How to Homeschool Your Kids During Distance Learning Without Crying
Look, I’ll be the first to admit it: this whole quarantine and pandemic totally sucks. Obviously, the people who are directly effected (affected?) by someone being sick might not be able to see the forest for the trees right now, but, as someone who is literally struggling to come up for air … pour yourself a glass of something (coffee, wine, bourbon, whatever – no judging at this point) and let’s talk.
Granted: the same week the kids got sent home was literally the same week I was coming out of my surgical fog, and Randy had to go back to work. So there I was, unable to yell because I had just been intubated, nauseas and having recovery issues from anesthesia, beyond exhausted and waiting for my pathology report to come back. Oh, and yes – let’s add in a global pandemic!
It was a HOT MESS and basically the worst possible time for the schools to be like, “here you go, Ash – good luck with them!”
And yet, that’s what happened. And no one was happy. Everyone was in tears, screaming at each other, and more than one time I might of said “do your f***ing homework or I’m throwing your phone in the trash.” I even got into it with a couple of teachers and a school counselor because I couldn’t figure out anything about Google Classroom and my kids grades started circling around the drain toward F-ville.
But then, one teacher called me (not one that I got into it with) and spent half an hour teaching me about Google Classroom. Literally walked me through the entire process of how to log in, what the “stream” is, how to find out where assignments were, how to make sure they were turned in, and how to find my kids’ school email account.
Then, she introduced me to Google Calendar, which is what’s linked with Google Classroom. I literally can log into Google Calendar on my phone and see exactly what’s due that day, who needs to be doing what and it’s custom color coded for each kid.
By the end of it, I was almost in tears. FINALLY.
It’s not a perfect system, but, I can at least tell who has what due and when, and I can show the calendar to the kids when they try to say, “we don’t have anything due today!” … in your face, kiddos!
The truth is: I was simply walking into the situation totally blind. I was thrown into a whole new method of educating my children that I was entirely unfamiliar with. I got super overwhelmed by the entire idea of not only having to learn how to figure out how to be a teacher, but add in technology that I’d never looked at before and it was enough to bring any sane person to tears. Add in my surgical issues and the stressors of a worldwide pandemic and yeah – there were definitely a lot of tears.
But that one teacher that took the time to walk me through the process and suddenly, the gray skies opened up and I felt a huge relief of pressure off my shoulders.
So here’s my so-easy-it’s-kinda-stupid advice to anyone who is struggling with homeschooling your kids:
There’s no shame in asking for help, and I honestly wish I had just asked for help instead of just trying to figure it out on my own. It would have saved a lot of tears and fighting!
I’m letting the kids sleep in. I’m not making them get up and start working at 8am – instead, we’re just kinda being chill about it.
We’re taking breaks. A lot. We’re not just sitting there and doing everything all at once.
I’m checking in on the Google Classroom to see that things have been turned in – completed and on time.