#RealMomSh!t: As most of us know, quarantine is quite brutal with little kids. They don’t understand it, it’s impossible to be stuck inside with toddlers, they need to be watched ALL the time and it’s just not a great experience for the most part.
You’d think it must be so much easier with older kids, right? They can understand the pandemic more, they can watch tv and they can generally entertain themselves just like an extra-long Spring Break…..right?! Sadly, they come with a whole load of different (but equally frustrating) challenges! The worst of which seems to be the bloody homeschooling.
So, I’ve brought in the big guns to answer some real-life questions on just how bad it’s been to homeschool your own kids. Meet Katie. She’s a working mom with two kids who are less than impressed about their new substitute teacher this term and it sounds like the feelings may be mutual.
How old are your kids?
I have a 10-year-old boy in grade 5 and a 6 and 3/4-year-old girl in grade 1 (the 3/4 is very important to mention!)
How long have you been homeschooling during the COVID quarantine?
About a million weeks?! Well, 10 but it feels WAY longer.
We started off super depressed as we cancelled our family trip to Hawaii back in March, but hey, we know we’re lucky to live in BC where our numbers are relatively low and we have the lovely Dr Henry to run the show.
How hard could homeschooling really be? My kids are old enough to understand why we have to stay home, they’re both good kids and I loved school and studying, so it might even be fun? Maybe I’ll be a great teacher and the kids will emerge from the pandemic as geniuses?
I was somewhat deluded……
Did you feel pressure to set a schedule or make sure you were doing a certain number of hours of teaching per day? How many hours do you try and do?
Well, regular school is 6 hours with 1 hour for lunch and 30 minutes for recess so I figured 4 hours of learning should be appropriate with a break halfway through for an ‘educational nature walk’
We did not manage even one day of this.
Apparently, trying to decipher two teachers’ different interpretations of online learning, juggle online team meetings, fight over who gets the blue bin to put their schoolwork in and constantly stopping them from ‘looking at each other’ too much is not as easy as I thought it would be.
I may have called an early dismissal and a pro-d day so far this term just to maintain my sanity! I feel another may be required for next week……
Do you understand their homework or do you have to fake it and run some stealth Google searches?
I’m pretty set with my grade 1er but grade 5 math is still a mystery to me and all the online learning platforms (Mathletics, Microsoft teams, Prodigy, Lexia, Raz kids) require a computer degree just to log in.
How many times have you fought with your “students”?
Every day for sure. My daughter has clearly been watching too much tv as she is quite dramatic and likes to hurl statements like ‘I hate my family’ and then storm to her room, slamming her door and sometimes, if the wall doesn’t shake enough the first time, she re-opens it, yells ‘ I mean it’ and then slams it again for extra effect 🤦🏻♀️ I guess if she fails school due to my terrible teaching, she has a career in the theatre!
What has been the hardest part of quarantine and homeschooling your kids?
I have to say that moms who post on Facebook about how well homeschooling is going (accompanied by perfect photos of kids diligently working on masterpieces) really do not help my anxiety. If you are indeed the only mom in the world who is good at homeschooling – keep it to yourself – we don’t care Karen!!!
How have your kids dealt with the past couple months in the pandemic?
My kids are awesome. We’ve had some really lovely family time going on long hikes, doing puzzles, playing games and hanging out as a family. We are also all sick of the sight of each other! My husband and I have spent more time together in these past three months than we normally do in 3 years and the kids miss their friends so much.
I think the hardest thing is the lack of structure and fear of the unknown because really, not even Dr Henry knows how and when the pandemic will end. Staying positive can be really hard some days.
Do you have any advice to other moms who are in the same situation?
OMG, give yourself a break. Just do what you can and remember: the kids will be fine – You are doing your best and that is exactly what your kid’s need. ♥