A pro what you ask? Honestly, I don’t know. A pro multi-tasker? I’d never go so far as say a pro-parenter because I’ve been doing this long enough to be humbled and shamed enough to keep my mouth shut on my spotty parenting skills.
But back to multi-tasker. That I am. I work full time and we do homeschool our kids (for now) and I do have other interests outside of these things, you know like writing. I do a lot and I have the dark circles under my eyes to prove it. I see a lot of jokes on Twitter about teachers needing raises after this and that is no joke. It’s hard to teach.
We started homeschooling at a later age so I’ve always joked about how I was the principal and not the teacher since most of our curriculum was online. I didn’t have to teach writing and basics that would have required hands on effort. If that had been the case I wouldn’t have been able to do this, or at least, continue to work while doing this.
As it is, I drop the ball sometimes. Somehow my older child got a month and a half behind in math. Now note this didn’t happen because they were watching paint dry instead of working. They are training to become an instructor at their martial art studio and they were spending their time learning the patterns they would need in order to pass that test and in the interim putting math to the side. Needless to say all martial arts came to an abrupt halt until they got the basics under control. They just came down to me and announced they had caught up and they have the logged grades to prove it.
And that is your main takeaway from this post. This is a golden opportunity to let your kids explore what they love. The hard truth is they will cover more than what they need to cover of the core articles within a few hours in the morning. In fact, within a few days, if they spend a few hours every morning on core they will probably have covered more than they would have all week at school. This is not a slight to schools, but there just isn’t a lot of wasted time and cat herding when it’s only a couple kids.
To hedge any naysayers and black&white garden stompers who are rolling eyes thinking – ‘I bet her kids are doing third grade math’ – let me say my ten year old is in Algebra II and they are both taking online High School honors English through the county site, both with straight A’s. And I’ll stop bragging there because I guarantee I win when it come to the pure joy they have in learning. In fact as I sit typing my youngest sits across from me designing a new game (they already have two apps on the app store and code in eight different languages).
Take this time to get through the basics quickly and then let them loose to learn. And know if you think you’re falling behind, you most likely aren’t. Even if somehow you do fall behind, how amazing would it be if it was because they spent their days learning about algorithms when they explored their interest in coding instead of putting a check mark next to fifth grade math or they found a great science site and spent their days doing experiments and then researching on the outcomes of these experiments or decided to write a novel instead of writing a dry report.
They’ll be back to routine soon enough, make them excited to get back to it by linking the boring to what will be exciting as their skills progress. It’s one of the golden secrets of homeschooling.