During March of 2020, the governor of Michigan closed down all K-12 schools. A few weeks later, K-12 schools were called off for the rest of the school year. As a mother of 3 children (grades 8, 5, and Kindergarten), I was at a loss. I personally had been working from home since November of 2013, so I knew how technology could benefit someone who needed to stay at home. However, teaching my children from home was going to be much different.
Problems to Overcome
The teachers for all my children’s grade levels were now submitting work for them to do online. While most of them used Google Classroom, there were various links that I had to sign up for in order for each child to do their work from home, as well. This was just one of the problems that I encountered. I needed to come up with some way to keep track of all these websites, so I created an Excel sheet with each child’s name. I put the information for each site into Excel.
Another problem that I had to overcome was creating a schedule so that none of my children would fall behind. Again, since each of them was in a different grade, it was difficult to get this one right and honestly I am still working on adjusting it a bit. I first made a list of each one of my child’s classes and what was expected from them in each class. From there, I bought a planner and wrote down what each child needed to do in each class every day. I also got each of my children a planner and wrote down in those what their specific plans were going to be for each day.
Finally, I needed to figure out how to get my children to learn from home. Two of my three children were constantly fighting me about learning from home. It took me a while, but I implemented rules that they would not get electronics (besides for school) until they did their schoolwork. This has been working fairly well.
Technology That is Being Used
When the schools first shut down and I found out I would have to teach my children from home, I was overwhelmed. We had one working laptop at our house and that was the laptop I needed for work. Luckily, the schools were kind enough to lend out their school Chromebooks. Now each of my children has one of those to do their schoolwork on.
This was the first time I would be teaching all three of my children from home. I needed to make sure that each one of them did the schoolwork they were being assigned and didn’t fall behind.
To my surprise, my youngest child (age 5) was excited to be home all the time. While she did miss her teachers and friends, she said it was great to be home with me all the time. She was thrilled to get on the computer and do her work.
It was also a surprise that my middle child (age 11) hated doing schoolwork. He was always such a great kid in school and never had any complaints from the teachers. He always participated in school and got excellent grades. Since the start of learning from home, he was resistant to doing the schoolwork and complained all the time.
My oldest son (age 14) also surprised me. He had such a difficult time in school and got numerous complaints from his teachers. However, since he started learning from home, he has taken initiative. He gets up every school day and checks his own school email. He immediately does the work they have assigned to him. If he needs help with anything, he finishes what he can first, and then he comes to me with his questions.
Best Parts of Schooling from Home
In spite of the complications that have arisen since schooling from home started, there are some good parts of this happening.
For one thing, I get to see what each one of my children has to do in school every day. When they were in school, they hardly ever brought anything home, so I wasn’t aware of what they were learning.
The other great thing about schooling from home is that I get to spend time with each one of my children more often. I get to connect and bond with them altogether and individually.
Schooling from home has certainly had its challenges, but there are some good things that have happened because of schools closing down, as well.