Why I have a new appreciation for homeschooling parents
I HAVE a new appreciation for parents after helping my sister homeschool her kids.
Her current role as a nurse is educating both hospital staff and the public about coronavirus but she has also prepared for the frontline if needed.
She works three days a week while raising three monsters, I mean sons, and helping run a farm.
As an essential worker, she can send my nephews to school in Victoria but only on the days she is working, otherwise she has had to re-learn myriad school lessons she had long since forgotten.
While lamenting to my mother and I about how exhausted she was trying to work and school Messrs 9, 7 and 5, she asked us to pitch in from afar with the hashtag #takesanarmy pulling at the heartstrings.
I obviously agreed because I love my nephews and I love her. And I was on annual leave. But at times I felt like I was being punished.
She assigned me poetry for the first lesson and gave me Mr 9 to teach over our iPads on FaceTime.
First he wanted to sit on the chair, then he didn't want to sit on the chair.
Then he wanted to talk about Dog Man.
When we finally discussed the poem about a dragon, he came up with a half decent theory about the meaning of the poem. I was impressed.
I offered up a secondary possible meaning and he agreed that could work too.
The first task involved drawing what was depicted in the poem. I dutifully drew a dragon in a woodshed. Mr 9 drew Dog Man. When I asked him to draw a dragon, he added dragon wings to Dog Man.
Then he disappeared and I had no idea where he was, returning with Pokemon cards.
I asked him again to focus, he said it was school related and then produced two cards with dragons on them. Hard to argue with that.
When we started to write our analysis of the poem, he had no memory of the first two theories we had come up with to explain the words and his imagination had run wild.
I can only deduce he instead basically added a whole other verse I would never read.
I have never been more relieved that my boss called a conference call for all editors and I had to bow out and hand back to my sister.
In my eyes, she is now basically a saint. All you parents homeschooling are saints.
I have no idea how you're doing this daily but I take my hat off to you.
And Happy Mother's Day to all you mums out there.