When in-person learning is off of the table and virtual learning isn’t working, becoming a new homeschooling mom may become your reality.
You guys. This year is so ridiculous. I was slowly adjusting to working full-time from home, and now suddenly, I am homeschooling my 2nd grader and kindergartner, on top of working. Don’t get me started on the insanity of all of this; I’m sure you all can relate. Our district is currently offering virtual only. We tried it for a week, and it was a disaster, mainly because in order to get my 5-year-old through the day, I had to sit next to him from 8 am to 3 pm while attempting to work and occasionally help my 2nd grader. Chaos. Perhaps it would have gotten easier, but I wasn’t up for giving it more time. We have been homeschooling for a little over three weeks now, and I couldn’t be happier with our decision. Here is what I have learned thus far as a newbie homeschooling mama:
- You do not need to recreate a typical school day. In my opinion, this is the very best thing about homeschooling. Kiddos need some extra breaks to get wiggles out of their bodies? Great, go run around outside as often as they need to. Do your kids wake up entirely too early like mine? Wonderful, you can knock out school before the lunch hour! You can make your homeschooling schedule fit best for YOUR family. It might seem the opposite, but this has really helped me create balance between my own work and the boys’ school, which I desperately needed.
- Make it fun! So, my little guy loves all things nature-related, so just about everything we do has a connection to animals or bugs. Currently, he is learning simple addition in math, and you better bet that we use plastic bugs as counters. My older kiddo is obsessed with the cartoon Ben 10 (don’t ask, something about a boy that turns into aliens), so we do a lot of Ben 10, reading and writing stories about the show’s characters. He is still learning all of the same skills, just about something that he is extremely interested in. This has helped greatly with keeping the kiddos engaged throughout the day!
- Let them have a say. What I mean by this is, give your kiddos some choices throughout the day. Most of the time when my boys get frustrated, it is because they feel like they have a lack of control, so when I can, I give some to them. For instance, my 2nd grader often complains about getting reading done because it is something that he struggles with. I have found that if he gets to pick what he is reading. it goes a lot smoother. Same goes for my little guy. Sometimes before we even start school, he will roll around the dining room floor saying, ‘I don’t want to do school, it’s sooooo boring.’ (Lord, help me). When this happens, I often ask him what he wants to start with. He doesn’t have a choice of whether we do school or not, but he can choose the order.
I am far from a home-schooling expert 3-4 weeks in, but it has been as much a learning experience for me as it has for my kids. I’m not sure if it is something that we will stick with post-COVID, but for now, it is working for us, and at this point in 2020, I’m going to take whatever wins I can get!