So, you’ve started the first week of virtual schooling…and you’ve realized that you’re totally in over your head. You have no idea how to do any of this. Set up a learning space? You don’t even have a desk for your kid. The kitchen table should have been good enough, but somehow, it’s not working. You had lofty plans for getting extra work done early in the week so that you could occasionally take a day off later in the week. Visions of sitting down with your feet up for a couple of hours while your kids got their work done, or of completing normal household tasks while they were doing schoolwork. You thought your spouse would be coming home to a clean house with contented children, dinner ready to go on the table any minute…and instead, you have chaos. The living room looks like it’s exploded. The kitchen is worse…and you haven’t actually fixed a “real” meal all week. As a stay-at-home parent, you thought you’d at least have time to throw in a batch of cookies…but it turns out, you really, really don’t. Your days are filled with dragging the toddler out of the big kids’ rooms so that they can get their schoolwork done, and helping the big kids with their schoolwork, and there are so many different things that they have to have done and so many different times that they have to do it all, and…
It’s a little bit crazy, especially at the start. There will be times when you wonder what on earth you’ve gotten yourself into, and times when you think you’ve absolutely lost your mind, and times when the idea of keeping it up for even one more day makes you seriously contemplate chucking in the entire routine and going back to a brick and mortar school.
Step back. Take a deep breath. You can do this.
You can get your child through this year—and they can excel, instead of just getting by. You can develop a daily plan that gets all the schoolwork completed and still allows time to accomplish chores, sports, and all of the other things that need to fit into a day. Your house may never be perfectly clean. There certainly aren’t going to be cookies every single day—but there will be days when you can find the time to squeeze in a quick batch (even if they’re Pillsbury).
You can keep your toddler entertained while schooling an older child. You can keep your baby on a schedule—it just may be a slightly different schedule than the one that you’re used to. You can figure out how to teach algebra, even though you haven’t taken a math class since high school.
You can do it.
It will take time. A new schedule won’t be born overnight. But as you work at it a little more every day, you’ll start to see changes.
You’ll be done with your schoolwork by the end of what would be a normal school day. You’ll get chores done before your spouse gets home. You’ll learn how to get dinner on the table in spite of doing everything else at the same time.
You’ll learn the subject that your child is struggling with well enough to teach it. You’ll learn to communicate with your child’s teachers, well and often, because that’s what it takes to make the year a success. You’ll develop a different relationship with your child than you’ve ever had before—closer, with more mutual respect, as you learn what makes them tick and they start to recognize what sacrifices you’ve made to give them this opportunity.
You can do it. Really.