I’ve got a complicated relationship with the notion of homeschooling. On the one hand, I like to imagine that I could do it. I imagine my “classroom,” picture my lesson plans, and like to think about how my children would absorb the information I would teach them like little sponges. On the other hand, I have no patience for the antics of my children probably 75% of the time, I’m terrible at sticking to a schedule, and my children are more like towels than sponges (they’ll soak up the water, but need a long time to dry before you can use them again – get it?).
So it turns out that homeschooling is not for me. Unfortunately for my children, homeschooling has been forced upon us by “it-that-shall-not-be-named,” AKA “you know what,” AKA “actually-it’s-more-of-a-dolores-umbridge-than-a-voldemort virus”.
So now we’re stuck here, and I’m both pleased that I get to try, and horrified at how much I’m failing at being their teacher. Thankfully, Aaron is off work during quarantine (he worked from home for the first couple of weeks, but it was too disruptive taking off every time I had to work). It’s been working well to have us each take a child and do their schoolwork in separate rooms. If they’re together, Madeline “helps” Emmett by giving him all the answers (it’s great that she wants to be helpful, but please stop). The fighting has leveled off (maybe “reached its peak” is a better way of putting it), and everyone has more or less accepted that this is how things are right now.
My current struggle is that it seems like I’m drowning in a sea of schoolwork, videos, emails, suggestions, app notifications and google meetups from all of their teachers. I feel like we have a pretty good amount of coursework that we’re working our way through, but I’m getting so many emails and updates from teachers, paras and therapists that I’m struggling to sort through what is helpful and what I should ignore. Emmett’s regular ed teacher sends out a lot of homework and projects and such that I know I’m supposed to ignore (none of it is modified for Emmett – we’re strictly working with his special ed teacher – she’s amazing – but it seems like that’s not how this is supposed to work, right? I don’t even know right now). But anyway, I know I’m supposed to ignore everything from that teacher, and most of the videos and such from Madeline’s teacher hold zero of her attention, so we ignore those too, but now it’s just confusing me with the volume of information I’m getting and what actually applies to my children and what I’m not going to do, and things are falling through the cracks and I feel like I’m missing important stuff, and I think I would feel better about it all if I just printed everything out rather than viewing it online because throwing out papers and organizing the good ones would be so much easier for me and my tactile-learning brain, but I haven’t done it because it seems stupid to print things with the intention of immediately throwing them away, and this run-on sentence is exactly the way my brain feels every time I get another email or notification from their teachers. Teachers (of my children and otherwise), if you’re reading this, I apologize, this is 100% my hangup, and not on you. You’re all awesome.
While that sentence is painfully in need of revising, I’m leaving it because it feels right.
So that’s my morning rant about my jumbled brain. Let’s just let that marinate for a while and we’ll see what happens. Maybe today will be the turning point, and we’ll have an awesome day filled with structured learning, fine and gross motor skill exercises, and educational outdoor experiences. Or maybe we’ll cry about how I can’t get Emmett to count to 10 consistently and then I’ll let them veg out to TV for several hours while I stew in my frustration and self pity. It’s anyone’s guess right now, but let’s hope for the former.