'I'm done': This mum's viral post nails how we are all feeling about homeschooling right now
I will admit it – much as I think my children's teachers are doing a great job trying to facilitate at-home learning – I, personally, could do without ever hearing the word SeeSaw again.
Let it be known, it's not just SeeSaw. I feel the same way about ReadingEggs, MathSeeds and if I have to watch one more YouTube video with a cartoon parable from the Bible, well, I don't even want to go there.
It's been a year since this whole debacle started. I am over it. Especially the homeschooling thing. I am over trying to juggle my own job, constantly cooking and cleaning as we are all home and, on top of it, making sure my children are up to speed with their curriculum. So, so over it.
And I am not alone.
At the moment, the vast majority of us are doing work we haven't been taught or trained to do, and we're doing it as we navigate the exhausting unfamiliarity of it all. It's a lot.
And if it feels like a lot for us adults, just try to imagine the toll this is taking on our kids.
A viral post from a mom reminds us of that.
In a since-gone-viral Facebook post, Christine Derengowski writes about a day when she was trying her best to get her seven-year-old son to do his homework.
I’ve lost a year with my kids battling over school and I’m done.
My seven year old and I were in the midst of our usual...
"I told him he didn't have to write about his best day like his teacher asked, he could write about his worst. He could write about whatever he wanted as long as he wrote a few sentences. He said he'd get in trouble. He said he was doing a bad job in first grade. He was on the brink of tears but didn't know why," writes Derengowski.
But then the clever mum came to a powerful realisation and decided to change her tactic.
"Instead of getting frustrated and pushing the assignment, I sat down with him at his desk in his superhero bedroom," she writes. "I said 'you won't get in trouble and you can't fail first grade. In fact, you're kind of a superhero yourself.' He sat up in his chair just a little and looked at me with disbelief."
"I said, "Do you know that no kids in the history of kids have ever had to do what you're doing right now? No kids in the history of kids have ever had to do school at home, sitting in their bedroom, watching their teacher on a computer. You and your friends are making history.' A visible weight lifted from his seven-year-old shoulders," she writes.
"I told him it means I haven't given him nearly enough credit for rolling with the punches. I told him how proud I am of him and his friends. That kids this year are doing the impossible and they're doing a really great job. I apologized for not saying it sooner and more often. A little tear fell down his cheek."
Children were largely forgotten about this past year
This post hit home with me – because it highlighted something I have been feeling this whole time – in the midst of trying to protect the vulnerable and the elderly, children have been largely forgotten about during the course of this pandemic. Locked out of school, services and playgrounds. Kept away from family, fun and friends. Children have been handed this whole new set of norms, a jagged break in their carefree childhoods and complete disruption to their usual routines. And I think we are only beginning to see the toll this has taken – and will continue to take on their health – both physical and mental.
And so when it comes to stressing over homeschooling, I have made the decision to keep what we do of it to a minimum. We get a little bit of schoolwork done in the morning, then we spend our afternoons in playgrounds, parks and on the beach, meeting friends outdoors and having fun. And by the looks of the full-to-the-brim playgrounds, so are other families. And after the year they have had, I think our children deserve it.