A couple months ago, I wrote about how the cancellation of classes was much more of a 'schooling from home' scenario, rather than a homeschool scenario. As the school year has now officially wrapped up and report cards have been handed out, I figured I would take the opportunity to look back on the last two months - and evaluate my own success with schooling from home.
Or, maybe it's more of a lack of success, if I'm being honest. Other than checking in on Google Classroom a few times, making the odd list of missing assignments for my 13-year-old to catch up on, and helping him with one French poetry assignment, I really can't take any credit for how my kids successfully juggled at-home learning.
Sure, there were some days that involved a lot more video games than schoolwork, but there were also a lot of great days and fun moments. There have also been some moments of impatience, and I've realized that a task that should take five minutes often takes a fourth grader 50 minutes.
With my husband leading our sons through their at-home learning, I was able to sit in my office, continue to work, and listen from a distance as they used Google translater to make fun of each other in French, talked about totally unrelated topics (like the newest season of Fortnite), and somehow - got things done. Our kitchen table turned into their classroom most mornings, and while they're happy to be free of the daily tasks, I think we all enjoyed the routine that came along with schooling at home.
I've heard a lot of parents express frustrations when it comes to being thrust into the situation. So many kids had to take initiative and do school on their own, as parents continued to work full-time out of the home. We quickly learned that doing schoolwork past about 2 p.m. was pointless, because there was no focus left. I'm thankful our situation involved being home with our kids, and not having to force school work on them after supper time.
But, with all tough and trying situations, I think there is value in the lessons we learn along the way. Before the cancellation of classes occurred, we had entered a phase where our now 13-year-old pretty much thought we were idiots. During the past three months, he's had to lean on us, while also trying to be independant. I hope he's learned that while he can do anything he sets his mind to, he will always have our support to back him up.
The experience reaffirmed my respect and acknowldgement for every teacher out there. Teaching has never been one of my strengths. As a student, I was the first to take over a group project and do all the work myself. I move at my own speed, and it's hard for me to slow down for others. It's something I know I need to work on, and just one of the many reasons I hope my kids can safely return to class in September.
But, if my kids have to spend more time at home, I'm not going to let that ruin what has truly been a unique experience, filled with many challenges, but a lot of positives. Yes, it's been hard working alongside a 13-year-old as he stares at a page in a textbook for 20 minutes yet still can't find the answer staring back at him, and then continually missed the deadline on those assignments because he simply forgot to hit the "hand in" button.
It's time I never thought I would have with my kids - and an experience I will appreciate forever.