I like that I thought the concussion + surgery combo meant that our homeschool year was a dumpster fire. That seems like smooth sailing compared to what we currently are doing: homeschooling during the time of coronavirus.
As most of us, we are homeschooling through the coronavirus. Unlike most people, we are homeschooling by choice and thus when my governor closed the schools, it didn’t directly impact us. What did impact us was
- having Dad working from home (has been since mid-March)
- closure of activities like 4H and nature walks with local homeschoolers
- any kind of activities or events that may have been scheduled (my sixth grader did a frog dissection in February, for example)
- all of our autism and most medical appointments moved to telehealth
- hit-and-miss in the grocery stores (although that has gotten better for the time being)
- not being able to play with friends, go to parks, and so on
However, we understand and respect why we are inside and know that we will return to a new normal.
As soon as we went to sheltering-in-place, I gave us time off from everything to allow for us to adjust to staying inside a lot, to having Dad home around the clock, dealing with technological woes as we worked out the kinks with telehealth, and importantly – grieving about what was happening. I don’t mean crying – although some of the kids did that – but just allowing us all to feel the feels of shock, anger, confusion, uncertainty, and whatever else cropped up. It took us about 2 weeks to really work through it all. The kids did well but eventually hit a wall and fell apart, but I think giving them that space of no pressure to allow them to do so really helped us immensely.
After about two weeks, once they started acting nutty again from lack of structure and routine, we resumed schooling. Rather than unload them with a plethora of subjects, I decided to reintroduce them to the Feast, one subject at a time. We started with math. Two weeks spent on math – and only math. If we just did math each day, we were great. After two weeks, I added in phonics for those we needed phonics work and reading for those who are beyond phonics. We’re still in the “add in phonics/reading” stage, honestly. When we are stable with math and phonics/reading; I’ll add in history. And keep going until we have all of our subjects back in.
During these times of unparalleled uncertainty and change, I’ve had to essentially shelf any and all expectations I may have had for my kids. When they are upset, stressed, or overwhelmed; no amount of learning will happen. Sometimes we just need to stop what we are doing and play Plague, Inc for a while to let those feelings of “this is happening to me and I can’t control it” be worked out in a way that is a little macabre but still rather applicable to our current situation.
I’m planning on (hopefully) writing more here, about how we’ve been homeschooling lately and what we’ve been using and all that fun stuff. I’ve had to make my Instagram private but I still want to share what I can, and I like to think that I express myself better in writing than in picture format so ideally I’d like to maintain both. Stay tuned!