Homeschooling During The Coronavirus| Wandering Soup
Let me start out by saying I feel your pain AND more importantly I feel your kids' pain. It's a crappy situation to be in and one I can certainly empathize with if from a different angle as we chose to homeschool vs being forced to by the Coronavirus.
I would like to preface this by saying that I've taught classes of some sort most of my adult life and feel that I'm good at it, but to put it mildly this experience has been humbling.
When we started this journey in June, we honestly didn't "think" that homeschooling would be an issue or even really time consuming. We "expected" to sit at the "family table" and work together, him on learning and us on our various businesses.
Let me tell you that lasted exactly one week, maybe a day. The reality of life is that we aren't teachers and he wasn't a model student who only lives to learn. We can "see" answers based on living a long life and expected him to as well while he just wants to chat with friends on his computer. We were not on the same page and it took some hard fought days to get if not on the same page at least reading from the same chapter.
Amber and I had to implement some rules for ourselves and him, and I wanted to share a few of them below, hopefully they will help you.
1st implementation was starting with a bedtime. Most kids are better with hours of sleep versus falling asleep looking at a screen, and he is no exception. We agreed on 11pm bedtime, which I still think is relatively late for an 11-year-old, but it was a compromise that I can live with. And honestly we struggle with this one daily due to life and him fighting the shut down. Cell phones are the devil.
2nd was setting a daily schedule. We start at 10am and end at 2pm, not 8am or 7am because we aren't in a brick and mortar building and don't have "extra" classes such as music or theater to account for, nor class switching, those typical school things. Not to say we don't have those on the schedule, but not everything is on a daily basis. And most importantly we all like to sleep in. Well we do, he's up chatting with his friends due to the time change.
He does however, no matter what time he rises, have to be at the table ready to go with his school books, pens/pencils and laptop at 10am sharp. This includes having eaten breakfast (maybe). This was a hard fought battle that only worked after taking away a few things for a week or so.
3rd major decision was splitting the job, Amber teaches him on Monday and Tuesday and I do Wednesday and Thursday. Fridays are optional if we feel he needs more time to go over what was taught during the week along with assigned reading and more free form artistic pursuits. She handles Math/Science and I do English/Social Studies/History.
To be honest some days I feel as if I'm getting dumber and smarter at the same time. Not to say that the work is difficult--it's really the "teaching" aspect. Trying to convey to him the importance of it all, ensure that he is getting all the building blocks of learning and preparing him for when he does go back to a more formal education.
We doing it, day by day. And you will too. Take breaks, realize that everyone is in a new environment and adapt if what you originally thought doesn't work for everyone, not just you. Also recognize that you may not need 5 full days of "class." Drop down to 3 or 4 if that works better for you.
Again these are all just tips that are working for us today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.