Alualu is learning along with his kids

When Tyson Alualu has to take part in the Steelers virtual zoom meetings, he goes to the bedroom and locks the door.

No, he isn't trying to protect secrets from anyone. That isn't it at all.

He is just trying to find a place where he knows nobody will run into the room in the middle of a meeting, screaming, yelling or just looking for a hug.

"I kind of stay in the room upstairs and make sure I lock they the door because they are always running in, making noise not knowing what I am doing," laughed Alualu.

The 'they' he is referring to are his kids.

All five of them.

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Alualu and his wife, Desire, have five kids, Tyree, Dereon, Tydes, Tyten and Tyson. And you know what that means these days. Five kids to homeschool. Tyree is in the eighth grade, Dereon in the sixth grade, Tydes in the third grade, and Tyten and Tyson are preschoolers.

"It's been a challenge, but more so for my wife," said Alualu. "Thankfully we live in an area where the school is great. They each got an iPad. They log in every morning at 8 a.m. and do their work throughout the week. You gain better respect and an understanding for teachers during all of this.

"I am definitely getting a lot of questions. I feel like I have been out of school for long. I have to look at the examples and think about it. We are making it work. We are enjoying it."

Alualu said the three older kids have more of a regular routine, but with the two younger ones, who are 4 and 3, it's more of a challenge.

"It's just trying to find a schedule for all of them," said Alualu. "Trying to find a time when the young ones can take a nap, so they aren't driving everyone crazy. It's keeping them active, keeping them busy. We take a lot of walks around the neighborhood. We get them tired going up the hills. We are making it all work."

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Alualu is getting his own time, working out on a regular basis with fellow defensive linemen Cameron Heyward and Daniel McCullers, as well as getting in workouts on his own at home. Also, talking part in the virtual meetings is a get-away of sorts too.

"I had to put work into trying to find things around town I could have at home," said Alualu. "I had cardio machines and weights. I needed racks so I could do the lifts I normally do in an offseason. It's been good.

"And then working with the guys, it's a lot different than staying confined and being in the house the whole time. It's nice to go outside and get fresh air, be around people you would be around at this time of year, being able to compete and have that same competitive edge we would have back at the facility."

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Like everyone else, Alualu has also used the last few months to spend time doing things he didn't have time for previously, picking up some hobbies and trying to improve on other ones.

"We have so much time on our hands at home now," said Alualu. "I have been trying to cook a lot more. I am doing more things, looking up certain recipes, trying to follow it to a 'T.' Sometimes it turns out, sometimes it doesn't. Watching different shows on Netflix. Also picking up a book here and there. All of those things help pass time during this pandemic.

"I am trying to learn the piano a little. Not really play it. Just learning a song or two."

The best thing he is doing, though, is spending time with his family.

"The blessing in disguise is we get to spend this much time with them," said Alualu. "We are trying our best to quarantine them and make the most of the time we get. Being around them so much more is special, because of our schedules being busy, and them being involved with school it was always on the go, from taking one person to practice, picking another one up, working out. Just to have this time to stop and not have that much to do you learn so much about each kid and you know the ins and outs of how they act, how they attack certain situations and problems.

"It's been good for us. It's always difficult trying to make everything work the best for all five kids. We have learned so much how to manage and do the best we can trying to parent them."

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