• Marie Bateson

Welcome To Homeschool

Sweet Jaaaaysus, Mary and Joseph. Where to begin with this nightmare? After two days of receiving what felt like 700 printables, links, logins and videos from my kids' various teachers, I politely informed the administration that we would NOT be homeschooling and my kids are looking forward to resuming class in September. Hasta luego, chicos.

In my defence, my kids are 7 and 5 years of age. My husband didn't even start school until he was 7 and he still graduated as valedictorian of our high school class. Granted, there were only 19 students in our year but, still, I'll reluctantly give him some credit and use him as proof that you'll do just fine in life if you missed a few months of school when you were a kiddo. If my kids don't complete the bazillion tasks currently clogging up my inbox, the overall effect on their education is going to be negligible. However, if I attempt to homeschool, none of us are going to make it out of lockdown alive.

No school was prepared for this, just as no family was prepared for this. But outsourcing education to the parents at this time is definitely not an option. All it's going to do is reveal to our kids how little we remember from our own education. I don't want my kids to know that most of what they're learning now will be forgotten...

At this time, most parents are still attempting to work from home, so we should all stop pretending that young kids are going to be able to navigate through various downloaded documents and links in order to teach themselves whatever is on the curriculum each day. I'm hoping our school catches up with others that have set up online classrooms where the kids can actually see their teachers and classmates. But, if they don't, my kids' educations are not 'ruined' and they will not be 'behind' if they don't follow the curriculum laid out by the school.

I think everyone needs to remember that this is a state of emergency and we're not required to make a career change into teaching. That is one of the hardest bloody professions out there and most of us who aren't teachers SUCK at it. If anything comes out of this lockdown time, it should be a giant collective raise for all the teachers and enormous respect and recognition for them and stay-at-home mommas.

My plan during this time at home is to keep reading with the kiddos each day, login to their online maths site every now and then, continue with the Spanish and Swedish practice, and then just play. We make up 'science' experiments and we take yoga classes online. They join in our HIIT workouts and we construct fairly fantastic theatre sets, if I do say so myself. Adella's currently stuck into an anthology of poetry that I just finished reading - she's not going to wind up dumber if she's reading Frost and Dickinson rather than completing assignments on "The Aliens Stole My Underpants" or "The Chores Song" as her school requested. We do a lot of (really bad) dancing and we all love art, even if none of us are giving Picasso a run for his money anytime soon.

They're excited about being able to choose what they want to learn about and their curiosity is leading us to some pretty awesome stuff on YouTube. So far they've learned about the brain, octopuses, creatures of the Amazon, what sugar does to your body, and, erm, motocross. The best part of learning via YouTube vs. learning via Mama is that I'm not tempted to drown myself in a vat of gin after each lesson.

Also, the kids are actually teaching me something which means my time in lockdown isn't a complete waste of time either. Did you know an octopus has three hearts? Did you know the plural of octopus is octopuses, not octopi? Yeah, me neither. Turns out this lockdown is more of a homeschool for me than for the kids. Cheers to that!

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