It’s mid-May and we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that is homeschooling. Some of you may have enjoyed this time and felt like your kiddos thrived in the space of virtual learning—others not so much. Our mommy blogger Jenay shared her thoughts on doing virtual learning with her four boys and why it’s something she’s not ready to quit just yet. Check it out.
We’re on week “I stopped counting” of virtual learning and, admittedly, things could be going better.
The couple weeks where I planned the school day, I was able to pack the boys’ day with fun activities and lessons tailored to their interest and my schedule. But once virtual learning started, the day became a stress machine of incorrect logins, slow WiFi and questions on how to do fractions and the contributing factors to the Civil War.
The worst part? I still have a full-time job and I’m trying to keep up with my own work while stopping every umpteen minutes to answer questions about how to get on BrainPop Jr. or how to label the consumers in a life cycle.
So I should just quit, right? I mean, no grades are being issued and no attendance has been taken. The teachers keep working and we just start summer early. I’ve seen plenty of parents deciding to give up virtual learning and throw in the towel completely.
And who can blame them? I must admit, the idea of letting my kids sleep in and spend the rest of the day playing video games or basketball while I get my work done sounds very enticing.
And yet we plod along doing the best we can day by day. Even though I’ve seen a lot of support—or at least indifference–in quitting virtual learning and calling it a year, I continue and I feel (in the end) the benefits outweigh the disasters. So here are some of the reasons I’m sticking to it.
To Close the Gap
I don’t know about your kids, but I can tell mine are already starting to slip. Their handwriting is looking worse, and the spelling … wow.
I know the teachers are expecting a little “slippage” to occur and will be more than capable of righting the ship when school does resume again, however, I want to do my part to make sure my kids don’t fall too far behind.
Yes, there is a lot of learning that can be done outside of typical academics, and we’re working on those things everyday. But it is important to keep them on par with their peers, and none of my home lessons include the habitat of the spider monkey.
To Practice What I Preach
I want them to learn the importance of not quitting. This is a great opportunity for parents to show their children that when the going gets tough, the tough get virtual learning.
To me, quitting now—because it is so hard—will set the wrong example and diminish my credibility as the parent. What if next year, piano lessons are difficult, or their basketball team conference is too competitive? I can hear them now: “Can’t we just quit like we did home school?”
I don’t want to set a dangerous precedent on something as important as school.
To Prepare for the Future
I keep waiting for things to go back to normal, but now it seems pretty clear that normal is going to be a little different going forward.
As schools prepare for the fall, it looks like virtual hybrid options might still be on the table. This is the best time for us to get our act together.
The days are long and sunny, the kids still miss school, and summer is right on the horizon. We can try new things to find a process that works now without the penalty of grades and tests.
I’m not saying it will be easy. In fact, even with the light at the end of the tunnel drawing near I’m not sure how I will balance my work along with lessons for four kids until the end of the month.
But there are nice moments too. We’ve enjoyed fun lessons, interesting books, really cool projects and everyday my kids get a little more computer literate and independent.
It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough. And hopefully, what I fail at helping my kids learn in grade-level academics I make up for in teaching life lessons.
Jenay Sherman is a Christian, wife, and mother to four boys in McKinney, Texas. She was selected as the 2017 Texas Mother of the Year, and loves writing about their family adventures. You can follow along on Scary Mommy, or on her personal site, 4 Amusing Muses.
Image courtesy of Pexels.