No sooner do I feel like I’ve hacked homeschooling enough that it’s somehow sustainable, than do I get hit with a truly horrible day where everything goes wrong and I don’t know how I’m gonna make dinner, and, girl, dinner is just a rotisserie chicken I have to take out of a bag.
That was one of my days last week. It was truly horrible. I think I’ve snapped at my kids more in the last month than I have in their entire lives combined. And I hate it.
I have a new mantra to get through the rest of the school year, or the week, or maybe just the afternoon. It’s inspired by the algebra I’ve been helping Eli with everyday: The Distributive Property of Parenting.
In case you don’t remember the distributive property, it’s when you break down a hard problem into easier, more solvable parts.
If 7 x 12 is too hard, what about (7 x 7) + (7 x 5)? Sure it’s solving three problems instead of one to get the answer. But if a second grader doesn’t know his 12 times tables yet, sometimes that’s all you can do.
Sarah x running Chairman mom / homeschooling kids is way too hard. That equals nothing but disaster.
But (Sarah x doing the newsletter) + (Sarah x organizing two months of amazing Zoom dinners) + (Sarah x creating a new pandemic marketing plan) + (Paul x dealing with the lawyers) + (Catherine x manning the Kim Scott Zoom dinner) + (Shea/Monica x building the new event page) + (Lily x taking over social media) + (Dad x homeschooling two days this week) + (Dominos Pizza x dinner) + (no one x even pretending to garden or bake bread) is possible.
Looking over the four days I’ve got the kids from a pretty bleak and defeated place, I’m not thinking of it as four days keeping cooped-up kids happy while I cook 8,000 more meals for everyone. I’m thinking of it as (yesterday x homeschooling and work) WHICH IS DONE + (today x homeschooling and work) which will be done one way or another in 12 hours + (Saturday x no work or school at least) + (Sunday x no work or school at least, I just have to keep them fed/relatively happy/alive)
Your math teacher was right. You do use this stuff in real life.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- How are you getting your kids outside?
- Tips for surviving THOSE days of homeschooling where nothing goes right and it suddenly feels undoable?
- What’s something surprising that you’ve discovered that you’re good at or that you like doing, during this crisis?