Some call it a weed. Some call it a flower. I’m definitely in the flower camp. It’s amazing where these things crop up in the garden every year.
Now we have had several weeks of schools version of homeschooling, I guess it’s time to look at the parent side of the process. What have I learnt during these weeks. The first thing to say is that it’s NOT been impossible. That was my fear when I always thought about homeschooling. I’m going to mess this up. I just won’t be able to cope. Well I’m still here. Son is still here. No huge disasters. Son doesn’t hate me. School haven’t demanded my sacking as a parent. So yes I kinda must have coped with this homeschooling lark.
Another thing I’ve learned is this IS NOT TRUE HOMESCHOOLING. This is schools version of teaching when the classrooms are locked up. Some lessons might come close to true homeschooling but others are just the same classroom lessons delivered in your living room. The Government and the Schools set the agenda, decide on what areas are covered and how they are delivered. The children and parents largely do what they are told. The point about true homeschooling is the freedom that it offers. You can tailor the education to suit the child. This version of homeschooling feels more like forcing the child to fit the needs of the system.
So what have I learned as a kinda homeschooling parent then
- I know diddly squat about Art, Music, Religious Education and Drama.
- I can look like the worlds most intelligent parent when I hide my iPhone in my shirt pocket and find a way of discreetly typing in questions to google.
- Homeschooling is far more tiring for the parent than the child.
- My spelling is worse than my dyslexic son.
- For homeschooling to work really well you have to engage the child. Focus on the things that make him or her tick. What seems to work for me probably doesn’t work for our son.
- I need my own school stationary cupboard. The amount of time I waste hunting in draws for things like pens, paper, paints and art materials.
- Science hasn’t half changed since I got my A-Levels in Physics and Chemistry. Was Quantum even a word back then?
- I might have a master degree in computing but that counts for nothing when you are trying to get the iPad to talk to the school computer.
- Things like housework and working for money are really not going to happen during the homeschool day. For the parent homeschooling is as time consuming as it is for the child.
- I’m so lucky just having one child to homeschool.
- Me trying to explain French pronunciation is a complete waste of time. Maybe investing in something like Rosetta Stone is the way forward. But that’s a key point. Some of the homeschooling will be beyond me. I will need to invest in online support, book tuition time and additional help so as to make this work.
- Getting son to just read a textbook is not the best approach. If homeschooling is going to truly work it will mean doing things like taking son out to historical sites and geographic locations. The parent needs to fully commit to this.
- As the home school day has to replicate the normal school timetable I have learnt to be fairly strict on the time Son spends on each lesson. Trying to avoid overruns. Once these start they just accumulate and that just drags the day out for Son and ME.
- Homeschooling increases the urge for things like strong coffee and biscuits.
- I don’t care how many weeks I do this – I still can’t remember the school timetable.
- Broadband failure just as work is being submitted is seriously stressful.
- I’m very good (as are the PE teachers) at reminding the kids to warm up before the do exercise. I of course forget to warm myself up. Although I like to think of myself as fairly fit, I also tend to forget that I am basically an old fart…. So without warming up and then trying to do something like a forward role is basically asking for trouble.
- How much paper does schooling use ….. far too much.
- Homeschooling is tiring. But it doesn’t help with nighttime sleep. Too many school things to think about.
- If I pick up the courage I can make things like homemade play-doh without the need to panic buy off Amazon.
- As the homeschooling week unfolds my dress sense deteriorates. By Friday I look like a badly chewed dog rag doll. Don’t even start me on my hair.
- Just go with the flow. If Son wants to learn outside, or walking about or stood on his head or whatever … work with that. I need to keep telling myself that what works for me will probably not work for him.
- Over the years I’ve often had sleepless nights wondering what mystical substance has the chemical formula C12H22O11. Now I realise it’s Sucrose.
- I’ve also found out how difficult it is to try and type chemical formula properly. Surely in 2020 we must have found easier ways of typing numbers which are littler than letters. AND Don’t start me on trying to do French and typing things like acute accents and circumflex’s. The process extends writing an answer from seconds into months. On these I have been no help to our Son.
So basically I have survived this form of homeschooling so far. Yes it’s not always easy. Yes I’ve resorted to pulling my hair out in some lessons. Occasionally I have sworn. It’s demonstrated that homeschooling and work don’t really go together. But actually I have also smiled quite a bit. Sometimes even had fun. That’s just for schools version of this. How good could we make proper homeschooling.