one morning or one kid wakes up one morning and they’re just like, yeah, I’m not into it today, I just don’t feel like having school today? I mean, I imagine that trying to combine that role of parent and teacher is just such a fine line.

Amy:
Andrea, you just described my entire last spring with my

Andrea:
No.

Amy:
Daughter.

Eva:
Yet when they are over it, which will happen more often than not, because they’re combining these two places, right when my daughter was over it, when it came to school, you know, you get to that weird place after Christmas and they’re like, I don’t want to do it anymore. And you’ve got. All right, we got to go put your clothes on. We’re going out of the door. You don’t have that at home to say, oh, we’re late. Like, I’m not I’m home. I’m not going anywhere. I’m good. So dealing with that is a little tougher. But as with parenting, everything is a test. They’re just trying to see what you’re going to do. And they just want to know, hey, how much how much autonomy do I really have? How much are that? How much do they have to listen to that teacher? Because I know when I’m at school, I have to listen to this teacher. But these are two grownups. It’s kind of for them. I bet you this is like a reality show, just like watching the parents and the teachers kind of go at it and they’re going, well, you know, what can I throw in here to see what happens? But, you know, just let them know you have options. But not doing it is not one of those options, especially if you are in a school where they don’t give you that option. With my daughter school, if the kids are having screen fatigue and things like that, they are able to contact the teachers and say, you know, we just can’t do it today because it does lead to migraines.

Eva:
And for some kids, the my pediatrician was telling us that kids are having stomach issues because they’re not walking around and changing classes and they’re not, you know, pulling a snack out of their bag and sneaking it under the desk. Their eating habits have completely changed because the cafeteria is outside their bedroom door and maybe down the stairs. So they don’t have the same everything is changing for them. And then also they’re staring at a screen all day, even though the kids do have screens in their classrooms, sometimes it’s not the way that they’re doing it. Now they’re viewing their fellow students on the screen. They’re viewing their teacher on the screen, and they really have no incentive to look around the room. They have no reason to look around the room, their entire focus. Some of the books are on the computer screen as well. Their entire focus is on the screen. So, you know, they are going to get tired. And I would say just make sure that they do have, you know, some kind of idea that this is not optional, especially if the school says that it’s not optional. You can let them know you may have some bad days, which is a human thing. But for the most part, you went to school. Some people will give their kids some technology, like just you’re going to go see some kids. We’re working on perfect attendance. They’re going to go so.

Amy:
My hope is that now that we’ve all kind of settled into this reality, that that will actually help the kids dig in, because I know that in spring for my daughter, she was a sophomore. Everything ended so suddenly

Eva:
Yes.

Amy:
The school didn’t really have their act together. And New York City went pass, fail if you wanted

Eva:
Oh,

Amy:
It. And like

Eva:
Wow.

Amy:
Every incentive to do well, just went out the window. And now that that’s gone, you know, now they’re starting the year like this. There’s no more pass fail. They don’t know how long it’s going to last, but it’s not like that. Hey, maybe it’ll be just a month thing that we had last spring. I’m really hoping that that that creates just a different mental place for these kids.

Eva:
And I think that is what’s happening, my daughter is starting high school and is extremely excited. I mean, I’m wondering

Amy:
Huh?

Eva:
Where the excitement is coming from because you really are going to be sitting in front of a screen like you were all summer long. But for them, they’re lucky that they have. If this had been happening to me when I was in school, I would be devastated because

Amy:
Uh.

Eva:
We wouldn’t have had social media.

Rebecca:
Mm

Eva:
And

Rebecca:
Hmm.

Eva:
A lot of the kids are connecting on TikTok. They’re connecting on Instagram. They’ve got little Google chats that they’re doing to kind of get to know each other. So, you know, they do have other options outside of that to kind of feel like they belong in her school store, has clothes that they can that they can buy, you know, to kind of feel like they’re a part of the group. Again, my son has school. Not so much. They’re like, we’ll let you know what’s

Rebecca:
Right.

Eva:
What’s

Rebecca:
It’s

Eva:
Going

Rebecca:
That’s

Eva:
To happen.

Rebecca:
Sad, it’s so sad when you when you have the ability to compare. I mean, you’re almost better not knowing

Eva:
It would

Rebecca:
Like.

Eva:
Have been better not knowing because

Rebecca:
Yeah.

Eva:
He looking at her like really because she is excited, you

Rebecca:
Right,

Eva:
Know,

Rebecca:
And

Eva:
She’s

Rebecca:
Then if you

Eva:
She’s

Rebecca:
Say

Eva:
Into

Rebecca:
Something

Eva:
It.

Rebecca:
To that school, right, you’re like that parent, if you’re like, you know, this other school and then they’re like, they don’t want to hear that,

Eva:
Especially

Rebecca:
Like,

Eva:
If it’s public school there, like

Rebecca:
Oh, yeah,

Eva:
We’re doing our best.

Rebecca:
Right. And you’re like, no, you’re not. Because I see what the best is. And it’s over

Eva:
Exactly,

Rebecca:
There. Like,

Eva:
Exactly.

Rebecca:
You can’t pull that on me. Yeah. You know, it is it is interesting. And I to Amy’s point, like everyone was saying, spring was a disaster and this has to be different. It’s different. But I’m beginning to wonder if these school districts need to think about parent orientation like some sort of rollout for parents and not just the kids, because the parents are the ones not only dealing with it, but are going to deal with the really bad repercussions of if you have that kid who doesn’t want to do the work or if you have a kid was migraines or, you know, whatever those issues are, it doesn’t really feel like anyone’s supporting the parents. It feels like the focus has very much been on, like, let’s get the teachers there and then if if that’s good enough, the kids will just get it.

Eva:
And that is kind of the the the issue, like I was saying at the beginning, when you pick up the kids and put them in a building, you can control that environment. And it’s like the like you said, the parents aren’t getting any guidance. You know, I’m getting some watch this video to see how the kids get on Google classroom,

Rebecca:
Ray.

Eva:
Ok? OK, I mean, that’s great. I can help the kid if you can’t get on. But like you said, what happens when they don’t want to go to school? I am now a truancy officer. I’m already the lunch lady. I’ve got all these different things that I have to do. How are we supposed to deal with that and still report to, you know, report to the school and say, I’m having these kinds of issues when ordinarily they would just hear from the teacher saying that, you know, the teacher says, I’m having an issue with this student now. You’ve got a teacher and a facilitator who’s the parent saying, I’m also having issues with my students. I have friends who are teachers who are saying, yeah, this kid kind of rolls around on the floor

Rebecca:
Right.

Eva:
During, you know, during class. I know the parent is there because he’s like seven. So what am I supposed to do about now? I have a parent to deal with and a child to deal with. So you’re right, it would be great if they had some sort of orientation outside of how to use Google classroom and how to log on to all 50 different things and how to download the different things, just how to deal with having your child at home when you are not actually the authority. It’s difficult.

Rebecca:
Well, I think you just stumbled on something that you should write. I think you just need to write that book like the

Eva:
Oh,

Rebecca:
Parent

Eva:
You

Rebecca:
Orientation,

Eva:
Know, you know, just write the parent orientation manual, just go ahead and get to it.

Rebecca:
That the public schools can buy it from you and distribute it because they

Eva:
Right.

Rebecca:
Need help. I mean, I do think the parents are the sort of missing piece of the equation that nobody’s really talking about. And let’s not forget, most parents are, if they’re lucky enough, are working from home. Right. Hopefully they’ve been able to do remote work so they can sort of support their kid. I mean, there’s so many parents who have to go back to work physically that are also now scrambling for childcare to watch their kid while they’re doing this. And that’s a whole other piece that no one really seems to be caring about. You know, at what age is your kid OK to be left alone and all day to do virtual school? You know, that’s something parents think about a lot. Just what age? My child is old enough to be alone so I can go out to a movie or don’t have to be there right after school and they can be there three hours. But now we’re talking about all day.

Eva:
And with three children, I can look at them and say they are all responsible in different ways and I can imagine the nightmare that parents are having to deal with when you have the kid who was 12 and they should be able to stay at home for maybe two hours. And you’re looking at your your neighbor’s kid who, you know, the parents at home, they’re cutting the grass, they’re

Rebecca:
Marie.

Eva:
Washing the dishes, they’re watching a younger sibling. And your kid is like, you know, glued to Minecraft or whatever they’re supposed to do. So they forget to eat. So, you know, it’s hard to not compare your children as far as in terms of maturity to other kids, but that’s a real, real issue. And here they have their first plan was to have children who were juniors and seniors to do fully virtual and have the to the freshmen and sophomores go in a couple of days a week. That’s before they went fully virtual. And I’m thinking, you know, you’re assuming a lot about a 15 year old. You’re assuming that they are going to log in on time and that these parents can go to work and do all the things that they have to do. So with mine, like right now, I have a sticky note on the door saying recording now do not knock and there is no smiley face. It is the face

Rebecca:
Right.

Eva:
With the straight line and says, I’m not joking with you. Right. So, you know, working from home is tough. It’s very, very hard. Even if you’re in the summertime, it was hard. So, you know, I would say to make sure that if you get your kids into Google Calendar that they can sink their calendar with yours and that they actually care about your day. And because a lot of times they haven’t had to think about your day, just like you haven’t really had to think about theirs. So it’s going to be a lot of working together. Some of them will step up to the plate. If you say, listen, I have to go in for this meeting for two hours. You are 14 years old. Please don’t make me take the the cord from the team, from the TV. Just do this for me. Right. And if you kind of let them know, hopefully you’ve been treating them as as actual human beings all this time. Right. Because this is when you’re going to find out what your parents how well you actually did. OK, this is when we find out. So, you know, if you’ve been treating them as people all this time and demanding that they treat you as a person, not their servant, all this time, you can show them your schedule and say, this is what I have to do today. Let me see your schedule and let’s kind of coordinate. Maybe we can have lunch together. Maybe we can. You know, we have to make this work at this point. You guys are coworkers. I know you’ve seen the means where they’re like, there’s my tiny, terrible coworker.

Rebecca:
Right.

Eva:
It’s true. That is your tiny coworker and you’re going to have to figure out how to work together.

Rebecca:
Well, this is so helpful and makes me really grateful that my kids graduate,

Eva:
So

Amy:
Shut

Rebecca:
Even

Amy:
Up,

Rebecca:
Though

Amy:
Rebecca.

Eva:
This is going to leave us behind.

Rebecca:
Yeah, I mean, well, I have to say I have one, you know, one at home because her college went remote and it was so crushing for her that it’s almost like the sadness of it overwhelmed the. Oh, no, now I have to figure this out at home. And Howard,

Amy:
Mm.

Rebecca:
You know, my husband and I both working at home and now she’s home and our teeny tiny apartment. And I do I think, like, she was so sad that all we did was be like, how can we make this awesome? And then I was like, oh, wait, I was going to use her room as my office. And this sucks like that reality set in. But thank you so much. I mean, I think we’re all just figuring it out as it goes. And I think everything you said is just it’s so helpful and so smart and spot on. And good luck to you and your kids.

Eva:
And good luck to you, the man that that’s a college, that’s a tough WowWee.

Rebecca:
Well, especially because she’s watching her twin like live her best life at her college, which which moved them in so it would it wouldn’t be as bad if that wasn’t the case, but

Eva:
Oh,

Rebecca:
That

Eva:
No.

Rebecca:
Yeah, that made it worse. But thank you. Thank you so much. And we will be right back with our Bytes of the Week.

Rebecca:
Parents, summer is coming to an end and your kids are heading back to school, but we have no idea what that’s going to look like.

Amy:
Nope.

Rebecca:
But guess what? You can keep your kids learning and having fun with KiwiCo. They can deliver a science fair, an art class, a cool project right to your door. Amy, I know your kids who are, let’s face it, old, are super excited about their KiwiCo. Great.

Amy:
Yeah, well, you know, it’s funny because we felt left out because you guys had gotten them and I hadn’t. So they sent me one. And since my kids are teenagers, they’re 16 and 19. I didn’t realize at first that there was actually something for their age group. Like there’s it goes way beyond kids. And so we’ve got this tinker crate that my teenagers have actually agreed to do with me this weekend. I’m so excited. Like might we haven’t done anything that’s not like eating related together in so long. So we’re going to be building this, like, pendulum thing with a light and we’re really excited. I still can’t believe they agreed to do it.

Rebecca:
I’m excited for it. I think that’s cool. I love these projects that bring you and your kids together, but like there’s a plan and so do your part to encourage your children to be innovators and creative thinkers. KiwiCo is redefining play with hands on projects that build confidence, creativity and critical thinking skills. There’s something for every kid or a kid at heart. A KiwiCo. Get your first month free on Select crates at KiwiCo dot com slash Parenting. That’s KiwiCo dot com slash Parenting.

We are back with our Bytes of the Week. Amy, what do you have?

Amy:
All right, so last month I told you my my baking and cooking world was completely rocked by that new biscuit recipe, like

Rebecca:
Yeah.

Amy:
The new method with biscuits, I had the same experience last night with pesto. I ate a lot of pesto in the summer. I grow like 10 basil plants just to, you know, have this, like, huge pesto fest at the end of the summer and freeze a bunch. And I love pesto. And I had found this Food52 article maybe a month ago called The Absolute Best Way to Make Pesto and didn’t read it. Like I was like, OK, I’ll go back to that next time I’m making pesto. And like the little, you know, in the Tabart says how to make pesto with a mortar and pestle. So, like, I knew what it was going to be about.

Rebecca:
All right.

Amy:
And so last night when I was going to make pesto is like, oh, I should read that article and see if there are any good tips because I make it with a mortar and pestle and it’s good. But it’s so labor intensive.

Rebecca:
Yeah.

Amy:
Yeah. And like, you know, you end up with like a little quarter cup for all of that work. So I actually read the article and she had basically tested this is Hella I think she pronounces it Quittner in Food52 and she had basically tested like every possible way that you could make pesto with just a knife, with food processor, blender or mortar and pestle with a mezzaluna and with an immersion blender.

Andrea:
Oh.

Amy:
And yeah, and amazingly, the one that came in like mortar and pestle is always going to be first rate.

Rebecca:
Marie.

Amy:
The immersion blender came in second by far. I was like, what? So I got out that awesome Brawne immersion blender that Andrea and I were both sent and made pesto with it. And it took like five minutes and was as good as what I make with a mortar and pestle.

Andrea:
Wow.

Amy:
I yeah, I was blown away. So

Andrea:
Well.

Amy:
Now I’m like, am I ever going to make it with a mortar and pestle again?

Rebecca:
I wonder why that’s better than the food processor, in what way is that different?

Amy:
It chops it smaller and the motor is farther, like with the blender and the food processor, she says that the motor is too close to the food and it heats it up.

Rebecca:
Hmm, interesting.

Amy:
Yeah.

Andrea:
And pesto is cold,

Amy:
Castro is called, and if you get

Andrea:
Yeah,

Amy:
The Bazil warm and if you get the oil

Rebecca:
Yeah,

Amy:
Warm, things

Rebecca:
Turns

Amy:
Get

Andrea:
Mhm,

Amy:
Better.

Andrea:
Yep,

Rebecca:
Yeah, and it turns out gross color.

Amy:
Yes.

Andrea:
And it’s so funny because I have so many basil plants that have gone haywire, I have more rosemary and basil and parsley this year than I have ever had. And I just said to myself, oh, after the podcast, I’m going to ask Amy if she has a really good pesto recipe.

Rebecca:
And you can freeze

Andrea:
So

Rebecca:
It.

Amy:
Yep,

Andrea:
There you go.

Amy:
And

Andrea:
I know

Amy:
Yet.

Andrea:
I heard that you’re supposed to put it in ice cube trays and freeze it that way.

Amy:
You are, but if you’re going to freeze it, like if I’m just making it to eat that that day or the next couple

Andrea:
Uh.

Amy:
Of days, I do the entire recipe. I did her method. I still did my own recipe. Maybe I’ll I’ll post both. I’ll post the article and then like the recipe that I use, I do the whole recipe if I’m going to eat it soon, but if I’m going to freeze it, I leave out the cheese and I only I don’t do all of the oil. And then you add in the rest of the oil and the cheese after it thaws because the cheese does not freeze and thaw. Great.

Andrea:
Mm,

Rebecca:
Yeah,

Andrea:
Yeah.

Amy:
So.

Rebecca:
And some nice people to put like a layer of olive oil on top to when you freeze it so it doesn’t turn funky.

Amy:
I’ve never had a problem like sometimes I do that to stored in the fridge, but I’ve never had a problem with it going funky when I freeze it, I think

Rebecca:
Oh,

Amy:
It just

Rebecca:
That’s

Amy:
Happens

Rebecca:
Good.

Amy:
To fit. And also my recipe is a little lemon juice in it, which is, you know, it brightens

Rebecca:
Uh.

Amy:
It up and helps keep it keep it green. And yeah. So like, if you’re doing that, that’s September basil fest that I do every year.

Rebecca:
Pesto palooza, that’s

Amy:
Oh

Rebecca:
What they

Amy:
My

Rebecca:
Call

Amy:
God.

Rebecca:
It at my daughter’s school. They do it every year, my daughter’s old high school, they have a pesto palooza because they grow older. Keisel.

Amy:
That is awesome. All right, so for pesto palooza, don’t kill your arms. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my big, gorgeous mortar. And you know what? I need to do both and taste them side by side, because maybe there really is a difference. But this was so good.

Rebecca:
What do you mean you take the mortar and pestle, you pretend that that’s what you used. You put that out on your counter and you’re like, look at how hard I worked in

Amy:
I

Rebecca:
The newsroom

Amy:
Tell my

Rebecca:
Tricia

Amy:
Husband

Rebecca:
Morrow.

Amy:
I need a shoulder massage

Rebecca:
That’s

Amy:
Because there

Rebecca:
Right.

Amy:
Was so much work. Yeah, that’s that’s the plan.

Rebecca:
But, Andrea, you should try the Rosemary. I just

Amy:
Zoom.

Rebecca:
Want to say that just it’s so

Andrea:
Try

Rebecca:
Easy to

Andrea:
It.

Rebecca:
Dry it and you’ll have you’ll have fresh, dried rosemary all year.

Andrea:
And what do I do? Freeze it

Rebecca:
No

Andrea:
Or just

Rebecca:
Jars.

Andrea:
Keep

Amy:
You

Andrea:
It

Amy:
Just

Andrea:
Dry,

Amy:
Drive it.

Rebecca:
Mm

Andrea:
Ok?

Rebecca:
Hmm.

Andrea:
Is someone going to tell me how do

Amy:
Well,

Andrea:
You have to do anything?

Amy:
We’ll post links

Rebecca:
Yeah.

Amy:
And

Andrea:
Ok.

Amy:
Oh,

Andrea:
Ok.

Amy:
Make. OK, so you know that guy that I mentioned, this dude can cook that that guy on TikTok, that awesome chef, he has a recipe for rosemary salt. That is incredible.

Rebecca:
Oh,

Andrea:
Oh,

Amy:
It

Rebecca:
That’s

Amy:
Is

Andrea:
Two

Amy:
So

Rebecca:
So

Andrea:
Of

Rebecca:
Good

Amy:
Good.

Andrea:
My

Rebecca:
For steak.

Andrea:
Favorite things.

Amy:
Oh, that’s what he uses that. So

Rebecca:
Yeah.

Amy:
I’ll post the link to that. Just I’ll warn you, I made his entire recipe the first time and it was like enough rosemary salt for a year

Andrea:
Oh,

Amy:
Make

Andrea:
My God.

Amy:
Like a like a quarter of his recipe

Rebecca:
All right,

Amy:
At

Andrea:
Ok,

Amy:
The most.

Andrea:
But I

Rebecca:
Because

Andrea:
Also

Rebecca:
You don’t make

Andrea:
Have.

Rebecca:
Enough meat.

Amy:
Yeah.

Andrea:
Right, exactly. I also have so much, Rosemary, that I want to dry it and keep it so I have it all here fresh.

Amy:
Yeah, that well, I mean,

Andrea:
Good.

Amy:
It’ll be dried,

Rebecca:
It’ll be

Amy:
But

Rebecca:
Tried,

Amy:
It’s still better than, like the jar dried

Rebecca:
Yes.

Amy:
Stuff.

Andrea:
Right,

Amy:
You

Andrea:
Right,

Amy:
Can

Andrea:
Right,

Amy:
Also

Andrea:
Right.

Amy:
Freeze it in oil. That that gives you another option for using

Rebecca:
Weird like

Amy:
It.

Rebecca:
Now,

Amy:
That’s

Rebecca:
Basically just doing a cooking show

Andrea:
Ok,

Amy:
Yeah.

Andrea:
Ok,

Rebecca:
Went from

Amy:
Forget

Rebecca:
Amy’s

Amy:
Bite.

Rebecca:
Bite

Andrea:
Well,

Rebecca:
To a poker

Amy:
This

Andrea:
So

Amy:
Is

Rebecca:
Game

Amy:
Like a

Rebecca:
Show.

Amy:
Separate

Andrea:
So

Amy:
Show.

Andrea:
Let me go to my bike, which is

Rebecca:
Ok.

Andrea:
Very apropos, so cooking. So, you know you know, I’ve been cooking to been trying and I still have the calphalon pots and pans that I got when I got married. OK, we’re talking 30 years ago and they’re big and heavy and awesome. Right. But they’re too big for me now. Like, I have this huge lobster pot and I gave it to my son and my big turkey roasting pan tubic. So now I’m doing a little bit more cooking inside. It’s been really hot out and I wanted a new grill pan. And my problem with grill pans inside is that it splatters everywhere.

Amy:
Mm hmm.

Andrea:
And so I have been using a new grill pan. It’s an Analon. It’s by Analon, which I’m just learning all about these other brands and it is an 11 inch deep square grill pan. So it’s got high sides on it. It’s got the raised ridges so I can score the salmon or score the chicken and it’s got a poor spout on either side. So if I’m like, you know, trying to brown turkey meat and I want to get the fat out, I just pour it off. That way it’s a lot easier. And I love it and it’s nonstick. And I’m learning because my problem is, is that I spray cooking spray like canola oil or whatever kind of spray and I can never get it off. It sticks

Amy:
Yeah,

Andrea:
To the pan.

Amy:
Those are so bad for bands.

Andrea:
Oh, I know. And so now I’m using this pan. So then I was so in love with this because it’s so easy to clean and make such great grilled stuff that I then got from Haston. Have you ever heard of Hesston?

Amy:
No.

Andrea:
It’s STEM.. It’s I think it’s like, like a prosumer, you know, it’s consumer but a little professional. It’s got this narrowband technology, it says, and basically it’s like super resilient, easy to clean. So the other day I did my sauteed vegetables. I happen to like them decimated,

Amy:
So

Andrea:
Burnt,

Amy:
This is.

Andrea:
Crisp, as crisp as can be, and the entire silver pan turned black. I was like, oh, no, this is not going to be good. And I am telling you, I use my little sponge and the whole thing cleaned up beautifully.

Amy:
Oh, nice.

Andrea:
It was absolutely beautiful.

Amy:
My

Andrea:
You

Amy:
Husband

Andrea:
Can put

Amy:
Also

Andrea:
It.

Amy:
Likes this food burn, so that would be handy.

Andrea:
Oh, I love it. Burned and it’s heavy. It’s heavy. They call it molecular titanium. So it’s like it’s stronger than my regular stainless steel. Didn’t scratch. It says you can use metal utensils, although I still use my plastic utensils, but I’m not using the cooking spray anymore and that’s

Amy:
That’s

Andrea:
Keeping

Amy:
Awesome.

Andrea:
It clean. So there you go. And I don’t mind cooking and washing the pan because it comes clean easily. So now I will find recipes for Pesto and Rosemary and I’ll make them in my heston and my Analon pans

Rebecca:
Yes,

Andrea:
And

Rebecca:
You

Andrea:
We’ll

Rebecca:
Will make

Andrea:
Post

Rebecca:
A mistake.

Andrea:
Them.

Rebecca:
Yeah, exactly, perfect.

Amy:
That’s

Rebecca:
All right,

Amy:
Great.

Rebecca:
Well, my bite this week is a TV show that I think I’ve been waiting 10 years to come to the United States. It’s called Borgen because it’s

Amy:
No.

Rebecca:
A

Andrea:
Now.

Rebecca:
Political it’s a Danish political drama. And the lead. She’s a female prime minister. It is like four years. Everyone has been talking about that. This is the best show on TV. This is the best political show ever made. Blah, blah, blah. You could not get it unless you want to spend a fortune to buy each season on like Apple TV. It was streaming nowhere. So people were like illegally, you know, streaming it, doing like BitTorrent. I mean, people were bananas. It is now on Netflix. It finally came this month, I guess, or maybe it’s been there a little longer and we just realized it. But it’s three seasons of 10 episodes each. We watched the first one last night. It came out in 2010. And here’s what they said. It could have been made yesterday.

Amy:
Hmm.

Rebecca:
And it doesn’t matter that it’s Danish because same issues of immigration. And, you know, you’re like, really? Why, why? Why is the same. But it is so good. And I highly recommend when we put it on, I’m like, why are they sort of speaking English? Like, it was so weird and we realized it was dubbed

Andrea:
Oh,

Amy:
Oh,

Rebecca:
No, no.

Amy:
You can change that, right?

Rebecca:
So we did. We went in and put it back to the original

Andrea:
With

Rebecca:
Danish

Andrea:
Subtitles,

Rebecca:
And then subtitles in English,

Andrea:
Yeah.

Rebecca:
Because we actually had the subtitles on because I have subtitles on everything. And they weren’t matching what they were saying in English. And I’m like, what is happening? It was so it was like watching those old kung fu movies. So I recommend putting it on the original Danish so you don’t have the weird Unthink lips and your, you know, and then put it on subtitles. It’s so good and I can see how it’s just going to get better and better and better. So I’m super excited. We’ve literally waited ten years for this. It has one hundred percent of rotten tomatoes.

Amy:
Wow.

Rebecca:
Yes, it’s Borgen Borgen and is on Netflix finally and I don’t know how long it’ll be there for, so hurry up and go watch

Andrea:
Hurry

Rebecca:
It

Andrea:
Up.

Rebecca:
Now.

Amy:
All

Andrea:
Well,

Amy:
Right.

Andrea:
That is great, because I just finished Season six, the last episode of Madam Secretary, which

Rebecca:
Uh.

Andrea:
I loved, love, love, love, love, which is so apropos of today, and Trump and, you know, impeachment and everything else. And I love those political shows. And I was so upset when I finished it. So

Amy:
Hmm.

Andrea:
This is great. I’m going to start at.

Rebecca:
Yeah, if you like, Madam Secretary. Madam Secretary, definitely, I will also say stole from this, there are elements you’ll watch and you’ll be like, oh, like her family that feels very familiar.

Andrea:
How

Rebecca:
They

Andrea:
Do

Rebecca:
Totally

Andrea:
You know they didn’t

Rebecca:
Took

Andrea:
Steal

Rebecca:
That

Andrea:
It from Madam Secretary?

Rebecca:
Because Madam Secretary

Amy:
It’s

Rebecca:
Was after

Amy:
Near.

Rebecca:
We knew her. There’s there’s just elements of the way they construct her family and stuff where there’s no doubt the people who made Madam Secretary are very well aware of Borgen.

Andrea:
Ok,

Rebecca:
But

Andrea:
Well,

Rebecca:
It’s

Andrea:
Good,

Rebecca:
Really

Andrea:
Then I’ll like

Rebecca:
It’s

Andrea:
It.

Rebecca:
Definitely like it. The lead actress is kind of awesome. It’s like, I don’t know, it’s so good. They all look normal, like actual politicians. They don’t look also like weird Hollywood versions, like nobody looks like talian in the frickin State Department.

Andrea:
Yeah,

Rebecca:
So

Andrea:
She’s gorgeous.

Rebecca:
She’s beautiful. So. All right. That is our show for today. You can find links to everything we talked about at Parenting Bytes dot com. You can find us on Facebook, dot com slash Parenting Bytes, where you’ll find links to our shows. And you can also leave us comments, suggestions. Share from that page, please. Wherever you’re listening to us now, subscribe rate share. Tell your friends we love hearing from our listeners. We obviously love getting more listeners. And let us know if there’s something you’d like us to talk about. Otherwise, we hope everyone has a nice end to their summer, whatever that may look like. Let’s hope for better things ahead. And until next week, happy parenting.

Rebecca:
Hey, this is our Parenting Bytes disclaimer, everything we talk about on the show is our own opinion, any products we recommend, it’s our own personal recommendation for entertainment purposes only. If you buy something through our affiliate links or you just happened to buy or see or read or watch something that we recommended, it’s at your own risk.

Automatically convert your audio files to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online, automated transcription service.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your Episode 236: Virtual school: how to set your kids up for success without driving yourself crazy files to text.

Rapid advancements in speech-to-text technology has made transcription a whole lot easier. Do you have a lot of background noise in your audio files? Here’s how you can remove background audio noise for free. Sonix takes transcription to a whole new level. Automated transcription can quickly transcribe your skype calls. All of your remote meetings will be better indexed with a Sonix transcript. Create and share better audio content with Sonix. Quickly and accurately convert your audio to text with Sonix. More computing power makes audio-to-text faster and more efficient. Sonix converts audio to text in minutes, not hours.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your Episode 236: Virtual school: how to set your kids up for success without driving yourself crazy files to text.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2020—it’s fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your audio to text, try Sonix today.

Eva Wilson