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Karen Drew: What’s working, not working with homeschooling the kids

Karen Drew home schooling.
Karen Drew home schooling.

Ok, I"ll admit it -- one of my weaknesses is patience. I always want to get things done ahead of time, have a plan, and go, go, go.

So this new life of being a Home School Teacher is really teaching and testing my patience. I am not in control and I have to sit quietly and watch, and wait at times for my child to “get it."

The other day, before I headed to work, I was teaching my 7-year-old how to count coins. It seemed very simple to me, but to Morgan, it is challenging. I had to take a deep breath and go over it again, and again, and again, in between potty breaks and multiple snack breaks.

Karen Drew home schooling.
Karen Drew home schooling.

In the end Morgan got it! It was that moment I realized I need to change, as we live in this “new normal." I need to work on my patience, let go of having things that have to meet a preset deadline, and stop comparing myself to all those Instagram moms who seem to be having amazing stay at home art projects and cute decorated weekly calendars. That’s not me -- and that’s ok.

We have been homeschooling now for about three weeks. I will tell you when I first started -- I thought it was going to be this perfectly scheduled day, with specific times for study, snack, and rest. Schedule is important, don’t get me wrong -- but what I learned is you have to be flexible in the planning. There have been a couple days I really pushed to start at a certain time, and things were just not clicking with the kids.

I realized on some days, when the kids were moving a little slower in the morning, it was ok to start school maybe 15 or 30 minutes later. Something that has really helped -- we start doing some of our week’s homework on Sunday.

Weeks ago I would have said a big NO to that, but with two working parents, who are busy Monday through Friday, I found if we could take a couple hours on Sunday to get organized, tackle one of the harder subjects, and get some other work done, the Monday’s and Tuesday’s are a little less stressful.

Remember the phrase it takes a village? Well I use that when it comes to math. When my daughter asked for my help this week with some crazy fraction problems, I could literally feel the headache forming in my head.

My eyes widened, my heart started pounding, and I came up with the best solution. Ask for help! My daughter’s friend’s mom Patty is GREAT at math, so I just asked for her help. A quick FaceTime call (well not that quick) and she got on the phone and helped my 10-year-old.

My pride was not hurt -- I was honest -- I didn’t know how to teach that topic, and Patty was wonderful to help us! Remember that - it’s ok to not know everything and if someone else can help - ask them!

One more thing -- seriously -- find some time for fun. Your children will remember how they FEEL when they look back at this time - they won’t remember the fraction problem, or the schedule. This is a time to bond, get to know them even better, and spend some quality time you have been asking for all these years.

Karen Drew home schooling.
Karen Drew home schooling.

For me and the girls we love going outside - playing soccer, basketball, taking walks, and doing scavenger hunts. Find something that brings your joy and brings you together. Each night when I tuck them in, I always ask what was the best part of your day and what was the hardest? I will tell you, the best part of their day typically is the fun time in between lessons, the time outside together, or just the silly fun as mom tries to be a teacher. And if you were wondering - when Madison answered what was the hardest part of the day - I’ll admit, she said it “was when you were trying to teach me fractions!” UGH! Well, it’s a funny memory.

Hang in there - we are all in this together! Hugs --- well virtual hugs --- we have to keep our distance.

Karen Drew

Karen Drew home schooling.
Karen Drew home schooling. (WDIV)

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