I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get round to finishing/publishing it. Things are much better now, we are in a really good rhythm and on the whole happy and coping well. But this was how I felt at that moment in time so I still wanted to publish it.
This isn’t a moan as such. It may come across as one but it’s not really. I’m not unhappy. Its more of a vent about what life is like at the moment, for many of us who are trying to home educate their kids. Bloody exhausting! That’s what it is.
I’m writing this because today alone I’ve messaged or spoken to 4 other mums who are feeling exactly the same as I am. We are working our bums off, quite simply, and are frickin exhausted.
I have 7 (nearly 8) yr old and a 5 year old and I am trying to complete the school work that had been set for each of them. I have to do this at the same time. I can’t do them 1 on 1 because a)it’s just me b) my 5 year old moans like mad when it’s suggested she play or do anything by herself. She can and does play by herself but not when I want her to. c) I work from home in the afternoons so there is not enough time for me to do their school work one at a time. My husband co-runs a company providing Internet so he is still working full time, sometimes from home, sometimes from the office, but he cannot take turns with me. He can help occasionally but not very much.
So 1 person assisting 2 kids in their learning when they are at completely different stages is bloody hard. I compared it earlier to being in a pinball machine being constantly flicked between fractions, and simple sums, between coming up with similes and rhymes for a poem, and sounding out digraphs and memorising tricky words. “Mummy can you…” “mummy what’s…” you think you’ve got one set up doing a task so you go to the other, only to be called back to the first child, then called by the second again… And repeat indefinitely until it’s ‘break’ and they watch Tom and Jerry while you go through emails and print worksheets for the next subject.
All the time I am thinking about what today’s topic is for later, do I have separate age appropriate tasks for each or can they both do the same thing? Where did the teacher say the video was for that? Was it in an email or on an app? What am I cooking them for lunch? Which of their clubs are doing virtual classes today? What exercise shall I try and get them to do in the garden? You get the gist.
I’m also trying to think about whether the laundry has finished in the machine. I’m having to think ahead about food in a way I don’t normally need to. I can’t just pop out whenever I need to get 1 thing. For a start I’m not supposed to take the kids shopping and some of our local shops have even banned kids. So then I can only go when my husband can be with the kids, and even then there is no ‘popping’ anywhere. I queued for 45 mins the other day to get into wilko to buy bin liners and Antibac wipes and a couple of other things I couldn’t find anywhere else. Because they are still restricting the amounts of things I can at least buy them, but not enough so I will have to go back and queue another day to buy more.
Sorry rambled off subject there. I guess my point is that my brain is working so hard in a way that it never has before.
It is not made easier by the fact that my kids are, well, kids and they don’t always want to do the learning their teacher has sent them. My daughter and I clash at the best of times, she normally does homework with Daddy because she will do more for him than for me. It’s a personality thing, I can generally get more work out of Leo than daddy can, so I help him with his homework. We don’t have the luxury of sharing this out though. This is day in, day out, just me and them. I’m lucky, I just have 2. One friend with almost identical aged kids also has a 1 year old to throw into the mix. Chaos!
I know some mums would read this and say why bother? Why push yourself so hard? Why push your kids? My kids are bright and inquisitive kids. They like to be busy. Yes of course I leave them to be bored sometimes but I guess I like to be busy too. It keeps us all going, even though its hard. And I don’t push too hard when they really don’t want to do something. Liberty’s task from school this afternoon was to listen to a cbeebies radio programme for 10 minutes…. She was having none of it and lay on the floor screaming at the prospect. Considering we had done maths and English and art and some PE, I looked at her, though F*** that, got out her box of dolls and started playing with them so she joined me. Leo meanwhile finished his geography then aced his spellings bless him and was dead happy to do so.
Every day is different but this has been today and yesterday, getting back into schooling from home. I’m hoping it gets easier.