Lock down + Homeschool = Madness
Melbourne was plunged into Lockdown last weekend. Corona virus took hold again and we were instantly locked in our houses. People separated by kilometres, friends kept apart, weddings cancelled, funerals thrown into disarray as loved ones can only be farewelled by 10 people. The whole lockdown thing is all kinds of crazy. I get that this global Pandemic is one we want to kick – but homeschool is a rough gig.
I hear the word ‘Mum’ about 3 billion times a day, followed closely by something that they need. More paper, a pencil to be sharpened, their reader, another snack, toilet paper, when is recess, when is lunch, what are we having for dinner, I don’t like this, that or the other. Do I have to? why do I have to? I don’t want to. Is the day finished yet? My all time favourite – is that delivery for me? (because the 4 year old can order things off the Internet yeah!)
If I had to put a number measure on how much I hated homeschool, it would be infinity to the power of infinity. I hate it. The littles don’t understand it and the bigs want to bump the system, listen to music all day and play Minecraft. The littles can’t keep their hands off the screen, at all, not for a minute. The bigs play their music so loud it makes the windows rattle. The littles just want to be in breakout rooms with their mates so they can take one another round their bedrooms and show them their roof! The bigs sit on chat and shoot nonsense sentences to one another, keyboard smashing, that’s what they call it! I think I could smash a keyboard, right up against the wall!
I have the pleasure of sitting at the table from 8.30 – 3 and fighting with the Preppy about Zoom being important. Convincing the Grade 5 and 6ers that they can work to time and just need to apply themselves. Showing the 4 year old how to YouTube search princesses so she can have some space and so can I. The only one who works is the Year 8 student. She just gets it, causes no fuss. Goes to her meetings, completes her tasks, does her homework – which technically is just ‘work’ now.
Schools are such a wonderfully rich and diverse space filled with information and stimulus materials and most of all teachers. Teachers!! My dining room table was never designed to be a classroom and I can tell you now, the kids are wearing a track from it to the cupboard and I am over it. Anyone who says their child sat there from morning til afternoon and worked effectively is lying – no one can sit still that long, especially not a kid with ants in their pants.
Socially, emotionally, mentally – they need their friends, they need the structure of school; Recess, Lunch, Sport lessons, Library, their teacher who clearly has them in line and working hard. The children need this. The adults need this too. My day was not supposed to be one of sitting for 8 hours being the baby sitter and arguing with a Preppy. It just wasn’t. If I am over it, they must be well and truly over it – I commend them for their tenacity to keep trying in the face of what is a crazy school set up. Also though, to the parents who are sitting and seeing their days race away while they fight and yell and cajole and reassure and bribe and cry with their kids – you’re doing a mega job.