COVID19 Fitness Parenting

Day 158: School At Home Report!

August 20, 2020

Annabel had a great first day of 3rd grade!

Her space
posing before the start of the day

I mean, she actually said “I loved it!” at the end. (Maybe that’s what a few months of relative sensory deprivation will do for you!).

Her teacher seems very nice and she (and the district) clearly did a ton of prep work to help the day go smoothly. They started with a Microsoft Teams meeting with a lot of introductory stuff. She had “specials” at 10 am, which meant going to another part of the site and watching some videos. Everything worked like it was supposed to and the site wasn’t terrible to naviagate.

Then, back to the Teams for an interactive math session. The teacher had them do some independent work in their books while remaining available on the screen. The kids interacted via the chat, most of them already used to the format from the spring. I think it did help that many of them also knew each other (at least half were in the double class of 40 kids that A was in last year).

Quite honestly, I was impressed. The day ended at 1 pm instead of 2 (because apparently that’s what “recess” means!) so I took a walk with her outside to celebrate the day.

The only negative was that even though I didn’t have to do much, I still felt like I needed to be available on the very first day, so I sat in her room to provide tech support when needed (which did happen, but not frequently). WELL, apparently this was enough distraction for me that I basically got nothing of substance done.


I don’t regret spending that time, but note to self: significant progress on work projects will never happen while sitting on the floor of a kids’ room half-listening to online school. Oh well. I mean, that probably should have been obvious. Today I have patients, so I definitely will not be sitting in her room. It will be a good test of whether she truly needs much involvement on my end. Several of the kids were participating from a camp like setting (there are a few in the area) without anyone standing over them, so I *think* the idea is that they will be largely independent.

I can’t imagine this would be the case in 1st grade (and I’m still very glad I did not have to go through yesterday with C!) but maybe 3rd will be okay in this format.

(I have no idea when they might even consider going back to physical school in our district but I suspect it’s probably not even on the table until 2021.)


I finished 80 Day Obsession!!!!!! Day 80 in the books. I did take some pix because why not, and while the visible results are not that striking there is NO QUESTION as to whether the program made me stronger. And I would do it again . . . but probably not for a while. (Those were some LONG workouts!).


I will post a full review to come, probably next week. But NOW . . . I’m lost deciding what to do next! I am going to do some 21DF sessions this week, mostly to see if they feel any easier than before. But then what?

Considering: LIIFT4, The Prep, or even trying Madeline Moves (?), or ???. I do want to run again 2x/week or so. I miss it 🙂 Ideas welcome!


  • Reply Racheal August 20, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Good job Annabel! I understand why you felt you had to be in the room with her on her first day, but now that you “know” how it goes, hopefully you can put that out of your mind today!

    Also, good job on finishing 80 Day Obsession! I really liked Lift4, but what I don’t like about BB workouts in general is that they are time limited and you always have to figure out what you need to do next. I would rather not waste my mental energy on that. I am really liking LexiJ Wellness workouts – 30 minute workouts on the weekdays with a mostly weight lifting focus (HIIT on Mondays). You do need some dumbbells and a few bands, but she is amazing.

    Good luck today!

  • Reply Gillian August 20, 2020 at 7:13 am

    Good to hear school went smoothly! Hopefully it will only get easier.

    I started taking the first day of school as PTO several years ago. In normal times it is nice to take them to school on the first day, meet the teacher at drop off and be there to pick them up and hear how the first day went– all without trying to squeeze in work. I also would take a few minutes to pick up a special dessert (usually just gelato from our local italian place.

    This year since there was so little clarity, I felt it was extra important. Even though we are going back to school fulltime in person (suburban NYC where cases are super low and our tiny school district is ready!), I think it will be good to be on hand to help navigate new systems (staggered outside dropoff and masks for all!) and there could definitely be some nerves with going back after soooooo long.

  • Reply Liz B. August 20, 2020 at 7:27 am

    So glad school went well for Annabel! My 4th grader starts at-home learning next Tuesday. We get to meet his teacher and pick up the supply box we ordered earlier this summer in a drive-by situation tonight.

    I am on week 5 of JillFit’s LeanBuilding 12-week program and I LOVE it! It’s purely strength training 3x per week with “detail” (i.e., conditioning) days 2x per week, but I sub in running for those days. The program calls for two rest days, but I occasionally do a recovery run on one of the rest days if I feel the urge. Running has been my form of therapy during this weirdo time. I‘be had visible results after just 4-1/2 weeks!

  • Reply Grateful Kae August 20, 2020 at 8:37 am

    I did a hybrid Lift4/ Barre Blend recently and I thought Lift4 seemed really good BUT I don’t have heavy enough weights at home. The weight lifting parts are designed for you to push yourself and lift heavier over time but my weights max out at 12 lbs! (Typically was a gym goer until Covid). Back in April I did the 6 weeks of The Work and it is amazing and you definitely get results. But also, super hard! I am not sure if I would do it again (yet) as I literally had to gear up mentally to push myself that hard! Currently doing the doubles version of Morning Meltdown (they are shorter so doubles= total of 45-55 minutes) and am enjoying it a lot. Challenging but not SO hard like The Work- i end up feeling refreshed and energized and look forward to the workouts. Lots of variety in the workouts too- very fun.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 20, 2020 at 9:10 am

    I’m glad that her first day went well. I imagine it will be easier when C/G are at school so the nanny can be even more available to help A if something comes up. But it’s good that she said she loved her first day! I know this is such a huge change for everyone and not what any of us imagined school would look like for our kids!!

  • Reply Jenn August 20, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Wow, great job with the 80DO!!! That’s incredible! I finished 21DF at the end of last month and kind of stalled out! I keep coming back to Yoga Fix hahaha but I need to kick my butt into gear and start another program! I tried the morning meltdown but didn’t love the first workout. Have you done the 21DF Real Time? And if so is there much difference between that and the original 21DF?

    • Reply omdg August 20, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      21DF Real Time changes the workouts slightly each week, making them just a little bit harder every time you do them. It also varies the order you do them in. I really liked it! I would like to try 21DF Extreme, but I’m not sure I’m quite ready for it yet!

      • Reply Jenn August 22, 2020 at 6:29 pm

        Thanks for the info!

  • Reply Sophia August 20, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Yay for A!! This made me feel better (less awful) about our impending start of school which I am dreading.

    Congrats on finishing 80DO!

    I really like the peloton app. It’s $12 or 14/month and they have a mix of treadmill/cardio/bootcamp/yoga/strength workouts and audio-only outdoor running workouts. They also have spin obv but i don’t have a bike and haven’t done those. I do running/strength workouts mostly. You can do live classes or prerecorded ones. They constantly have new content as well.

  • Reply Meghan August 20, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Congrats on 80DO! I just started this week and am through day 3 so far 🙂 I did like LIIFT4 but agree about needing heavier weights. I needed 30s near the end.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 20, 2020 at 3:00 pm

      I have 25s, but not 30s! But maybe 25 would be close enough for most things . . .

      • Reply Meghan August 20, 2020 at 3:24 pm

        You should be good with 25s! One nice thing about LIIFT 4 is that it’s easy to also build in some running.

  • Reply Jenn August 20, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Also…I’m hoping either you or the person that left the comment last time can help me out. But awhile ago someone commented something along the lines of acknowledging your privilege while still giving yourself permission to complain/feel down. I acknowledge I’m lucky without giving up my right to feel sucky? Or something cute like that haha but I loved the sentiment behind it and I can’t find it!!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 21, 2020 at 5:41 am

      welllll . . . I just searched and couldn’t find it either 🙁 Sadly!! Let me know if you do!

    • Reply Sharon August 21, 2020 at 1:43 pm

      I don’t know about the comment here, but that’s Swistle’s tag line on her blog (swistle dot com): “I acknowledge my luckiness, without giving up my claim to the suckiness.” I love the line too.

      • Reply Jenn August 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm

        Yay that was it! Thank you so much!!

  • Reply Mtbakergirl August 20, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Congrats on a successful first day!

    Just a note (based on my own experience creating a work from home site on the fly), it might be useful to get her a dedicated monitor on a riser and a separate keyboard to improve the ergonomic situation, since she will be sitting at the computer for a fairly large chunk of the day!

    Mine is mostly scavenged from other parts of the house (wicker basket as riser, old TV as a monitor, got a keyboard at a thrift store), but is has really helped my back/ neck/ eyes!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 21, 2020 at 5:39 am

      ohhh good point. Okay will need to think about it!

  • Reply Sara B. August 20, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Yay! My kindergartner started last Monday, and it’s hard. We chose to go virtual for at least 9 weeks, and I think we are likely to stick with it for the whole semester. (Depending on the numbers / modeling for CoVID.) Her day is broken up a lot – good for a Kindergartner otherwise tethered to a screen, bad for mom trying to get any work done. I was glad to find a 2-hour block that includes her lunch and recess that I think I can protect (with the help of the nanny who deals with the toddler so I can work). I’m surprised at how much she can do on her own, and also how much she wants my help when she doesn’t really need it (putting crayons in the box). I suppose you might be able to work some before school and maybe do your workout during school if needed? I felt so much better just finding those 2 hours and making my lists for the week based on what really needed to be done in a chunk and what could still get done all broken up (email, evaluations I’m behind on, etc.) I’m putting a baby monitor near her desk so I can work in another room at times (conference calls!) and still see when she needs help or to be redirected, although that seems less necessary for a third-grader who is used to school already. Good luck!

  • Reply Christa August 20, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    I highly recommend The Work. I did two rounds of it and am on my third. This time, I am doing it every other day so I can run and pick some other workouts (PiYo, Barre, some classic BB stuff) as well to mix it up. You really don’t need heavy weights for The Work (10-15#) since everything is comprised of high paced compact movements. Definitely worth a go! I’ll look forward to following you through it if you do!

  • Reply Megan August 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    What virtual program are they using?

  • Reply omdg August 20, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    So glad to hear Annabel is liking virtual school! You give me hope! I think Dylan will do fine with it since she does well with expectations and limits set by people who are not me (also does well with me, but there is less whining with other people).

    Congrats on finishing 80DO!!! I kind of want to try it? Thinking possibly I should save it for something to try and accomplish after Christmas that would last until the end of March, which would still give me time to build strength doing 21DF and maaaaybe 21DF Extreme before I try it. Would love to hear more about your workout plans and how you decide what to do each day.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 21, 2020 at 5:38 am

      To prep for 80DO, I did:
      – 21DF Extreme
      – the one week “A Little Obsessed” program

      I recommend 80DO and would do it again. BUT – warning – the workouts are long. Like many are 60 minutes. With your work schedule you might have to modify the schedule based on your call days and take longer to complete the whole thing.

      I just did it based on her calendar – didn’t have to think about anything! Tuesday-Sunday were my 6 weekly workouts. (She has them Monday-Sat but I just shifted them). You just go in number order 🙂 I had 2-3 extra rest days over the course of 80 days which is why I finished on a Tues!!

  • Reply Lani Inlander August 23, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    You are giving me hope! We start 1st and 3rd grade next week and are also using Teams. They sent us a schedule for 3rd grade that is a lot like yours but we are not yet clear about how much parent involvement will be necessary and how much they will actually be online with teachers. Congrats on finishing your 80 days!

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