Yesterday morning, Sunoa and Melea woke up, had a big breakfast, pulled out their computers . . . and worked on their homeschool programs. Yes - homeschool!
Portugal’s President issued a state of emergency two weeks ago and called for families to self-isolate. As a result, schools in Portugal have been closed since March 16, the girls no longer have basketball or swim practice, and we are now spending a minimum of 23.5 hours in self-isolation inside the house. That was not a typo. You read that correctly. We are now spending a minimum of 23.5 hours inside our house.
Many of you may be in a similar situation. You, too, may be self isolating with your kids. Like me, I'm sure you love your kids to the moon and back. BUT, I’m just going to come out here and say it: I am not prepared to spend hours each day with my girls teaching them sixth and eight grade math, science, history, language arts, and health. I’m just not. At the same time, I know the girls need structure throughout the day and they need intellectual stimulation. Dilemmas, dilemmas.
Solution: the wonderful world of homeschooling!
At the risk of sounding like a sponsored ad (and, mind you, I am not getting paid for this post) - homeschooling has been amazing for us! Each day during the week, the girls log into their homeschool courses and they learn their lessons online through various readings and videos. They then complete their daily online assignments, quizzes, and even tests. And the best part - they learn everything online through an incredibly structured daily lesson plan. I don’t have to teach prime factorizations, I don’t need to explain how to balance chemical equations, and I don’t need to discuss literature through the lens of history. In other words, I do not have to teach. This is really big because I didn’t understand the concept of homeschooling until we recently looked into it as an option during self-isolation.
Here’s the thing I learned about homeschooling: I don’t have to Google anything.
Originally, I thought homeschooling consisted of buying a bunch of books online, brushing up on my faint recollection of what I learned in middle school, sitting my girls down, and teaching them everything they needed to learn. Have you ever watched that show, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? There’s a reason why that show was so entertaining: Because I’ve realized that, on average, we (as adults) are not smarter than fifth graders. At least, not without some serious study guides. I mean, who remembers the difference between a cumulus and stratus cloud? Who remembers what an autotroph is? Who really cares if Casey wants to figure out how many feet long a line is when he has two yardsticks and a twelve-inch ruler that he lays end to end in one line? How did Casey get two yardsticks and a ruler? Can’t Casey just look it up on Google?
Here’s the thing I learned about homeschooling: I don’t have to Google anything. I don’t have to create lesson plans. I don’t have to develop a curriculum. I don’t have to brush up on the beginnings of industry in England. I don’t even have to buy books. With our homeschooling program, the only thing I need to do is make sure the girls stay on task. And that’s exactly how I like it. As luck would have it, that’s exactly how the girls like it, too!
Four hours a day of study: They love the shortened school days!
Each day, Sunoa is responsible for studying her core eighth grade classes: Health, History & Geography, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Portuguese. At the same time, Melea is responsible for studying her core sixth grade classes: History & Geography, Language Arts, Math, Science, Spelling and Portuguese. They each study an average of about four hours a day and they love the shortened school days! At the same time, they’re learning and expanding their minds.
So, if you’re sitting at home right now and feeling the pressure of trying to figure out what to do with your beautifully rambunctious kids at home, consider looking into homeschooling. There are a lot of quality online schools that can keep your kids focused during this period of uncertainty.
At this point, we don’t know when schools will open back up in Portugal and we don’t know when the self-isolation period will end. But, until then, we’re focused on making sure our girls continue with their education and we’re focused on staying productive, safe, healthy, and happy.
Now, excuse me while I issue a brief school recess. The students are calling for a play break!
Melea explains stock market in one minute