vClassrooms - Cindication - Grab a coffee and read this first before you begin
Hopefully, you have grabbed yourself a nice coffee to devour as you sit and read this and contemplate what your new life might look like in this COVID-19 crisis and what it means to you and your family in terms of schooling, or home-schooling.
Before you get out the clipboard and pen and begin to get overwhelmed just take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back. You either actively chose to educate your child at home (like I did in the past), or you have had this ‘forced’ upon you due to circumstance (coronavirus) – either way let’s find the silver lining here for you.
Right now, you will be feeling like someone has just picked you up out of your old life and dropped you into a new life – one that is scary, new, challenging and will ask you to learn and ‘level-up’ as you go. This is no different than your child and their emotions.
There are three key things I want you to acknowledge before you start (so take a sip of that coffee I asked you to get earlier).
1. Recognise home-school is not school
This isn’t school let’s be clear about it. You will get raised voices, tone and attitude. You will most likely get less focus and concentration as you adjust into your new routine and you may get swinging off the furniture too as you hear yourself say repeatedly, would you do this at school? No, you wouldn’t. Your kids will be readjusting too to their new life.
But in amongst this all, you will find a love for this type of schooling – the pearl of wisdom here being that you are showing your children LIFE-SCHOOLING.
You have the opportunity now to show them what it’s like to juggle workloads and needs of everyone and time management under not ideal circumstances. You will show them what it’s like to balance work commitments, education needs, important normal parent fun time and then space for all as well. You are showing your child what life can be really like, the real nitty gritty and they (your kids, remember them?) are looking to you now for their every need.
Just remind yourself that you aren’t alone and there is a wider community out there looking to connect. So, take a deep breath, keep in touch with yours, their friends and family members through tech and remember you are part of a community who all feel the same way you do.
2. Make a routine for you and your child
Know that there will be days that are organised and days that are chaotic. Not every day will be fun, and then other days will be so great and you will think, I totally got this home-schooling bizo. Try and look at like you want consistency over the week so maybe a week review rather than a daily beat up of yourself emotionally can help.
Sometimes a set routine works for kids so attempt (loosely) to do some work, and factor in little lunch, big lunch and some down time too for discovery play so that your child can explore what feels sparky to them. You can make timetables and do tick of sheets on the fridge or you can keep a journal of what you are doing over the week. Don’t forget to allow some time for you also – under these circumstances’ breaks are important for you too.
3. Accept your limits
Unless you had a burning desire to become a teacher then this will be new territory for you. It doesn’t mean you want to become one, but you are doing the best you can under the circumstances. Trying to create boundaries for yourself too so you can find time to work from home and meet your commitments too. Factor in that you may have to increase your broadband data limit for this time too if you are both online more than usual (and especially
if there are multitude of family members all online at the same time too).
Accept that you aren’t going to be perfect but that trying is better than not trying it all. Look for the lesson each day – this might be patience within yourself, extra bonding time with your child, a strong desire to never home-school again….(trust me you will feel like this at times) and an overriding sense that you are going to muck it up and make mistakes. Try to be gentle on yourself, you didn’t ask for this situation but neither did your children so try to remember this may be only a temporary measure for your child’s education – a bit like an extended holiday - and you will get through it - promise :)