I know I’m not alone in this. Every Parent in the U.S. is now homeschooling their children due to COVID-19. When I first learned the news that my kids would be distant learning for a month, I was very indifferent. A part of me was relieved that our ISD was adhering to the CDC warnings about this virus and doing the safe thing and closing the school buildings but another part of me was in full on panic! You want me to make my ADHD, dyslexic kid do school work, while he’s at home around all his gadgets, toys and dog? I already have a hard time with homework! You expect me to teach my AP student Algebra I and TX History? I’m from Mississippi!! The panic part of my brain started to take over. Between keeping a stocked pantry, social distancing, making sure my dad was not being hardheaded (he can not get Corona), entertaining my kids, and trying to keep my sanity, there was no way I could effectively homeschool my children.
My biggest concern about homeschooling was how it would impact the relationship with my boys. They know that I am serious about their education. I have been known to make them do several math problems until I was tired, and recite and spell sight words 10 times. But over the years, I found that these strategies do not work on my kids, and they are antiquated. What worked for me, doesn’t necessarily work for them. My goal is to create memories with them that when they look back during this time are full of fun and adventure, not of hurt and fear.
I promised myself that I would not overwhelm them or myself. I’m dedicated to making this time as fun as possible. I’m going to use this opportunity to get to know the boys better and focus on things they are interested in. My friend (who is also a teacher) sent me a schedule that she came up with for her kids. I thought having a schedule would be a great idea. My kids love schedules. The one my friend sent me was amazing, but wouldn’t work for us. So I came up with my own, using her template.
The boys schedule gives them wiggle room to finish daily work at their own pace, breaks every other hour, and they only have to full on focus for one hour at a time. We started the schedule last Monday & they love it. I asked them Friday if they wanted to make any changes, and they replied “NO! We love it! Please don’t change it!”
So far, so good with homeschooling. I’m sticking to my promise to not be overwhelmed or overwhelming. Right now, I know we all are learning a new normal & it’s important that we find a rhythm that works for us and our families. If this schedule works for you, by all means use it. If it doesn’t, then come up with your own. If not having a schedule works for your family then do that. You have to do what’s best for you and your family. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Be gentle with yourself and your kids. Homeschool your way!