The plan to stay home and homeschool the kids has been more or less firmed up and I am mentally prepping myself everyday. I won’t be yelling “Bring it on!” yet, but I am working at it slowly, running trial lessons with the kids in the evenings when I return from work.
I received the Hands-on Homeschooling curriculum I ordered from the States, and started on the two-year-old curriculum after going through (and digesting) the four hundred-page folder. This month, we read about Jesus multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish and learned what it means to be thankful. We also traced straight and curvy lines, first with our fingers, then with a crayon. The kids practised drawing straight lines with a ruler (I seriously didn’t know this had to be taught) and coloured fishes, balls and insects.
I also did up a little gallery in the living room to showcase the kids’ work.
Don’t let me fool you. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I have to admit, it has been tough doing this homeschooling-lesson gig. For one, I am sorely lacking in the patience department and I spend most of my time having to deal with my inability to handle my emotions of being frustrated and annoyed by the kids. I’m so used to engagement of the intellectual kind that I often forget that children need a lot of affirmation, compliments and repetition. Plus, I have to very purposefully differentiate the lesson for Ben and Becks. Ben is three-half and Becks just turned two, so development-wise, they are at different milestones, learning and accomplishing different things. I have to constantly deal with one or the other getting disinterested, unengaged and seeking attention, while at the same time keeping my temper in check and being generous with praise when some parts of the task are being completed. Add to that, the baby is often hungry and needing the Mama-touch in the evenings because he still dislikes drinking from the bottle at daycare — and you’ll see a mad woman in the house thinking to herself this is just mission impossible.
But I’m glad that the kids would always look forward to the next lesson cos’ whenever they see me go into the study, they would go “Are we having lessons now, Mama?”, and I would always make a mental note to myself that this Mama can do better as their teacher the next time.