So. I’m finally getting around to writing about yesterday.
Day 1 of homeschool.
I might throw in highlights from Day 2, too.
It wasn’t bad.
Seriously. We’re all okay.
We did not remotely follow the schedule that I hung from our dining room chandelier.
Mainly because the teachers send their lesson plans the night before and it just doesn’t match.
But they are actually doing school from 8:30 to 3:30.
Of course there are bathroom breaks and lunch and we take a walk every day. Still, I think they are getting more school in at home than they do at school.
They take their time.
We learned pretty quickly that all three of them at the dining table wouldn’t work. I spanked one kid, for the first time ever, when he got into a fist fight with his sister at 9:30 am. Once that was over though, it was the only fight we had to contend with all day.
The eldest, who has always marched to the beat of his own drum, decided to set up school in Bray’s office. He evacuates once Bray comes home from work (he is actually still going to work, so I’m solo during the day). Him working in that space has turned out well. And little bit and the baby work together beautifully in the dining room.
I set up office at the kitchen table. It’s not perfect but it puts me mid point between the two classrooms. I’ve had to mute my line a few times when “moooommmmyyyy, I need you” comes out. For the most part though, I warn them when I go on a call and they respect it.
Mornings, of course, are quieter and better than afternoons. I know this will get old. At this time, they are giving homeschool good marks. Little bit did write a persuasive essay though on why real school is better than homeschool (ha!).
The lesson plans have been packed, which has been good for us, because I don’t have to develop curriculum. Our favorite item on Day 1 were the dot monsters they did for art class – what fun to get to watch them create. Another one of my favorites was watching them do their cursive homework – the assignment was to write three scripture verses in cursive. That’s little bit’s up there in the photos, how timely.
There are a lot of cool supplemental resources I planned to us, virtual tours and space reading and sketching with Mo Williams, that we just haven’t had time for yet because they’re putting in a solid 8 hours.
I cried twice today, even though I made it through Day 1 okay. Once, when the kids did a Zoom call for lunch with all their fourth grade classmates. It was loud and chaotic, but it just made me so sad that they’re missing out on their community.
As you may have picked up over the years, I’m big on community.
Next, each of their teachers called them and talked to them. When little bit was talking to her teacher, she said she’d gotten stuck on math. The precious teacher said well let’s just go through the problem. So they walked through a couple on the phone together and she got it down. I hate that they don’t have their teachers every day (and I know their teachers hate it too).
But you know, we’re doing okay.
We’re doing better than most, actually.
We are safe and healthy. We have food in our house and money in our checking account. I have a job that I can do from home and that keeps me busy. I have three fourth graders instead of three totally different grades and ages and stages.
They’re getting along better than they have in months, maybe years. They jumped into the swimming pool and though it still feels like ice to me it is 85 degrees outside so we have another outlet for their pent up energy.
We start the morning with devotionals which has always been a huge desire for me but I couldn’t do it before because I leave so early from my long work commute. Now, we do it every day. We pray for others. We pray for the world. And we always thank God for how fortunate we are.
Sure it’s chaotic and messy and imperfect, but I’m really present in the now and thankful for this time with my people.
Love to you all. Please drop me a note if we can be praying for you. We’d love to add your requests to our list.
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