Homeschooling In the Wake of Coronavirus

Homeschooling Covid-19

We are practicing social distancing. Doctors appointments have been cancelled. Social engagements put off. Activities erased from the weekly calendar. My husband is working from home. My children’s schools are closed until further notice. This is life during a pandemic. Covid-19.

I see all of the above alterations to our daily lives as not only important but imperative. I believe it is my job to protect my family and others, to slow the spread, to help flatten the curve.

I feel especially grateful that my husband’s job has afforded our family the opportunity for me to not work, to stay at home with my children. And it seems serendipitous that the small handful of remote jobs I have applied for in the last year have not come to fruition. Because now I am presented with a job for which I have no formal training and no roadmap! This new position? Teacher. Of homeschool. To my three children. In three different grades. Insert surprised, wide eyed emoji here.

I can’t say the thought of homeschooling my kids has never crossed my mind. But when considering this option in the past, the scarcity of non-faith based curriculum seemed like a huge obstacle. It is easy enough to find individual activities and crafts on Pinterest, but I have yet to find a reliable resource for longterm secular homeschooling.

While I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around the severity of the situation we find ourselves in (following a week of spring break, we never returned to school and will likely not for some time), I have quickly gone all-in on developing a curriculum for my children. They deserve full enriching days, opportunities to learn and to move their bodies and I deserve the sanity that comes from a daily routine.

Thus I humbly present (in the hope that we work smarter not harder – together – during this unique situation), Homeschooling In The Wake of Coronavirus.

Our days are loosely based on the following schedule:

  • Make Bed/Brush Teeth/Get Dressed
  • Breakfast
  • Audiobook (we signed up for the 30 day free trial of — so far so good!) & Legos/Magnatiles/Trains
  • Outside Time (bikes, hike up rock hill, slack-line, sports on the side of the house)
  • Homeschool & Snack
    • Daily Meeting– Good Morning Song (I’ve been playing Hair Up from Trolls to dance our feelings out before we start school), Calendar (reviewing today’s date – my 5 and 7 year olds write this in their journals), Weather Check
    • Journal– Maddie writes a short paragraph using a prompt I’ve come up with and draws a picture, Benj write a sentence using his sight word flashcards and draws a picture, Marg practices tracing her name and draws a picture
    • Math
  • Lunch
  • Quiet Rest/Alone Time (my refrain has been, “we all need time to recharge our batteries before we get back together for the afternoon”)
  • Chores
  • Homeschool & Snack
    • Read Aloud– Daily Poem & Picture Books
    • Song
    • Literacy Worksheets
    • Activities
  • Centers
    • Art Table– Watercolors, Coloring Pages, Stampers, Perler Beads, Orbeez, Playdough
    • Dining Table– Puzzles, Screws, Cubes, Counting Bears
    • Living Room– Books
  • Dinner
  • Tidy Up House
  • Watch Show or Play Family Game
  • Showers/Read Aloud/Bedtime

I will be linking to lesson plans under the “Homeschooling” tab as I develop them and test them out on my kids, so please check back if you are in need of some fresh ideas! And if you have any awesome ideas that have gone over great with your kids, please share them here or on the Keep Calm and Soldier On Facebook Page!

twenty things i really love.

  • Crate and Barrel Customer Service.
    • They are shipping my table separately and sooner than my backordered chairs for free (instead of forcing me to pay the $150 shipping fee). They have also just refunded me $100, since I looked at said table on their website today and found it $100 on sale to what I paid when I ordered it.
  • Starbucks Breakfast Blend.
  • Glee.
    • Like A Virgin.
    • Like A Prayer- the goosebumps haven’t gone away yet.
  • Army Wives.
  • Blueberry Eggo Waffles.
  • Boars Head Sharp Cheddar Sliced Thin.
  • Online Shopping.
    • Doormat, sheer curtain, dry erase board calendar, bookends, eyeliner.
  • Edamame.
  • Puppies Who Obey Me And Don’t Pee On The Floor. 
    • own do not own this puppy.
  • Flat Rate Priority Shipping On Packages To Iraq.
    • $12.50
  • Websites That Ship Directly To APOs.
  • Emails From Iraq First Thing In The Morning.
  • Vera Bradley Lunch Bags.
  • Pickles.
  • Starbucks Iced Venti Sweetened Passionfruit Tea.
  • Getting Mail.
  • My Family and Friends Who Visit Me.
  • John Mayer At Red Rocks In September.
  • My 24th Birthday.
    • April 28th.
  • Andrew.

thinking the worst first.

Andrew finally made it to the JSS, after 3 1/2 weeks in Kuwait. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Kuwait- mainly because I never felt like I had to worry about his safety. I also got pretty consistent communication from him while he was there. But I am kinda glad that the anticipation of him going to Iraq is over. I’m also really glad that all of his traveling is finished.

Due to crappy weather, instead of going to the JSS in helicopters they went in a convoy on the ground. To me, that meant much more of a chance of IEDs and ambushes. What a surreal reality-for Andy to be in that kind of potential danger and for me to be thinking about him being in that kind of potential danger. When I woke up the morning after they had travelled, I hadn’t heard anything yet from him. I didn’t hear for almost a day and a half. The following morning, when I was getting into my car to go to work, I had a thought I’ve never had before…”I’m really lucky the casualty officers didn’t come and ring my doorbell this morning.” …I don’t hear from my husband for a little while, and I let myself think the worst. Every scenario. He could have been blown up. Someone in his company could have been blown up, and there’s a communication freeze. 
What would I do if they rang my doorbell at 5AM? I’d be in bed. I think I’d look out my window, pulling up one blind to see an unmarked car. And then I picture myself freezing. Just sitting down on my floor with my back to the wall. I have a feeling I would sit there for a while. Because you already know. You wouldn’t need someone to tell you. I always refer to that moment as the worst thing that could ever happen. That sickening moment of solitude, when you know you are going to be alone for the rest of your life. That you just lost your best friend to something he believed in, something he knew he might die for, something he must have somewhere deep down been okay with dying for. 
I thought about this on my drive to work. And then I got to work, got out of my car and went on with my day. But I have a feeling these thoughts are going to be hanging around for a while. I have a feeling they’re probably even going to get worse. Like when the doorbell rings, and I’m not expecting anyone… I think I’ll begin to always think the worst first.
I obviously have heard from Andy. He is at the JSS. He hasn’t been able to move into his plywood room yet, because the platoon leaders his company is replacing hasn’t left yet. So he is just kinda displaced for a while. I felt bad, but he said the JSS is nicer than he first thought it would be. So I don’t feel terrible. 
He actually had me pretty amazed today, telling me about make-shift urinals there. PVC pipes that are built into a wall and go directly outside into a moat. A moat of pee. I told Andy not to touch them with his you know what because he might pick up syphilis or something. That made him laugh. Apparently my first thought of how it works was not right. It’s a foot wide PVC pipe that you just sort of aim and shoot into. I hope no one stands on the outside of that building. It seems like a way to play a dirty trick. Like all of a sudden you see someones face at the bottom of the pipe screaming at you or laughing. But at least then you could just pee on their face.
It’s better for me to think of urinals at the JSS, then about missions Andy might go on. I don’t really like the idea of missions. At least when you go on a mission you go, accomplish something and return. It’s not open ended or anything. Still though. I always come back to the potential danger.
I think this is all part of it. So long as you don’t let the worst thoughts overtake you, you’re okay. So I’m okay. Lily is biting me a lot tonight and her breath kinda stinks, but I’m okay.