“Oh my gosh, if you don’t stop, I swear I will stab you with this pencil,” I said, lifting a freshly sharpened pencil into view.
Catelyn’s look of defiance changed to shock, and her eyes opened wide. She looked at the pencil in my hand and took it out.
“You just threatened to stab me!” She said, and started laughing, “With a pencil!”
I smiled and nodded, “I did! I meant it too!”
And we were off, bent over in belly laughs. We were saved by the grace of finding humor in our homeschooling situation.
These days start with me going through my morning chore routine – make the bed, feed the cat, clean the litter box, start the laundry, start the always full dishwasher, feed the dogs, let the dogs out and NOW – thinking about each child’s lesson plan for the day.
As Gary over at beareavedsingledad pointed out, I am not truly homeschooling. I am very grateful for that.
Instead, I am following the lesson plan laid out by each one of my kid’s teachers. They provide the direction, the materials, and the schoolwork and it is my child’s job to be sure the assignments are complete
Monday through Friday I am still sitting with them and making sure they are doing all of their assignments. Not because they are lazy, some are hard to find. Sometimes, it is hard to understand what the teacher really wants them to do. Depending on the subject, I am becoming a bit of a nuisance to my children. Those who hate to read are now reading their material with me. I am enjoying the story of Anne Frank again and a book about the yellow fever of 1793.
Of course, you do not get an actual book anymore, which drives me nuts. I have to scroll and scroll through online material to get to the right page.
Some days, I have the kid’s schoolwork already printed out. Other days we go to class by class and print and print. In all, I am going through a ton of paper and a ton of printer ink. I now have folders of schoolwork and a small plastic container accessible filled with art supplies.
The morning is mine. To run and/or do my gym class, do the chores, do the shopping if I need to, mow the yard, catch up on blogs, pay the bills. At 10, I start with Declan. Some days he has Zoom meetings with his class, his speech therapist, or his occupational therapist. I have their materials printed out before their sessions for Declan. Declan likes his meetings. During one, the dogs were barking. Declan slowly leaned over to me and whispered, “Can you please put the dogs away? They are ruining my meeting.”
How could you not smile and acquiesce?
Catelyn gets the 1-3 slot, and Bobby gets the 3-5 time slot. There are days the work runs over the allotted time frames. Depending on the flexibility of the teacher, the work gets pushed to the next day.
The two big kids are taking different levels of Spanish, but thankfully both are on the “La Comida” section – the food. Having taken Spanish through my high school years and 12 credits in college, I can keep up. Catelyn and Declan are both learning about rocks and the rock cycle. I like when material overlaps – I sound like I know what I am talking about. Bobby is on the Pythagorean Theorem in Algebra 2. Thankfully, math has always been my strength. I got this.
Through the ups and downs of personality struggles, websites, wifi, and apps, we are finally finding success in online learning. Assignments are being completed ON TIME. Past overdue assignments have been completed. Some teachers will accept them, and some won’t. So be it – we’re trying.
I honestly don’t know how we would do this if both Bob and I were working. Online learning is time-consuming and is taking my full attention. But thankfully, I have the time to help, and overall, we are finally getting a handle on this. It took a little bit, but we are finally getting there!
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