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The School at my Dining Room Table Sucks


HereComesTreble
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Like most parents of school aged children during this coronavirus virus locked, I’m having to temporarily homeschool my kids (probably through the end of the school year).

 I have one in elementary school, one in middle, and one in high school.  3 different schools, 3 different online homeschooling programs with multiple teacher websites per student.  Plus, one has Autism, and requires a 1 on 1 aid to help him through the school day—obviously that’s not happening now—well, I guess I’m the aid.

anyway, it blows.  I hate it.

hate hate hate hate hate it.

 My hats off to parents who enjoy homeschooling or can manage it without getting an ulcer.  I’m not handling this well.  

The tech side of it is too complicated for me.  I’m already not a tech savvy person, so handling multiple virtual homeschooling formats is really hard for me.

and playing the role of Mom mixed with teacher, sucks for me.  My kids are reacting to my teaching instructions by taking everything personally; which is not how they’d react to their teachers giving them instruction.

so, I get it.  We have to homeschool because the schools have to be closed to stop the spread of coronavirus.  There’s nothing I gain by hating it or whining about it.  This homeschooling season must happen, no way around it.  Still, I hate this and everyday has been a total struggle.

I’m open to homeschooling suggestions, please.  

Also, I’m now even more confused by fundies.  Why don’t we see more fundie homeschooling moms break away?  Just based on how hard homeschooling multiple kids is; I’d imagine after a couple years, half or more would run straight to their local public school. 

Edited by Coconut Flan
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4 minutes ago, HereComesTreble said:

Also, I’m now even more confused by fundies.  Why don’t we see more fundie homeschooling moms break away?  Just based on how hard homeschooling multiple kids is; I’d imagine after a couple years, half or more would run straight to their local public school.

They put the little ones in front of a TV and the older ones in front of a computer and children learn by themselves. 

Their educational expectations and your expectations have nothing in common. As long as fundie kids can read and write a bit, and memorise some Bible verses, it's enough.

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I suck at it too. I doubt my kids are learning much of anything with me as the homeschool teacher. My only consolation is that they are 5 and 7. I am basically just trying to keep them from forgetting everything they learned at school this year. I’m sticking to the basics. Especially since it’s such a struggle to get them to even want to do their work.

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4 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I suck at it too. I doubt my kids are learning much of anything with me as the homeschool teacher. My only consolation is that they are 5 and 7. I am basically just trying to keep them from forgetting everything they learned at school this year. I’m sticking to the basics. Especially since it’s such a struggle to get them to even want to do their work.

Same here. My husband and me work from home now. We need to supervise school while we are working or let them play&screens and then do school in the afternoons. Also we are supposed to workout twice a day. And to play board games with the kids. Cook healthy food. Etc.

I'm working more than ever! 

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I am not a friend of it either! I have 3 kids as well, there is very little guidance from teachers. They don't want to "overload" the kids and have to take those with limited computer access into consideration. My son is taking grade 11 math (advanced functions) and I am at a loss how to teach it. I just barely remember it. And chemistry is even worse bc I remember absolutely nothing!

My daughter's teacher at least posts youtube videos that provide basic explanations but there is almost no work to do. She is supposed to start high school in the fall, it is going to be interesting.

 

My youngest just needs to learn numbers and letters, THAT I can handle...

 

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23 minutes ago, Melissa1977 said:

They put the little ones in front of a TV and the older ones in front of a computer and children learn by themselves. 

Their educational expectations and your expectations have nothing in common. As long as fundie kids can read and write a bit, and memorise some Bible verses, it's enough.

Weirdly, that makes me feel better.  Better about myself—bummed for those kids that aren’t being educated.  They are starting out with the cards stacked against them.

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I'm a high school teacher teaching from home (beginning week 5) and you parents who are trying to keep up with multiple kids' school work have all my sympathy.  The hardest part of my day is trying to explain to parents what kids need to do (and I teach foreign languages).  I don't expect anyone to be able to do much to help them unless they know how to teach the particular grammar we are doing right now or can translate what the kids have to read because they can read in those languages.  I post a lot of 'how-to' videos and have tried to include some fun cultural items too that kids can do in English.   My goal and the goal of my school district is to maintain what kids have for knowledge and not move too far ahead.  We have been given permission to suspend our curriculum for the rest of the year and just make sure the kids are practicing what they already know.  We have been told that we will have to repeat concepts or teach them for the first time in the fall.  I am almost positive that what the kids aren't able to achieve will not be held against them.

We've also been told to take into account with the maximum amount of empathy the different circumstances that may exist in each home (parents with limited abilities, who have to work every day, time, other kids to manage, medical conditions, just about anything imaginable).  As a teacher I'm just looking for some daily contact from kids trying to do the work I've assigned or explaining why they can't do it or need more time.  It's a good opportunity for kids of all ages to really take charge of their learning in a new way.

Keep going.  This won't last forever,  your kids will be ok in the long run, and you all have my total respect.  

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If it makes anyone feel better, it’s the end of the school year not the beginning. My teacher friends have always told me the kids are super distracted at the end of the year anyway (summer vacation on the brain and senioritis). So maybe we aren’t doing as bad as we think. 

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As a teacher I wish I could help you all. We know parents are overwhelmed. Many people are struggling with so much, parents that are essential workers, losing jobs, food insecurity. etc.

Just do the best you can no one can ask for anymorethan that. You are all probably doing better than you think you are.

Not that recommendations were asked for but off the top of my head, for older students I recommend Khan Academy and Virtual Nerd for Math and complex Science subjects.  Someone 's child is starting high school (I forget who) have then review the pre-algebra concepts/class in Khan. 

Btw I hate virtual teaching.

 

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None of us are handling this well because we weren't expecting to be doing this and weren't prepared for it.

Mr. Rex and I are pretty militant about them keeping a schedule.  It all goes to shit without the schedule because we are also working from home.  But we build breaks into the schedule so they are not fried at the end of the day.  

I'm hoping this all translates into a better appreciation of teachers...I know this sucks for you all too!

 

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Thank you for all the replies.  I helps to feel less alone.

It’s just past 4pm and my elementary schooler still has work to do.  I’ve not been able to even start my work today.  

I could cry.

its only Monday and it’s only April.

 

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2 minutes ago, HereComesTreble said:

Thank you for all the replies.  I helps to feel less alone.

It’s just past 4pm and my elementary schooler still has work to do.  I’ve not been able to even start my work today.  

I could cry.

its only Monday and it’s only April.

 

Did you guys do school on Friday? My kids weren’t supposed to have school on Good Friday so their teachers said to take the day off. Maybe you can just take today off and start fresh tomorrow.

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8 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Did you guys do school on Friday? My kids weren’t supposed to have school on Good Friday so their teachers said to take the day off. Maybe you can just take today off and start fresh tomorrow.

I wish, but no.  They came back from an unexpected, extra long Spring Break last Monday.  So, we are in full swing school now.  

I did email my elementary schooler’s teacher this afternoon.  He said this complicated virtual program we are using now will change next week.

The new program will be more directly taught by our teacher.  Now, it’s a never ending series of links to videos on different formats.  This news gives me hope.

 

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Why ya'll didn't tell me kids learn to read in kindergarten now. That's a lot of pressure for a little kid. Glad I'm not my sister right now.

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45 minutes ago, Tangy Bee said:

Why ya'll didn't tell me kids learn to read in kindergarten now. That's a lot of pressure for a little kid. Glad I'm not my sister right now.

It’s wild—kindergarten has become so much about reading and math levels now.  

I know my kids’ kinder teachers tried to keep imagination, art, and play incorporated into their school day—but at the same time, they were hammered with curriculum and testing requirements.

Edited by HereComesTreble
Testing, not texting. ;)
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I just wish my kids would get MORE work from their teachers. My daughter (grade 8 ) is done all her work for the day after 30 minutes. And then I have to find out what else the curriculum requires, find explanations and worksheets and it just sucks.

 

My son in high school got a crossword with a wordbank for his history assignment, I mean, come on, he is not in grade 3!

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26 minutes ago, hollyandivy said:

I just wish my kids would get MORE work from their teachers. My daughter (grade 8 ) is done all her work for the day after 30 minutes. And then I have to find out what else the curriculum requires, find explanations and worksheets and it just sucks.

 

My son in high school got a crossword with a wordbank for his history assignment, I mean, come on, he is not in grade 3!

Same. My kids have not been getting a lot from their teachers for the most part. The exceptions have been my oldest's calculus teacher and my middle child's science teacher. 

I also have 3 kids, 3 different schools and learning platforms. I hate it, everything is disorganized. I realize the teachers are trying to figure it out as they go and many of them are trying to figure stuff out for their kids but it is rough. I really hope that this mess makes districts/schools come up with a better plan for the future. 

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Some districts or administrators have told teachers not to overwhelm students. That's how we are operating, but some of the assignments you are describing  seem a little light. 

That said there is a meme from a teacher site that this isn't teaching it's crisis management.  That is for both teachers and parents. Please give yourselves a break. It will be okay.  We are all in crisis management mode. (If I can help anyone somehow DM me).

Warning unsolicitated recommendations ahead. Again for older students I recommend Khan, (there are others out there too) and I recommend all children reading 1/2 hour for all ages. Online reading programs include ReadWorks, CommonLit, and for grammar/writing NoRedInk (a lot of these are free for the rest of the year). Seriously just assigning things from any of these platforms would keep student skills up but a lot of teachers are literally learning technology they have never used before and are not aware of some of these resources. I work at a tech heavy school so I'm fortunate to know a lot of this. 

Also there are some suggested schedules out there that may help. Try to keep a schedule if you can (personally I have to). As one parent of one of my students told me, "my child thinks they are on summer break. I had to reset that this weekend."

Oh for little ones Pete the Cat (and his new white shoes), alphabet/vowel songs, and preschool songs about color, numbers, letters, etc. 

 

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@WiseGirlThanks for the resources! That will make it easier for me!

 

Some of the teachers are just taking the easy way out and treat this as a vacation. There are also others though that seem to adapt very easily! My sons first English assignment was to pick 3 books that are in the house (so nobody had to purchase anything new in times of unemployment), build a fort, take your books in the fort, take a picture of yourself (bonus points if your parent or pet is in the picture), post it to the new message board that will be used for class discussions and comment on someone else's picture.  Yes, he is in high school and this might seem infantile but it brought a smile on his face, laughter in the house and he was busy. Oh, and assignments are also accepted handwritten and then photographed (in case there are not enough computers in the house)

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I teach high school. My district has told us to limit work and to be mindful of lack of technical resources. A lot of my work can be done by hand and they can take a picture of their work.

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Advice from a fifth grade teacher currently e-teaching: 

1) Sit down with each kid and make a weekly & daily schedule of what is due and what day to do it. For older children, help them make a template and then they can do the rest themselves. 

2) Give structured times they should work (maybe 2 hours in the AM, 2 hours in afternoon, and 1 hour for help from you in the evening if also needed). 

3) Show the child how to email, chat, or call their teacher to ask for help, instead of asking you for help. I wish more students were reaching out to me. 

4) Email the teacher asking if your children can do a daily check-in via Zoom or Google hangout for 20-30 min. Obviously this depends on the teacher's load. I have 40 students and am doing this for my 3 "needy" students on a daily basis, and other kids once weekly. 

5) On the weekend, check your child's progress. Do they have missing assignments? Do they have a low score in something? 

6) Check out Youtube for tutorials on how to "see" your child's assignments on the different platforms if the teacher is not responsive.

 

I just can't stress enough -- contact the teachers if you are overwhelmed or suspect your child isn't doing things correctly/efficiently. I had parents/students silent for 15 days before they finally responded to me with, oh we didn't know how to do x y z. One link to a you tube tutorial / call with me and they were ready to go. 

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Part of our issue is motivation. At least for my high school student and middle school student. They know that 4th quarter is pass/fail and their semester letter grade can't be lower than their 3rd quarter grade, they can only improve it. This is the district policy. Well, they both had straight A's 3rd quarter and so they don't have to do anything for 4th quarter and they will still get an A. They are completing their assignments (because we haven't given them a choice in our house) but many of their classmates are not participating anymore or if they are participating it is not consistent. 

My 5th grader had 3 math assignments and 3 ELA assignments per week, plus 30 mins of reading and 30 mins of math on moby max 5 days a week. Then Thursday is a makeup day to makeup any assignment not completed and the answer keys are mailed out to parents to check the worksheets assigned. Friday there is a online quiz they do, that takes about 15 mins. So each day she is assigned about an hour and a half of work. She does do some of the optional enrichment activities sent out by both her classroom teacher and her specials teachers but even then it is significantly less than what she was doing before. I do understand they are trying not to overload parents and that many families have several kids sharing one laptop but it feels like such a waste of time to basically be doing review for a whole quarter since they are not teaching new material to elementary students. It is also pass/fail though she has no clue what that means. 

I am jealous of friends in other areas that all the kids were set up with laptop/chromebooks and they are doing class via zoom, etc... It just seems like a better set up. Most of those areas were already somewhat set up for distance learning (like our old school district in MN that had"flex days" which were basically distance learning days when they would have to close for snow) or just an area that has already set up for a lot of online learning with ebooks, etc...

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14 hours ago, HereComesTreble said:

It’s wild—kindergarten has become so much about reading and math levels now.  

I know my kids’ kinder teachers tried to keep imagination, art, and play incorporated into their school day—but at the same time, they were hammered with curriculum and testing requirements.

Pre-K now is probably what Kindergarten was when I went(1971).

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We started term two distance learning today. I am keeping this in mind, and hoping he learns... something.

92642315_10157446947656491_3899223868270706688_o.thumb.jpg.5aeef401381e117ce04bfd0261d15a8a.jpg

He's not managed to set himself on fire yet, so yay!

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On 4/14/2020 at 7:10 AM, HereComesTreble said:

Also, I’m now even more confused by fundies.  Why don’t we see more fundie homeschooling moms break away?  Just based on how hard homeschooling multiple kids is; I’d imagine after a couple years, half or more would run straight to their local public school. 

It's not so common for fundies to start unexpectedly with little or no time to prepare and with multiple children at different schooling levels with different learning requirements, and they're more likely to be using a curriculum geared for home learning rather than having to adapt classroom education into distance education on the fly.  So what you and so many others are doing in response to the crisis is likely a bigger ask than typical fundie homeschooling.  (Not that I'm any good judge of what's typical, and even less of what's common in the USA.)

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