I don’t know about you, but these last 5 months have been the longest of my entire life. When schools first closed I was actually excited to have more time to spend with my kids. We were going to bake things, make crafts, read books, learn at home and work out together. Pandemic parenting was supposed to be so chill.
Pandemic Parenting is Basically Just Surviving Chaos
Fast forward to day 150+ of quarantine closures and no personal time/space/anything. My nerves are thin, patience is MIA, and waistline is… well, let’s just say it’s making sure it gets noticed. It turns out I just didn’t have the stamina to keep up the supermom facade for this long.
Then our district’s distance learning plans were announced, and they actually pushed me to be a better parent.
Distance learning and I do not get along. It hasn’t even started up again and I’ve already wasted countless hours being ticked off about all the things I don’t like about it. Instead of feeling frustrated about things that are out of my control, I took that energy and focused it on a new plan. Because unlike most parents, I’m in a unique position where I have the skills and time to teach my own children. So I pulled my kids from public school.
To clarify, our district is doing the best they can. I appreciate the hours of planning and committee meetings that went into the final distance learning model. It’s clear that this model was created with the safety of both kids and faculty in mind. Not to mention, pretty much all the moms I talk to are so incredibly thankful that they no longer have to teach their kids because of how well the district is bringing qualified public school teachers into their students’ homes. But it doesn’t work for me.
Thankfully, I am a trained educator
Instead of complaining about distance learning, I took a proactive stance and instead we will be fully homeschooling this upcoming year.
The instant I made the call to the school to withdraw my kids, I felt a wave of relief wash over me. You guys, my kids are going to be in kindergarten and second grade. In California, kindergarten isn’t even mandatory (meaning we could totally skip it if we wanted to), and I have taught second grade 3 different times, in 3 different districts. This is totally something I can do, and in fact I’m really looking forward to it!
The last district I worked for gave teachers complete flexibility over what and how they teach. That sounds cool, until you read between the lines and discover what that really means: They give you a computer and a limited curriculum library, and leave you to figure the year out on your own. Because I switched grades each year (by choice), I created a scope and sequence from scratch for 3 years in a row. I am fully confident that I can put together a year of learning for my kids, and would even go so far as to say that we are going to be happier as a homeschool family.
So now my pandemic parenting has come full circle. I went from my “practically perfect in every way” attitude in March, to the depths of despair in July, and now I’m back on top and ready to go. I have risen. I’ve found my patience, my love for seeing the world through a child’s eyes, and I’m taking both of these with me into our next chapter as a homeschool family.