Life has become increasingly more difficult right now. The governor decided on Sunday night to close schools in our state until March 31st. Our teachers had to scramble over a course of two days to gather together 10 days worth of work for our children. As parents, we’re now tasked with handling the schooling of our children and for some of us, this is a whole new age. Gone are the days of assignments sent home in folders and trapper keepers (some of y’all remember those!). Everything is now digital and when the school district isn’t prepared for every child getting on these websites at the same time then it becomes anarchy in the households.
Wednesday of this week started the first official day of homeschooling. I’ve had a taste of this in the past when I was a stay at home mom. I had lesson plans, daily activities, and school work all prepared. My little nuggets were learning to read by age 4. I’m a go-getter, at times a perfectionist, and an all around over-achiever, so I took this opportunity of school closure as a chance to be hands on with my children, to have more input on what their learning. I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t know it would be maddening.
The first day of home school, my husband was up to bat. I had already been off work the first part of the week, now it was his turn to tag in and hit a homerun with our kids’ schooling. Unfortunately for him, he continued to strike out, and through no fault of his own. Our children barely finished 4 hours of schoolwork in 12 hours. Yes, you read that correctly. Websites were not working, some of the instructions were confusing, and our children couldn’t get used to the new environment of school at home. Before I was even 5 minutes down the road on my way to work, my husband called me exasperated that nothing was working. By 10:30, I had already received 4 phone calls from him and when I answered that call he was yelling, “don’t lick your chromebook!” Yikes!
It’s going to be a marathon and not a sprint. I’ve had to throw everything out the window. Any preconceived notions that I would be able to handle my children’s schooling effortlessly was clearly a mind fart on my part. I mean, how hard could it be? I have 3 degrees, one of which is a Masters, surely K5 and 2nd grade homework will be easy peasy. So, like much of the other working parents of America, I am being humbled by everything our school teachers do for our children and angered at our governments for how LITTLE they do for our teachers.
I’ve decided we’re going to step back and punt after today. Davey has struggled with math. Our nanny has kept an eye on the boys and is working with them on their schoolwork, but I think my children may have helped her make the decision to NEVER have children. It’s been a lot to ask of her and the difficulties are massive where schoolwork is concerned. After today, the boys have Friday and Monday off. Those days were originally scheduled as teacher in service days and I’m going to keep them that way. I’m taking that opportunity to let them breathe, to just enjoy life. I don’t want them looking back on these days with anymore fear and trepidation than they already are. This new normal for them is much harder. Their emotions run strong and their still working out how to communicate. The last thing I want is for them to have anxiety brought on by schoolwork.
And I suppose I have to work on my anxiety as well. My need to control and perfect things, can bleed over into my children. This whole situation is going to be a long haul and I don’t want to wake up one day and think I missed my opportunity to turn it into something ok.