Homeschooling & Quaranteening During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Quarantining + Teenagers = Quaranteening.
I have decided my children are disgusting and need to be quarantined for the next decade. How hard is it to flush the f**king toilet?! Despite that my kids are teenagers, their homeschooling has now been reverted to relearning the basics of Kindergarten.
This week’s courses include:
DEODORANT 101: No, I will not smell your armpits and yes, you really do smell like a rotting taco.
BRUSHING YOUR TEETH FOR MORE THAN 30 SECONDS: No, you can’t just chew gum instead.
BATHROOM SPRAY: was invented for a reason.
SHOWERS: I understand you don’t care that no one will see you. I see you and I see a grease fire in the making with that nest building on your head.
WASHING YOUR HANDS: This is a repeat lesson that will go on for the duration of our homeschool learning because NO ONE has learned the true art of using soap AND hot water.
Next week’s lessons will include: Turning OFF The Bathroom Lights, Taking No More Than 10 Minute Showers (not 30 Jessica) and How To NOT Sneak Food and Hoard Dishes in Your Bedroom.
Ugh, ugh, and ugh again. I'm trying really hard not to pull out all of my hair. I understand this isn't the fault of the teachers. I truly have empathy for them and for the administration that has to now navigate the world of how to teach online classes. Please know that my rant is not to slight teachers or educational professionals. This is just hard for all of us to navigate because as parents we rely heavily on educators to do the amazing job they do on a daily basis. Most often underpaid, might I add.
Truthfully, I am unsure how to navigate all of this and feel insecure in my ability to play the role of a part-time teacher. I'm overwhelmed by the roughly 10 emails so far from each of my kids' schools. A few from the administration, and then a host of individual emails with links to google classroom folders. There are links to videos, and some basic instructions. In sum, the kids have to try to learn on their own, do the work, and then ask questions if they can't figure it out.
Everything I learned about Math, Science, and Social Studies left me long ago. I have PTSD from middle school @ssholery and my brain has still not recovered from the trauma of my eighth grade science teacher's fish eyes and his manspreading with one foot on my lab desk on the regular.
I was a liberal arts kid from the get go. In high school, I loved French, English and Art. Geometry was interesting probably due to the visual component for me and the smart ass kids like myself that made it entertaining. I liked learning, but my confidence was shaky. I also really enjoyed finding ways to not be in school whenever possible. I was a master at forging my mother's signature to get me out of classes which worked up until the day when a letter came home reporting my 9 absences. (Let's just say that I had a good run.) Despite my delinquency, I managed to get into college. In other words, I was great at skating on thin ice.
College taught me how to write papers and actually do the work required. You know, things like studying for tests throughout the semester rather than trying to cram in all in the week before. (Trust me. I still did plenty of that and it never worked.) In college, I continued to suffer through the required hard sciences and a four credit history requirement nearly killed me. I was better with soft sciences. Philosophising and untangling statements of things like "everything is water" was totally enjoyable to me. Debating in Political Science enabled me to find my voice in the realm of politics. Oddly enough, my degree is a Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts. Why it wasn't a Bachelor of Arts will never escape me, but in a way it was good for me to go outside of my comfort zone of art.
Moving on, my point is that the majority of what I learned is probably useless to my kids. I'm fairly certain the Art History, Advanced Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, and Design classes I took aren't going to be helpful to my kids right now. Not to mention my self-taught knowledge of how to smoke pot out of a coke can and make mac n' cheese in a hot pot at one o'clock in the morning while buzzed off of sh*tty cheap wine. Though there is some math and science in that, isn't there? Hmm...
The reality is that I'm frustrated because I'm going to have to relearn what I worked so hard to unlearn in my adulthood. I left that sh*t at the door a long time ago. That's not something I'm proud of, but my brain had to make room for more important things. Such as knowing every line from Napoleon Dynamite and quoting Beastie Boys lyrics.
Now I'm looking around like, "So you want ME to teach my kids SCIENCE, MATH and HISTORY?!" Well, now that the burden is on me to make sure they are getting their work done, like every other parent, I'm annoyed. I know I'm not alone here. That on top of the work I'm already behind on, taking care of my mental health by procrastinating with this blog, I also maintain a household and have been taking care of my son post-scoliosis surgery. Nevermind just the job of mom. (Well, f#ck me. Hang on and just me just dust off my cape.) Might I remind you that I live in hormonal hell with two teenagers who can emotionally grind me down in 60 seconds?! Let's just say it makes an MS 13 beatdown look like a party. (Okay, I'm exaggerating just a little.)
The Silver Lining.
Because there's always a silver lining if you look for it. And here it is: If our kids can teach themselves on their own, they will have learned an amazing life skill -- the art of socratic learning. It will force our kids to become more resourceful and self-reliant. In fact, this may end up being a confidence booster in the end and only help them when it comes time for college or trade school. It will definitely help them in the world of work. Like many of us, they will teach themselves how to pass or fail. And maybe, just maybe along the way they will figure out ways to be delinquents like myself in the process. (Let's hope not!)
At the end of the day, there are online delivery services, such as instacart for us parents and caregivers. (Yay!) For now, we are so fortunate to be able to get groceries, prescriptions, and even wine delivered to our door. Target is on the instacart list as well and I have to wonder if they'll start selling wigs for all of us who will be undoubtedly bald from pulling out our hair by the end of this quaranteen. I guess there's always rogaine and wine for those who are in need! (Putting those in my shopping cart now.)