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Planning Progress (mostly).

We saw the first snowfall of the season this week!

The kids played and threw snowballs, chased the puppy and warmed up by the heater. It only lasted a day, but it was a nice change of scenery and allowed us to discuss the states of water! I’m sure that will tie into one of their lessons at some point down the road.

I’ve been spending so much time on the computer with photo editing lately, I developed a really nasty headache earlier in the week and had to take a screen break for a few days. Scheduling remains the most difficult part of all of this, and any speed bumps or delays are extremely inconvenient.

Getting the kids back into some kind of school routine has been a real challenge. We focus on lessons and projects for a couple hours, then have lunch, have quiet reading for a little while followed by outside play and free time while I try to work in the afternoons and into the evenings.

At least that is how it’s supposed to go.

There just isn’t enough time to give everything the attention it needs to be done as well as it should be. Any time a minor crisis arises, it throws the whole day or week for a loop. I’m forgetting to plan dinners, the house is becoming harder and harder to keep clean, my work and work plans have fallen to the wayside, and I feel like I’m treading water in every area.

Unfortunately, it seems unavoidable.

I’ve tried my best to plan things, to prepare ahead of time, and to make sure I’m rested enough to attack the challenges of the day. I know I have memory and organization problems, and have been going to great lengths to ensure I’m compensating for them so we don’t get off track.

There isn’t enough time in the day. There aren’t enough hands to help. This is how it is, for now at least.

Each lesson needs to have a lesson plan. I have to copy the worksheets and prepare ahead of time so I know how to teach whatever they’ll be learning. Connor, Tyler and Willow are at 3 different grade levels, which means different workbooks, lesson plans, and preparation. On top of normal housework, being a wife and mother, trying to run a business that’s been devastated by Covid, and doing side work to help with bills. Not to mention making sure my kids feel safe, sane and healthy – which is a full time job in itself.

It’s a lot to juggle. And I have no training for any of this. I’ve come to accept that it’s just not going to look the way I want it to for a while.

Our school days could definitely be longer, but I can’t divide my time any more than I have already without risking my own health. So this week, we tried to do as many lessons together as possible, and then broke off to do worksheets or activities at their own levels individually afterword. This way, I could work with them all at the same time. I’m not sure if it’s the best method for their learning, but it was successful for me, and they got their work done more quickly than if I’d tried to do each lesson individually.

Thankfully, the homeschooling kits included some pretty fun stuff for the kids as well. For every math lesson and reading assignment, we have at least one craft or play-learning activity. Most of these need minimal supervision as well, which is another bonus.

I feel a little guilty trying to distract my kids half the day so I can work, but like I said earlier – this isn’t going to look the way I want it to right away. Nothing else in the world does right now, so why should homeschooling in isolation during a global pandemic be any different? I have to keep my expectations realistic, or at least try to.

It’s much easier said than done. The kids’ education is very important to us, and I don’t like that they aren’t being challenged in the ways I know they need to be.

Willow and Tyler discovered a new favorite game this week. They toss “Story Dice” and create an ongoing tale, using whichever three objects the dice land on. It kept them entertained for at least an hour at a time, and their stories are a great deal of fun to listen to. Their little imaginations are so inventive, and they always try to “one-up” the other as the storytelling goes on. Willow really seemed to enjoy being part of the storytelling as well. Since she can’t read quite yet, she usually just listens during any story times, so crafting a tale to amuse us all was something she really took seriously.

It’s hard to focus on any of this with so much going on in the world right now. Our family has been extremely isolated for months, and the way things are going, it doesn’t seem that we will be easing up any time soon. The general attitude seems to be extremely unsympathetic toward high risk families, which has made this whole experience even more isolating.

I’m struggling with priorities and keeping perspective…though perspective is hard to have when everything has been so distorted. I just know I’m scared for my family. For so many reasons. Our city, state, and country are in such chaos. It’s at all levels. Covid seems to have become a sideshow in the circus of government that is creating more and more division by the second. I don’t even know what my biggest fear is anymore; we seem to be living through all of them.

I guess we just continue to get through one day at a time and hope for the best.

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