I promised you more positivity after a very gloomy last post…so here it is. A week on and we’re mainly through the raging stage, into the coping with our new normality stage. It’s still hard work but we’re finding ways to keep connected online and there has been a lot of public ukulele practice to fill that need for a creative output. Still, one thing we’re not really doing is homeschooling – Reuben is diligently working every morning but Eva is mainly filling her time with art and computing, neither of which are key components of the Year 3 curriculum. But I’m at peace with that. I posted something on Facebook this morning, which I’m just going to copy and paste here because apparently it chimed with a lot of people:
“Fellow Parents – as you’re staring down another week of kids-at-home, let’s remind ourselves why this is *not* homeschooling. So, reason #53000 – this is a trajectory that no sane homeschool parent would take. From full time school to complete social isolation in a day? It’s the kind of abrupt change that would normally warrant a call to social services or maybe the police…”So the LWAT children have been pulled out of school, stopped attending church, quit their drama and swimming lessons and now the parents won’t let anyone into the house and the children can only communicate via video link”? Honestly, it sounds like something out of the Virgin Suicides or that Lisa Jewell novel about a cult that I just read. Point is, these are extraordinary times and we are all suffering a bit of culture shock. You shouldn’t have to suddenly become a full time teacher, especially not if you’re also a full-time or even part-time somethingelser. Survival mode is fine and for a lot of us, it’s our only option. If the kids read a book, bonus! If they spend all their time doing “computing”, well they’re learning some kind of skill there, right? Enjoy your restful Sunday guys!!”
So, if you’ve been giving yourself a hard time for not filling all the gaps that have been left by the school closures, please so give yourself a break. We are in crisis management mode here. Some people cope with that crisis by pouring all their energy into timetables and useful links and online PE but everyone else copes in their own way. I’m coping by giving the kids as little direction as possible – their timetables are made by themselves and whether they stick to them is their own business. As long as I get four or five hours every weekday where I have something of a chance of working, then we’re all happy. That itself might seem like an impossible dream to parents who have preschoolers or even small schoolers so please forgive my older-kid smugness. I’ve been where you are now, admittedly not in these circumstances, but I feel your pain. You are doing an amazing job. And one day, even this will pass…it just might not feel like it right now.