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This is the aboriginal adventure in a alternation on Mary Jean Hookimaw and her children as they cross the pandemic, home activity and online acquirements in Ottawa. CBC Ottawa affairs to analysis in with the ancestors throughout the communicable to apprehend about their victories and challenges living through this new normal.
Like parents beyond Ottawa, Mary Jean Hookimaw is accepting her two school-age kids ready for classes this week, but they won’t be abrogation the house.
Like bags of added families, they’ve autonomous for online learning, which begins Friday. For Hookimaw, 39, that agency ambience abreast a committed “classroom” amplitude in their Vanier apartment.
“I set up my kids in their room, so that way they can accept that quiet and abandoned focus on their school,” she said.
Sophie Lee Noah, 12, and Thomas Noah, 10, anniversary has their own laptop, as able-bodied as backpacks abounding with academy food from the Vanier Community Service Centre.
She’s talked to her kids about what to expect.
“I told my kids it’s not activity to be you on there from 8 to 2 [p.m.], 8 till 3 — you’re activity to accept your little break in between. So that was beneath demanding for them back I explained that to them, the anxieties are less,” Hookimaw said.
Hookimaw, a distinct mother of four accouchement amid the ages of one and 12, said for her, the accommodation to accumulate Sophie and Thomas home was straightforward.
“I didn’t appetite them to get the COVID,” she said. “I didn’t appetite my accouchement to be the guinea pigs.”
Hookimaw, from Attawapiskat Aboriginal Nation, said she’s able to attending afterwards her children’s ancestry because she’s currently not alive alfresco the home. The ancestors receives abutment from Ontario Works and the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.
Hookimaw was belief Indigenous wellness and addictions blockage at Canadore College in North Bay, Ont., afore affective to Ottawa aftermost year, but has put her own education on authority for now to advice Sophie and Thomas.
“I didn’t appetite to leave these two abandoned during the day,” she said.
Sophie is starting Grade 7. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, she’d be attending York Street Public School. She’s missing her friends, and she worries about the accessible academy year.
Still, she said she’s glad she doesn’t accept to sit in a classroom all day cutting a mask, “because you can’t breathe.”
Thomas, who’s about to activate Grade 6, is additionally nervous. He brand math, but he admits his big sister has the bend back it comes to numbers. “Sophie’s bigger than me at math.”
He, too, misses his accompany and arena soccer, but he’s OK with blockage home because of COVID-19.
Hookimaw said her accouchement are acceptable students. Homework has been an affair in the past, but back the pandemic, she said the schoolwork has been accepting done.
She’s aggravating not to anguish too much, and said the connected communication from the academy lath has helped put her apperception at ease.
“That reassures me that it’s activity to be OK,” she said.
Hookimaw affairs to booty on the advancing academy year as she has added challenges in her life: “I booty it as it comes. I don’t like to overthink myself because if I do that, it creates the anxieties too much, and I don’t appetite to put myself through that.”