Homeschooling, the Ottawacker way

Safe to say the opening weeks of Ottawacker Jr's homeschooling have not gone according to plan.

We decided early on that we weren't going to send him back to school. Despite having done a very good job in the early phases of the pandemic, Ontario's approach to education is a complete shocker. Twenty-five plus kids in a classroom the size of my kitchen; not going to happen.

We were hopeful that the opportunity to do remote learning would be a good stop gap. But, as is often the case when those with a "big picture" (i.e. with little in the way of smarts) are required to do actual work, the provincial government managed to have completely underestimated the number of people not wanting to send their kids to a COVID death camp, and crashed their own database.

When they transferred the names to a new database, manually, of course, because nothing screams "big picture" than seconded bureaucrats working overtime in their own basements, a large number of the names of children were lost. Including ours.

We first found out about it when the school emailed the day before the restart of school to welcome Ottawacker Jr and his sibling back to school the next day.

"Erm," I said, in a carefully crafted email. "You're fricking crazy. We told you the day you sent out the original emails that we were doing home schooling because of underlying health conditions. And Ottawacker Jr has been at your school long enough for you to know he is an only child."

"Not according to our records," came back, one hour later, the response.

There is literally no answer to that. Well there is, but it would have involved me taking a certificate of vasectomy up to the school office and nailing it, Luther-like, to the school door. I may not have 95 theses, but (if you'll crave an indulgence or two), I can show you the scars.

Once the office staff had calmed down (no doubt fanning their fevered brows with the certificate), we were informed that we would be put on a waiting list along with everybody else who had changed their mind.

"We haven't changed our minds," I said. Not according to our records, they said.

Anyway, you can see where this is going and, to cut a long story short, we are still on a waiting list. We have, however, had the pleasure of being told we hadn't actually changed our minds, and that our names have been "asterisked" in the system.

Poor Ottawacker Jr. Instead of staring at his computer screen for his remote class, he has to put up with his tyrant of a father making him learn the French declensions of personal pronouns by heart.

"Mon, ma, mes; ton, ta tes; son, sa, ses..."

It's actually been quite fun. He's good, he's keen, and it means I can put off editing for the morning. He has his goalkeeping sessions in the afternoon, a performance of Lord of the Rings before dinner, conference calls with his godparents in BC mid-afternoon... the boy is fulfilled.

And still we wait.

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