As an outsider you’d think that given it was such a waterproof tight schedule with work delivered like clockwork, surely a child can just follow along with minimal guidance. Nope! Far from the hopes of being able to focus on the growing list of lockdown ‘to-do’s’ I became a looming figure hunched over a reluctant but knowingly capable 7yr old.
I just couldn’t grasp why he was so determined to drag out each and every lesson to the point that led me to up lose my temper by lunchtime.
Just answer the damn questions…! Do the work and you get a break… simple!
Days went by and our school hours were extended sometimes as late as 6pm by the time each and every task was completed. I tried to make it as supportive as I could, learning as I went and making it a team effort.
I’d sympathise over things like the agonisingly drawn out methods of simple equations that had to all be written out over and over again even though it seemed pointless.
I trusted that there was reasoning behind all the methods of teaching even if they weren’t clear to us.
To add to the surprise my Mum is actually a semi-retired primary school teacher so you’d think I’d have support, but it only raised the bar on the expectations put on me to ensure my son wasn’t going to fall behind. We’d often be left in tears with neighbours being subjected to monumental tantrums of frustration from us both.
The explosions of emotions that I exerted were like nothing I’d ever encountered. It reminded me of teaching him how to read and finding myself bewildered at how he can read ‘The dog is good’ then turn the page and seem to forget the exact same words that continued in the same monotonous structure throughout.
This was no quick bedtime read, this was a marathon of never ending torture with no backup parent there to take over when I needed to scream into a pillow.
My effortless idolised fantasy of homeschooling my son and adapting the curriculum to suit the world and environment around us had come to a complete halt. If it had been a written document it would have been ripped up and barbecued as an acknowledgement of the utter delusional nonsense it was.
How on earth was I going to ensure my son retains all the intellect I worked to hard over the years to ensure he had.
I felt I was drowning in a pool of delusion and parental pressure.
Being a single parent meant as always it was solely on me, but this was majorly intensified as it was never ending.
No one was coming to offer me a life raft.
It is only now that lockdown is over and I can compare our work rate to other children and families that I know I was too hard on us.
For my son to now be going back over all the work we painstakingly agonised over at the time, is undeniable a kick in the privates.
How did you cope with homeschooling?