parenting · Stories

Morning Menu – Homeschooling on the Fly

I love education. I love planning out lessons to stimulate my students’ minds. I love the moment when students and goals merge into one well educated successful outcome – I love— Wait a second…. Not every lesson works quite like that.

Let’s get real people. There’s a reason our country is always in a jam to find enough teachers. Teaching is hard work. It is emotionally draining, financially unrewarding, and the ‘root’ cause of all grey hairs.

Nevertheless, here were are in pandemic town where every parent just graduated to homeschool teacher over night. Let’s slow this bus to crazy town down just a bit. We don’t need to be all gung-ho on becoming professional teachers. What we need to remember is that our kids will be just fine if they have a couple of weeks off. The term “summer vacation” comes to mind along with “winter break”. Our kids have chunks of time without school already, a few more isn’t going to hurt.

What can hurt them is spending those weeks zoning out to YouTube until their eyes fall out of their faces. (My kids are on YouTube at this exact moment… Even though I told them to turn it off…Repeatedly…) A little is fine, especially if it is educational. But too much Sponge Bob is not good for anyone.

Daily Menu

You may have heard of morning menus – essentially it’s a new way of looking at routines. Instead of a rigid schedule that dictates what you do from hour to hour, “menus” offer you varied selections to choose from. These are especially great because each day is different. I know, for me, I get really cranky if I have to follow a super strict schedule and every day is the same (Hmm… Actually that kinda sums up my entire adult life…).

Depending on the ages of your kids, you’ll need to be more hands-on with their daily activities. My kids are in middle school. So, for example, I told them one of their menu options is to look at current events. Read a news article and write a short paragraph summarizing it. This 20 minute activity gets them reading, writing, thinking, and off their tablets (except for finding articles). You can take little lessons one step further and have kids share a video or write a post to put up on social media as a way to interact with other kids. (If you do, tag @savagemug so I can see it too!)

Below is the downloadable version of this Daily Menu. Feel free to create your own, add to this one, and share your ideas with others who might really be struggling with this whole quarantine situation we’re all in right now. Not all of us are great at lesson planning or figuring out what to suddenly do with our kiddos on the fly. It’s ok. None of us expected to be here today, dealing with these challenges. Rest assured – WE ARE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS.

Remember to take a breath, stay calm, stay home, and let your family know you love them because that is all that really matters in the grand scheme.

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