The Struggles And Adjustments Of Independent Learning

Zach Walling
4 min readSep 24, 2020

This is new to all of us and challenges us in different ways from family to family, now consider yourself lucky and work harder.

School has officially started and my son is enjoying his first year as a kindergartener. I couldn’t be prouder of my little man and I’m in complete awe in regards to how much he has grown. I can remember almost six years ago now standing in the hospital looking down at my new born with a million thoughts running through my head. “Wow this is my human.” “I already love this person more than I have ever loved anything,” (including myself, and baseball….) Another thought was, “I don’t think I’ve ever even held one of these freakin things before.” It turns out that my original thought hasn’t budged an inch, I love my boy Coleton more than anything in this world. He has blessed me and guided me down the path of life that I so desperately needed to be on without me even knowing it at first.

So here we are after day two of independent learning, that’s the fancy way of saying school in your dining room on Skype. It has been such a treat to watch my son engage with his teachers and dive into this new level of education without a blink or showing of nerves, I’m proud of him to say the least. It’s sad that due to Covid our children have been robbed of school and education in its pure form. I would love for Coleton to learn side by side with what would be his new friends, interact with his teachers hands on, and learn how the real world education system really works and should be acted out. We adjust however and maneuver life’s obstacles. The education system in 2020 is like running an uphill race, you can’t stop, keep running and we’ll get to the finish line.

Although I say that it saddens me that our children are being robbed of a standard and normal education, I am also happy. I get a front row seat into my sons educational development. I get to watch him interact and dive into material that betters him as a child and person. I can be there when he is asked to do something that he doesn’t understand and have the privilege of Coleton looking to me for help, and me being able to do so. This year isn’t normal, but how lucky am I? As well as all of the other parents that in this unique circumstance get to be there for their children and witness their educational development first hand.

My schedule has changed dramatically due to these changes. I’ve had the luxury of waking up and being able to sit at my desk and spend seven uninterrupted hours working on my writing. Now I spend that time schooling my son and have the remaining five hours in my day to work. I spend my evenings managing working, spending time with my girlfriend and our daughter, dinner, chores and errands, and of course Giants games. Now, i’m not complaining by any means, because I love all of those things, except the chores. I’m simply saying that it’s harder for me to accomplish as much work as I have become accustomed to. Now I have two jobs I don’t get paid for. I do plan to get paid for one of them eventually…

I’m not the only one making adjustments in these times. Everyone, myself included just needs to take a look at how they are allocating their time. Although we may feel sometimes like there isn’t enough time in a day, (there’s freakin not) but let’s all get passed that excuse. Catch yourself on your phone scrolling mindlessly through Facebook and call yourself on it. Find the best use of your time at all times. When you think you have no time you can always take inventory of your daily actions and add hours of productivity to your day, that’s what I am focusing on now. Enjoy the moments, put in the work, and know it’s ok to feel overwhelmed, just get over it 🙂

Originally published at on September 24, 2020.



Zach Walling

I’m a dreamer, I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to be able to pursuit my dreams. I sold my home and quit my job to focus on my dream of becoming a writer.