Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Homeschooling Week 1: I learned flexibility and gratitude for life's surprises

Hello, I'm back! The blog was still active the past week because of guest posts published, but I know you prefer ME (yey!) so here I am with a report on what's been keeping me from blogging. Well, it's homeschooling!


Yes, we're one week in. Today is our second week and so far, so good. I can already see where we'll have a hard time (my boys like to annoy each other and joke around) and where we'll have an easy time (apparently, school is super fun for them... but it's only been the first week bwahaha).

Last time I wrote here about our new mode of education, I shared our schedule. Well, let me tell you, that first day, we didn't follow the schedule at all! Mostly because my kids like to talk so Circle Time went on and on. It took us a while to log in and understand their new e-learning platform. Then they liked Math too much so we extended. The rest of the week was pretty much the same - them asking for more time for school. So this September, we're extending subjects from 30 minutes to 45 minutes each.


So there goes my career!

It's okay. Really. Maybe because I actually don't have a career anyway haha. I do have a new gig as a columnist at Project Vanity (please read my articles!) so that's sweet since Liz, my editor, wants me to write about beauty but profoundly. I guess because she wants PV readers to see the point of view of an older and wiser woman. I'm also a writer for ParenTeam. I love this, too, since I'm not a mommy blogger anymore but this allows me to still write about parenting. My regular writing job at ANCx ended because of what this government did to ABS-CBN, so that's sad, but we live to fight another day.

So, career-wise, this year was a huge surprise. It started out so strong - I had PR clients, I had my ANCx gig and other writing projects. We were going to Boracay and to Guam because of my PR work. I was going to rake it in! Then the pandemic happened. 

Despite that, I'm happy. I'm even happier that I still get to write. That's all I ever wanted to do in my life anyway. I'm also glad the career slowed down because I'd hate to choose between my kids and my job, you know? Sometimes you take life by the horns and sometimes life decides for you. I'm glad this decision was made for me.


I will confess that last week, when the boys' former school told me that their withdrawal process was complete and we can pick up their report cards and school records, my heart sank. As in, I cried. That was how bad it hit me. It's not regret. It was realizing that I worked so damn hard to get them in that school and keep them there. All those jobs I took, the sleepless nights working, just so we can afford their tuition and Chinese tutor. All those hard days hit me and I felt bad for that poor woman who worked and worked so hard. Then it was just going to end up like this - we'll pull them out of school because of a virus. I feel like I wasted my time, you know? Well, no, I didn't. All those years were still worth it and I'd do it all over again. It's just... It was hard.

So in many ways, this year is a relief. I don't have to kill myself working to keep them in that expensive school haha. Joking aside, I did a lot of crying out to God. I was so tired. I love working, but the exhaustion just drained out all the appreciation. So now here we are, income drastically cut, stuck at home for 6 months, homeschooling, and yet we're all having fun! Weird. 


I really am enjoying myself. I didn't anticipate how fun homeschooling was going to be. I really thought we'd be killing each other by now haha Instead, we're enjoying ourselves so much, I'm the one who can't keep up with the kids. Like, I beg off from more schooling. "Mama wants to nap! Stop bugging me for more Math!!!" What a shock. 

I didn't anticipate how annoying my sons can be, too. So there's that part of me that goes, "How am I going to discipline them - as a teacher or as a parent?" Well, the mama in me always wins, of course. I think I'll figure this out as we go but it's my house, my kids. I can't help being their mother. Problem is, I'm a really mean mom. I won't apologize for this. I have sons. I need to be tough on them. I'm very affectionate and generous and silly, okay. But I can be really strict, too. And I don't tolerate disrespect, lazy thinking, and sloppy work. 

One other thing I'm having a difficult time with is how I need to be flexible and quick-thinking, addressing the academic needs of each child (I have three sons!) while also managing the home. For example, I have to prepare lunch and teach them their lessons simultaneously. So there's a part of me that wishes we had household help. 


I also didn't realize this homeschooling adventure was going to consume my whole day. And night haha. For example, last Sunday, I stayed up all night making a weekly review for each boy. That's just the first week. As my husband said, it's a full-time job. 

It doesn't have to be a full-time job because their homeschool provider has the curriculum covered pretty darn well. I can mostly just be the guide, the one to explain things. But I used to be a teacher (did you know that?) so that part of me can't leave well enough alone.

Besides, it's fun. We're having so much fun. It bewilders me sometimes because I never enjoyed school (I hated school so much) and my kids were pretty meh about it, too. But now we're just excited to learn every day. They don't even want to have a weekend. Now that's a surprise, too. 

So first homeschooling week report: Excellent! Let's see how this week goes. Wish us luck!



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