{SQT} Homeschooling Like Everybody Else

I keep seeing posts about people having all this free time now that they’re at home, and my inbox is filled with emails from bloggers telling me all the things I can do to fill my time now that we’re in quarantine (exercise! take a course! learn a new language! improve a habit! rewire your house! develop a cure for cancer!). That’s not me. And I’m wondering how many other parents with small kids or special needs kids are feeling 100x busier, and more worn out now than a week ago.

Now in one sense, it’s easier; there’s no driving anywhere and no activities. But, with both boys home, I’m pretty much on call all day until Tony wraps up work in his basement office. It’s not the worst thing in the world. I’m enjoying most of it, even though I do miss having quiet time during the day to get things done and work on school with just the older kids. I only had one breakdown Tuesday night when I complained to Tony that I didn’t have everything figured out and I was frustrated because homeschooling is what. I. do. and nothing was going as planned. He reminded me that it was technically only day two of homeschooling Fulton and Teddy (and only day one in the eyes of the district who held a half day on Monday although I kept the boys home). Thankfully, Wednesday was better, as was Thursday. I’ve finally figured out everything the school wants and I’ve figured out where I need to add activities to round out our day and keep them from getting bored (aka incessantly bothering me).

Fulton’s teacher did not send much work home, and so I’ve actually added on more academics. Teddy’s teachers sent home plenty of work and now that we finally got more toner for the printer, I can print it out and he can catch up. I thought I was very curriculum savy, but public school curriculum is another beast altogether. Tony says it’s because the creators are trying to make it “engaging” but I just find it confusing. Everything has so much going on on every page, be it printed or on the web, and I just want to know what does he actually need to read and answer vs what is just eye candy. Seriously, just stop with all the breakout boxes and sidebars!

So long as I’m of the mindset that I will not get anything else done during the day except educating and caring for Fulton and Teddy, I’m fine. When they’re occupied, I switch around laundry, send a quick email, check something the big kids are doing, but nothing like, write, or run errands, work on website stuff, exercise, or things that I can’t complete in a few moments or set down immediately. Basically everything I used to do while they were in school. Every afternoon, I put on an educational movie, give them 30 min of reading time, and one hour of “fun” screen time. Some of that becomes down time for me to take a walk, read, or maybe squeeze some writing in, but it’s also when I prepare dinner. In the evenings, I’m requiring at least one “family activity”. We’re all home regularly for the first time in years and we’re going to create some fun family memories damnit! Screaming has been kept to a minimum. There’s usually still time before prayers for the big kids to sneak back to the basement, and for me to sneak online, and then it’s bedtime.

It’s a good schedule. I hope I can keep it up for the duration of the quarantine. I’m often my own worst enemy though. Eventually, I’ll try to squeeze something else in during the morning, and then get frustrated when I can’t get it done in addition to educating Fulton and Teddy. Or I’ll stay up too late to finish something (a blog post maybe??) and then be a tired grump the next day. Having Fulton and Teddy home requires me to really focus on what’s important (them, and the other kids) and put everything else in it’s proper place. It’s a good thing my edits got submitted when they did because there would be no book writing happening right now. My book is a good and important thing, but it was only made possible by having them in school. So long as I space out my other writing over many days vs doing it all in a morning, I can still blog as often as I have. House projects will hopefully get tackled on the weekend and while I don’t think it will be as over-productive of a time as some are trying to make quarantine out to be, we will all hopefully enjoy our time together and knock a few projects off our respective lists. (I’m not a reluctant or angry homeschooler, but most of the stuff in my Sunday post covers how I’m doing things and may help you too.)

I’ve been unsuccessful at getting my groceries delivered or scheduling a grocery pickup as all the time slots are filled. When I did get a slot at a Walmart in another town, they cancelled it a couple minutes before I went to pick it up. Mind you, I placed the order Friday, and planned to pick it up early Sunday, the soonest open slot. With an empty pantry, and no other choice I went out shopping. I’d hoped that our local grocery store would be dead on a Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. but no, people were still out in full force. I felt like I needed a sign that said, “I’m not hoarding. I have five kids.” I’m hoping today will be different. If everyone has been hoarding for a week or so now, shouldn’t we all be fine and back to just needing regular amounts of toilet paper and such?

How has your week gone? Write it down and link it up below. Then go reorganize your whole garage with all your free time. Just don’t forget to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!

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3 Comments

  1. Your last take made me laugh out loud! I was shopping yesterday and ran into someone I knew who suggested I put a sign on my cart saying “I’m not hoarding, I just have 6 kids.” Seriously, my cart was heaping full but it is ALWAYS like that.

    Last week was the first week it was a little scary at the grocery store here – lots of empty shelves. This week was better (maybe I’m just used to it now, but it seemed like there were fewer empty shelves than last time) so I’m hoping that’s the case for you, too!

  2. My kids were home to start off with and are all pretty small, but I’m not finding a lot of margin in my life right now for ambitious new projects, either. It probably doesn’t help that my phone kindly informed me today (I track screen time) that I picked up it up 92 times on Monday…

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