In the words of Mr. Alice Cooper: “School’s out forever . . . ”
Now, I’m not saying he predicted the future, but do you know the lyrics to the song “Schools Out“?
- This guy sings about school being out for the summer. (Okay, cool.)
- He mentions it being out forever. (Well, that escalated quickly.)
- Then he adds that school’s out with fever. (I’m sorry, with what?)
- And he belts out the possibility of not going back at all. (Oh, Lord, please, no!)
You have to admit, these lyrics seem very similar to our world’s current education situation. Across the globe, schools have closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Homeschooling is the new reality. From preschool to college, the new classroom is at the breakfast table. And I’m really not loving this journey.
I Was Homeschooled Myself
From fifth grade through high school, I was homeschooled. The option was presented to me because I wasn’t “great” at school. Looking back, I do regret that decision. Ultimately, I feel like I missed out on a lot because of being homeschooled.
I have no judgment towards anyone who chooses this path, but because of my personal experience, I swore I’d never homeschool my kids. Never say never, right?
School’s Out . . .
When the announcement came canceling school
forever for the year, I may or may not have cried. Okay, so I cried. I cried for my kids, for their friends, for their teachers . . . and for me. Becoming the primary source for my children’s education was, and is, terrifying.
But here we are, day . . . who the heck knows . . . into a mass quarantine, and I’m doing it. I’m homeschooling my kids. By that I mean, we have ABCmouse.
No, I’m kidding. We are full-fledged reading, writing, and arithmetic-ing. Okay, so everyone is discovering that Mom still isn’t good at school, but the kids are learning what it means to be sympathetic toward me. I guess you could say we’re also character building.
In this weird season of winging it, I’ve had to improvise and create something out of nothing. And according to the Board of Education, that philosophy is just fine.
Learning New Creative Skills While Homeschooling
Creativity has been key. Even the mundane of our daily routines has shifted into learning exercises. Spelling tests come in the form of, “If you want to eat this snack, you have to spell it first.” Unfortunately, they’re good at spelling, so the snack cabinet is getting bare.
We’ve made our own version of Jeopardy, where instead of money, my kids are awarded with m&m’s. This works great until the host has unknowingly eaten all the m&m’s while asking the questions (er . . . the answers)! None of the contestants were very happy about that.
Everyone knows conserving toilet paper is a must right now, and we’re using math to help us accomplish that. “If there are 426 square sheets per roll, and five people sharing that roll, how many sheets can each person use so that roll lasts forever?” It’s been well over a month, and we’re all still working on that problem.
Jumping quickly into the school of hard knocks: we’ve learned how to clean up dog poop before weed eating, the importance of wearing shoes while riding a bike, and the valuable physics lesson of spring vs. hand when assembling a trampoline.
By lunchtime, my brain function is usually that of a piece of celery. Everyone has quickly learned how to microwave their own Hot Pocket. But not before they’ve calculated the amount of toilet paper they can use after eating said Hot Pocket.
Obviously, this isn’t a conventional way of teaching. Nevertheless, we are adding wrinkles to the brain and learning new skills.
The Real MVPs
Our teachers have our kids at school for seven hours a day, five days a week. And then there’s me. After 30 minutes of book work with my seven year old, I’m ready to suck down a pack of Marlboros. And I don’t even smoke!
The amount of time teachers invest in our kids is under-appreciated, overlooked, and they are underpaid. Their hard work, dedication, and passion to teach kids is evident now more than ever. Teachers are, without a doubt, sorely missed.
While I have surprised myself by (at times) actually enjoying our “homeschooling,” I still have zero intentions of continuing on with the homeschool journey once the coronavirus quarantine ends.
How about you? How’s homeschooling going for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!