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Carey Luckey
on
April 21, 2020

But I’m Not a Teacher…

I am a single mom of an 8-year-old boy and I find there are many times in a day when I feel like a deer in headlights. Anyone know what I mean…anyone?

 

[Image Description: A white woman and an adolescent boy have their backs facing one another. The woman to the left has brunette hair. She's wearing orange, protective eye glasses and a white, black plaid long sleeve shirt. She has a slight smile and…

I am a single mom of an 8-year-old boy and I find there are many times in a day when I feel like a deer in headlights. Anyone know what I mean…anyone? I have never been a working mom at home so there are now TWO current realities: I am home and so is he. This is all new to me!  

Is it nice to have relief from the cemented morning routine of our usual school days? Yes. Is it nice to be able to choose to wear sweatpants to work? Heck yes! The struggle for me is trying to balance my new work location and everything that comes with it and make sure that my son, who has dyslexia, isn’t falling behind among all these changes.

Our children need routine, both educationally and socially, so to have it all turned upside down has been incredibly discombobulating (did I even spell that right?).  I’ve had 10 days to begin to settle into a rough (and I do mean ROUGH) practice of what this all means for me and my son. Here are a couple of things that have helped me, and maybe will help you, too. 

Don’t judge yourself – and try not to judge other people either.

It’s really easy to fall victim to the social media posts from other parents about how well their home schooling is going. You know the ones I’m referring to. For me, it’s the posts and images of perfectly set up home school areas with labeled bins, color-coded daily schedules, sparkling-clean homes and organized cubbies! Ideal? Maybe. Realistic for me? NOPE. 

I decided early on that I would not place any judgement on any style of home learning that I see online and most certainly not my own. As with anything, what works for one family may not work for another. I do not have to do what other parents or caregivers are doing! I will find what makes sense for my son and me.

Remember that there will be chunks of time throughout each day when you simply cannot pay full attention to your child.

Obviously we can’t ignore our children– BUT, we can divert them a tad. One day I kept giving my son things to do when he would ask. I quickly realized that he had started asking me that every 10 minutes (gulp). Instead of continuing to try to be creative for him while also focusing on my work, I decided to make a list of things he could do on his own. I wrote it up and plastered it to the kitchen wall – WHAT A DIFFERENCE. He felt empowered and excited to try the things on the list. Needless to say, that list will be expanding as we meander through these next few weeks.

Don’t forget to breathe.

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While I’m very grateful for all this new information streaming in from the school district and my son’s teachers, I am feeling overwhelmed. How can they expect me to teach my son? Am I qualified for this? What if I do it wrong?

When I finally hopped off my “crazy train”, I realized that I’m also feeling supported. I woke up today and my son and I checked his email, hopeful for more video clips from his teachers saying hello. One from his art teacher had me in tears. Her clip was of her saying hello and then being filmed, to music, writing a giant “I miss you!” in the sand. These are the moments I remember that I’m not alone in all this, and from our respective corners in our bubble lives that we’ve been forced to create, there are still so many ways to connect with people and nature. So for today, I will consider sitting in the sun on my porch while my son practices blowing bubbles with his gum, a victory.

 

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