When You've Been Handed The ImpossibleStarting Homeschool
If Covid19 has thrown you into homeschool, if your school is asking you to manage 'school at home', if you are struggling to juggle work and teaching, if parenting just became 24/7 and relationships in your house are strained, my heart goes out to you. You have been handed the impossible.
I am a trained teacher and a long term homeschooler. I'm a mum of 4.
I'm a single mum and I run a business.
I have homeschooled through long term trauma.
I have homeschooled through family breakdown.
I have homeschooled 3 children all the way through to University entrance.
And one of my daughters is now front line in our health system. She's been a registered nurse for only 6 weeks.
I'm still homeschooling my 12 year old.
We do not do 'school at home'. And it's ok.
Right now, we need to survive.
We need time to food shop.
We need time to clean and disinfect everything we touched while we were out.
We need time to prepare meals.
We need time to comfort our kids when they are confused, missing their friends and afraid of the future.
We need time to work - to keep our jobs, to keep our businesses afloat.
We need time to move more slowly - the weight of anxiety is heavy.
We need time to plant veggies for food.
We need time to declutter and tidy - for sanity.
We need time for relationships.
We don't have time from school at home.
But that's OK - because our kids don't need to do school at home to have an excellent education.
If, for the next six months, your child doesn't do any school at home, they can still learn to read, to write, to spell and to do maths. Your child can still get a job and go to university. Your child can still become a competent adult.
I know this is true. I have never done 'school at home'. My eldest daughter is studying psychology at Uni. My second daughter is a nurse. My son is running his own business.
So - what is it that we do?
Our life is much more gentle.
We have time to breathe.
We have slowed our mornings to allow for the extra sleep needed to process crisis. We start our lessons at around 10.30.
Today my daughter has listened to hours of an audiobook (excellent literature).
She has spent hours doing art - that she chose - she is highly focussed.
She did a little spelling (maybe 15 mins).
She designed and made a fly trap with her brother (Science and technology).
She will work on her maths for about 30 mins and play the piano.
This afternoon she has an online dance lesson.
And tonight we'll read aloud together.
And that's it.
We have a rhythm of learning that is manageable for each day.
We Simply Homeschool.
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