CINCINNATI — The first day of school is quickly approaching for many families, but the countdown has certainly been longer for some than others.
A lot of families had to make some major changes last year, and while some were harder to get used to, some of those changes worked out for the best.
For Lenice Williams, virtual schooling wasn't all bad.
"Saved a lot of money on gas, so I was grateful for that,” Williams said.
Not driving her two kids to and from Gamble Montessori High School every day also saved her.
"That back-and-forth trip for me took about an hour both ways. Being a solo-preneur, that I had that commute time to get in some other things that I could do in the day," she said.
Five hours in the week, almost 40 weeks in the school year -- that's about 200 extra hours she got to pour into her budding wellness business, "Nourishment."
Since her kids are teens, she didn't have to be as hands-on during the school day.
"I couldn't even fathom doing this with elementary school students," she said.
But Erin Lageman can. She has four kids in Boone County schools: second, fourth, sixth and seventh grades.
"It was quite crazy at first. And then we kinda got into the routine,” Lageman said. “We had to transform our dining room into a one-room schoolhouse. My husband went around, he built in desks."
Erin's a frontline worker. When she'd head to the hospital, Grandma, a former special ed teacher who lives less than a mile away, held down the fort.
"They called her 'teacher Nana.' We would not have been able to do it without her,” she said.
Both Lenice and Erin have sons with special needs. Nana's background in special ed and assistive technology came in handy for Lageman, but Williams wasn’t so lucky.
"That guidance that he needed to do certain assignments, we definitely missed out on,” Williams said.
It’s just one of the reasons both moms are relieved their kids are heading back into the classroom.
"If they would've said that they were going to go back virtual, I may have cried,” Lageman said.
“I think I'm going to enjoy it,” Williams said. “That time away makes the heart grow fonder."