The path to you-know-where is paved with good intentions, and so it also goes for homeschooling schedules.
I am teaching three out of my four daughters at home this year and had grand plans to begin with the eldest (3rd grade), move on organically to the 1st grader and seamlessly end with a kumbaya as I enlightened our third daughter, who is in pre-k.
Ha! That’s funny, now that I am a week into homeschooling.
With four young children, I am no stranger to plans constantly changing so it shouldn’t have come as surprise when nothing went as planned, as early as Day 1.
I did, indeed, begin with the eldest, but she lasted all of one subject before she was begging for a snack (1 hour after breakfast) and a break. I conceded and pulled her 4 year old sister in to our classroom. The humor in the book assigned by our curriculum Moving Beyond the Page seemed too advanced for her age so I skipped around quite a bit, remembering, the key is flexibility!
My eldest returned after her snack break and we completed her second subject before she insisted on taking a break to play with her sisters, so I grabbed our first grader and was able to complete both of her lessons in one sitting- honestly, they were way too easy for her, which I’m hoping is just a product of the beginning of the school year and not what she should expect for the remainder of the year. Either she’s way brighter than I realized or this curriculum is just way too easy for first grade.
I finally was able to drag our 3rd grader back to the classroom to complete math, which ended up being an extremely long lesson that we couldn’t finish.
By 12:30, I was exhausted but it was time to shove whatever food I could grab down my throat before lying down next to our 2 year old for her nap and popping a couple of Motrin for my headache!
The rest of the week continued much the same, with our third grader only wanting to complete one lesson at a time and eventually, our two year old wanting time in the classroom, too. As always, I adapted. As a Type A person, it has taken multiple children to force my hand at letting go. I like schedules, I like order and neither of those things can exist in perfection when you’re dealing with small children. The key is flexibility!
If you are reading this and have found yourself frustrated either with virtual learning or homeschooling, my advice is to take a deep breath and PIVOT, as Ross from friends would say. Set your goals, yes, but be prepared to change the path at the drop of a hat, keeping the end game in mind: the lessons you hope to teach them, your sanity and theirs. Above all else, protecting the notion that learning is fun!
The key is flexibility!