So we survived the first week of home school for all three kids. And while I say we, I mean me. Of course,my kids would survive…right?
But I’ve had a nice glass of wine, and before I get too deep in my cups this evening, I wanted to clear my head of the lessons of the week. Some of it feels silly, like duh…you should know this. Others are like…duh, people told you this, why aren’t you listening!? And some are surprising.
The first lesson is to pick my battles. Yeah, you have X Y and Z to teach. But today- no one wants to learn Z. X and Y took too long. Y was harder than you thought to teach. Kid 2 didn’t sleep well because of nightmares and is cranky.
Which brings us to the second lesson. Encourage the kids to let them know how they are feeling. I know in the morning that I am in a fog and only want to accomplish two things. Drink coffee, and wake up. Normally this is a slow process, but things as they are, wanting to get into lessons relatively early and in particular, engage the second grader so she’s not bored and distracting dad while he’s teaching his courses online.
This week we had a morning where Liam was too tired and cranky and one hundred percent in the mood to argue and make life difficult. If I had known that, I would’ve picked an easier task, or even let him rest. But he didn’t tell me he hadn’t slept well, and I didn’t ask. Lesson learned.
The third lesson is to let go. Let go of expectations, let go of that need to FINISH ALL THE WORK. This is really hard for me. I plan each week beforehand, noting all the various lessons, books, vocab, spelling words, projects, and anything else that I’m “supposed” to do. It’s all there in front of me, this giant TO DO list. For me…to-do lists mean it HAS to be done or else I’ve failed. I know it’s not true but it’s really hard to remember sometimes.
The fourth lesson is to go with the flow. Sometime there’s a set lesson. Sometimes it brings more questions. And if that happens, explore it. Go down that rabbit hole! Maybe it’s not on the plan, or the curriculum, but who cares??
And finally, because I totally need to do things by five, the fifth lesson is have fun. Because so far, out of 4 days, the moments that have been the best have been the most fun. Engaging the kids, and having them engage back, laughing and simply enjoying our time together has been the part of home school that has been most enjoyable.
It’s most definitely been a good, but hard week. After a long summer, it’s a sort of shock, but that’s to be expected. And while I’m a bit nervous that the novelty of this whole ‘home school business’ will wear off, and it’ll be a battle of butting heads, I find myself hoping the older kids start to enjoy it more. (No worries on Miss Mei, who has told me she never wants to go back to school, because home school is just that awesome.)