It is day 173 of social distancing. I’m just kidding, I have no idea but I do think it’s Thursday.
I’ve been talking to mom friends and seeing funny tweets about what a nightmare homeschooling is and wondering why we homeschooling parents would ever wish this upon ourselves. That leads me to wanting to yell from the rooftops in my day 2 sweatpants and messy bun, “THIS ISN’T HOMESCHOOLING. Pandemic schooling and homeschooling are worlds apart.”
Let me give you a glimpse into my schooling days:
- Morning Devotional: After we’ve done all the regular morning routine stuff we dive into our day. We start with morning devotional. It’s simple, short, but meaningful. We talk mostly about Christ and what we can learn from Him, and what we want to work on.
- Independent Work: Then my older ones start independent work, (if they have any left, they like to get up EARLY to get it done. Weirdos).
- Time with the Littles: I fill my littles’ very needy loving souls up with mama time. It’s real. We play outside, read books, build puzzles. Whatever they desire.
- History/Science Lesson: After about 30-45 minutes we gather together again for history or science. This is a curriculum I’ve chosen and we go at our own pace. Meaning if we get hooked on the life of a slave that helped win the Revolutionary War, and want to research more about her, and watch videos detailing her life — we do. It isn’t about having to finish a unit or trying to get through a lesson.
- Personalized Lessons: Then it’s one-on-one lessons with me for the rest of the morning/afternoon/whenever, we get it done. Sometimes my 6 year old does 3 lessons, sometimes he does half of one. There are times while teaching a child we get into 5 minutes of a language arts lesson, but it turns into a wonderful opportunity to talk about something that has been bothering him or her lately.
Now, here is the amazing thing! After lunch we decide we need some vitamin sea (ha!) and head to the beach. WHAT! THE BEACH! IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY? Remember what it was like to go places?
We play for an hour or two and then come back and finish up the last bit of schooling before they are off with friends or an extra curricular activity.
So, you’re most likely wondering right now, “hmm, thanks for sharing what seems like unicorns and lollipops.” No, it isn’t that but it is these three pre-pandemic things:
(1) We get out of the house when and however often we feel like it. All of the sudden the kids want to have lunch with papa? We go. A kid finishes their book quickly and needs the next one or they might not survive? We’re off to the library. Or we really just need to get our wiggles out? The park it is! WE AREN’T STUCK INSIDE.
(2) This schedule and flow has taken me time to figure out. It has changed with each baby that we’ve added and will continue to change. I’ve learned how to go with all that the days bring with educating 6 kids. Different learning styles, messes, tears, joy, and dance parties. Always dance parties.
(3) The stress our world is feeling is real and our children can feel it. Public schooled children’s worlds (and their parents) have just turned upside down. Our world is in survival mode. When you’re in survival mode you are just trying to meet the bare necessities.
So, try your best. Give yourself and your child a break and a pat on the back. It’s all new and overwhelming. But please know, this isn’t homeschooling and if you’ve ever desired or wondered about homeschooling, don’t use pandemic schooling as your test period.
I’ll yell it one more time. PANDEMIC SCHOOLING IS NOT HOMESCHOOLING!