Tuesday 28 April 2020

Update on Huffling Home Schooling

The first thing you'll want to know is whether I've killed my children or husband yet.

I have not.

Proof of Life, as of Friday, anyway. Husband is (probably) just off-camera, honest.
(Image: author's own)

That doesn't mean that I don't want to, or that I'm not going to eventually, but that currently, right now, they are all alive and well. Pink-cheeked and healthy, in fact. Irritatingly so. And breathing through their mouths. And always right there.

Maybe you're also wondering how my novel is coming along, and whether my freelancing work is fun to do while locked to our dining room table from 8:30 - 3:30 every day because the kids' breaks don't match up and everyone needs constant supervision and we can't get to the park except on weekends because we're strictly adhering to the "one-hour-of-outside-per-day" edict.

The answer to both:  It is not.

It turns out that they cannot play together for more than seven minutes without needing intervention: not outside in the jagged-stone-covered courtyard, not with a board game on the living room floor. They can't participate in their daily PE With Joe session without someone watching and telling them to actually try to do the exercises instead of correcting each other (by which I mean, telling each other "you're doing it wrong") and trying to get away with doing the least exercise possible (new record for fewest pushups done in a 30-second interval: three). One of the three can't make it through more than ten minutes of schoolwork without...well, without not doing their schoolwork. They can spend twenty minutes on a task, then, when I look over their shoulder and point out that they have only written one sentence, and that sentence didn't even answer the question the teacher asked (and probably started with "Because"), they get angry, erase or delete, and start again...and usually, they answer the same question like that at least three times for each. Another one of them still can't hold a fork properly. 

Oh, and the tears and screaming!

And the kids' tears and screaming!

It makes for long days. 

It's interesting to spend so much time with these three little people, the apples of my eye that I dreamed of teaching right from wrong, kindness, consideration and manners and realize that I must have failed them in every single way because they have none of any of those things. It can't just be the influence of the media, the school system and their nasty little friends -- the usual things we blame -- that makes them terrible, because they haven't seen any of them in six weeks now.

It has to be something that I did. For this, World, I am truly sorry.

In the meantime, I will continue to not kill my family, or at least try my very best. 

Note to Family Services: this is not a cry for help. However, I hear you offer a service in which you show up and just take one's children. Much appreciated if you could send a pamphlet my way.

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