By Valerie Rice | October 14, 2020
Once upon a time, parents shuttled their minions onto a bus, bleary eyed and overwhelmed with books and sack lunches, for a day of learning away from home. They then sprinted off to a full day of whatever normal adults do for hours on end, I’m assuming it is paid hourly work or secret parties I don’t know, I’m a blogger. Anyway, thanks to the pandemic, this is not really an option for many people anymore. Nowadays, children are at home. I know MINE are. The burden of education lands on parents and school personnel, making life a bit more complicated. Sounds glorious, yes? No. Many of us are tearing our hair out. Or we were. I can help with that. I have some tips.
KEEP A SCHEDULE
Time has no meaning here. If you have work, school, and play all from your home, time may no longer have much sway over your daily activities. Getting kids into those darn Zoom meetings and ensuring homework is done seems so…what’s the word…stupid? No, pointless? Well, less pressing than meeting the school bus for sure. I know I have been guilty of ignoring the morning alarm and staying up late on occasion. Sorry guys, this is a bad idea. With the world entering a third wave of corona, it is not very likely you can rely on life going back to normal any time soon. Try writing a daily schedule and following through, no matter what, so that your family can find a routine. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make life easier. Click here for more time management tips.
KEEP YOUR COOL
Look, you are not going to be perfect, and mistakes happen. I had a super fun incident with my child’s school last week and I seriously ripped the principle a new one. They totally deserved it, BTW, and the issue was sorted out. Teachers are stressed, and they are not in front of a class, so they may say inappropriate things. Your kids are out of sorts too, and THEY are going to do stupid things (like slam the laptop shut and walk away), and YOU are in a new paradigm too. I believe I said I wanted the teacher’s head on a spike to display from my balcony and her skin as a cloak. GHOULISH OVERKILL, I’m a pacifist, but we all say stupid thing when angry. The moral of the story is that we should think before we speak, calm ourselves (we all screw up, even me) and try to work together. So, before attempting to do anything stupid, review this cool blog I found.
BE AVAILABLE AND DELEGATE
Easier said than done, right? I know. Remember that schedule and time management thing we discussed? It will help. I have 4 kids, and I help each of them with their school work. I also delegate according to their strengths. Just because a child is older doesn’t mean they have mastered subject matter. My middle child knows more about language arts than my oldest. So when it comes to who needs help I allow them to play to their strengths. I also make myself available at all hours of the day to help with individual assignments. As long as they hit the meetings on time we can focus on the actual work later. It is one of the few benefits of online education. 2 of my children were previously failing school because they could not keep pace. They now have the luxury of individual help and attention as well as time to finish assignments.
Seriously. Relax. You are not a teacher. Or maybe you are, I don’t know. This is a new system and maybe you have no idea how common core works. I don’t. I’m guessing and just teaching them what I know, which is not everything. Work within your abilities, do the best you can, and take breaks. Your child will be fine. Children tend to learn organically anyway, and what they miss now can be caught up later. Do you honestly think they would be better off crammed into a classroom of howling children who are freaked out about plexiglass and lectured by a masked, overwrought teacher who is constantly making them wash their hands and yelling at them not to touch each other?
So don’t freak out, do your best, and try not to ignore that alarm. I know I love to sleep in, but it really is counter productive. Besides, the best thing you can do for your family in these times is to keep them close and keep them safe. Education is secondary. Do you really think it will matter if they are not around to use it? I don’t. My philosophy is that mental health takes precedence over everything. Living a miserable life is no good.