In January, I thought my son would start first grade, while my youngest would attend a pre-k program. I would continue to homeschool my oldest. Then along came Covid-19 and changed all that. The only plan that stayed the same is homeschooling my oldest. I’ve added in homeschooling my youngest and helping my son do virtual schooling through his elementary school. This is not what I wanted.
Let Me Explain
I began to homeschool my oldest a year ago. All through elementary school, we utilized every resource in her schools to help her learn and grow. After exhausting their resources without improvements, we decided to try to homeschool her. I could give her one on one attention and explain concepts in a way she would understand it. It worked. With the program we chose, she passed with slightly higher grades. I count that as a win.
Our son loves learning. He pays attention to directions and eagerly completes his work. In fact, the school asked if they could test him into a gifted program. In his situation, going to school has helped him.
This year I looked forward to my youngest starting a pre-k program. Since my youngest is the most active and mischievous of the bunch, I gladly admit that I looked forward to getting a few hours break from her inexhaustible energy.
Then Covid-19 arrived and my son’s school decided to do virtual learning until they felt comfortable allowing students back in class. So instead of teaching one child, I have three; a pre-k, first grader, and seventh-grader. Luckily, my son’s school teacher will provide his lessons and I only need to make sure he completes them correctly and understands them. I will have to provide the lessons for my youngest and oldest.
I feel overwhelmed and want to complain that I never signed up to teach but that’s a lie. Since, I agreed to have children, by default that makes me a teacher. Except I thought I would teach the practical stuff and the amazing school teachers would teach the knowledge.
Just so you know, I’m not the amazing mom that handles each disaster easily and super prepared for anything. I don’t do a lot of creative projects with my children. I never planned to homeschool. No, I’m the depressed mom that gets easily overwhelmed. I hardly ever feel adequate to do much with my children. Truthfully, I often skip a few days of cleaning and struggle to stay organized or on a schedule.
How to Handle Homeschool
In order to save any sanity I have left, I need to make a few changes. Though I may not ever be the perfect mom, I know of a few things I can do to keep our home calm and running. I just need to stick to it.
First, I need to be organized. This means planning lessons for my oldest and youngest in advance. All supplies need to be ready, labeled, and accessible. Each child needs a separate area to do their work, yet near enough I can work with them.
Next, I need a schedule. Previously, I’ve tried a timed schedule, having a certain amount of time for work. This did not work as my eldest resists doing assigned tasks in a timely manner. So this year I will try more of a chart of tasks and daily schedule. Each morning, I will list out the tasks each child needs to complete. The schedule will consist of set times for activities I need to direct. For example, lunch will always be served at 11 am, the time my son is scheduled to eat with his class, while chores are listed on the tasks. When all tasks are complete the children have the choice to television, play games, or whatever fun they wish. This gives the children the responsibility to complete their work and I won’t stress about time, I hope.
I don’t know if this will work but it’s the best I have for now. Through organization and schedules, we should be able to have a relatively calm and easier time handling everyone’s schooling. Though honestly, I wish I could just send the kids to school.