A collection of essays, outdoor adventure stories, ruminations, wordplay, parental angst, and blatant omphaloskepsis, generated in all seasons and for many reasons at 64.8 degrees north latitude

Monday, August 24, 2020

COVID-Safe Schooling for Your Feral Child

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the healthy limits you placed on screen time during quarantine, your children have likely spent several months playing in your suburban back yard, urban parks, or primeval woodlands -- where they may have acquired new habits that are counterproductive in a learning environment.  The following tips will allow for a smooth transition to the more structured environment of online learning or in-person schooling.

-- Remind your daughter that during Zoom meetings, inside voices are required.  Howling is frowned upon, even if it is a full moon.  Make sure she knows how to mute and unmute herself.  

-- Your son may become anxious if humans approach too closely.  Congratulations on instilling excellent pandemic safety training!   However, you may want to instruct him not to scamper up trees, screech, or throw spruce cones at teachers.

-- Wild berries and fresh Alaska salmon are part of a heart-healthy diet for adults and children alike, but excess consumption can lead to hibernation during class.

-- Many schools are offering outdoor sports.  If you have signed up your daughter for fall soccer practice, you may need to warn her not to growl and bare her teeth at teammates.  Save that for her opponents.  Those Laurelwood Lynxes are not to be trusted.

-- Remind your child that school rules prohibit sharpening fingernails and licking between toes during lessons on factoring polynomials.

-- Recess offers stress-relieving physical activities for children unused to long periods of focused attention.  Be aware, however, that the virus can be transmitted via activities such as tag, duck-duck-goose, grooming vermin from other students’ hair, and wrestling for alpha dominance in the pack.

-- If your child has spent his time in the wilds associating with ravens or other corvids – an easy mistake to make, depending on your autocorrect settings – you may find that he has taken to collecting shiny items such as earrings, coins, and Mr. Pumphrey’s gold teeth.  A guidance counselor will be calling you shortly.

-- Most schools are relaxing dress codes for distance education.  Be sure to check your district website for specifications regarding pajamas, spaghetti straps, fur, and feathers.  Antlers are to be discouraged, especially during the rutting season.

-- Good news: the school lunch program will still be offering meals during remote learning!  Vegetarian options are available, but no accommodations can be made for children who consume only raw voles.

-- Be sure to emphasize that although it is perfectly acceptable for your child to decorate her locker with personal items, she should refrain from marking her territory by spraying.

-- If your feral children have been fostered by halibut, trout, or sockeye, you have no cause for concern; fish do not exhale potentially infectious respiratory droplets.  Also, they take well to schools.

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