All of a sudden I've become a teacher in addition to a full time mom and business owner. I want to start by saying I absolutely adore my two little girls. Of course I love them to the moon and back no matter what trouble they get in, how many tantrums they throw, and even what they sharpie on the wall. I know at heart they are sweet, smart, and talented kids that deserve all the love and nurturing in the world.
But wow this has been hard.
I'm by no means a teacher. I mean, I know my ABC's pretty well but I'll never come close to reaching the professional standards of the amazing people at Penny's school and Rosie's daycare. So, my best advice is to follow the curriculum and homework that your kids have been given, and be thankful they're not high school seniors in calculus.
Here are just a couple little things I've picked up along the way:
MAKE A SPACE FOR SCHOOL - SEPARATE FROM BEDROOMS AND OFFICES
Last week, I mentioned the importance of setting up a mini office when you're working from home. Well, your kids need a space for their studies too. When you don't have a lot of room to work with, it can be as simple as keeping your kid's work contained to the kitchen table and your work contained to the living room.
Above all else, keep their school work away from their bedrooms! Sleeping will be hard enough with all the restlessness of being indoors, and no one wants to think about the homework on their nightstand when they're finally drifting off to bed.
EXPLAIN WHY THEIR LESSONS MATTER
When you're 6 years old, it's impossible to understand why learning about the water cycle is important. They have to learn a lot of abstract concepts at a pretty rapid pace, and most of the time they don't want to be listening at all. Have a real talk with your kids about why it's important to be smart, worldly, and good communicators. I love to remind Penny that she can't fulfill her dream of taking over Apotheke if she can't do addition.
BE UNDERSTANDING AND (VERY) PATIENT
You probably know this already, but your kids don't want to be in this situation either. As parents we try to impart the importance of following routines on a daily basis, but unfortunately your kid's entire day, week, and month plans just went out the window. It's a very stressful and upsetting thing to go through as an adult, but far more confusing to handle as a child.
Take things slow, listen to your kids' concerns, and try to establish some amount of normalcy and routine with your home schooling.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
Say this out loud 8 million times:
PARTIALLY DISRUPTING ONE SEMESTER OF SCHOOL WILL NOT BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR CHILD'S EDUCATION!
It's so hard not to believe you're a terrible home-teacher who's ruining your kids forever. I just want to remind everyone that this is a little blip in their long term education, and it honestly won't set them back at all. Take some time to work on your own mental health, because I think we've all learned the hard way: If you freak out, so will your toddler.
If you're teaching your kids at home, congratulate yourself. It's an incredibly difficult, time consuming task that will sometimes seem futile. Take some time to remind yourself how lucky you are that we have the technology and capability to do this, and appreciate the extra time you get with your little ones.
Stay sane, stay safe, and the next time you see a teacher, THANK THEM!