I guess our school year is over. Honestly, it just kind of fizzled. I couldn’t find it in me to really celebrate or anything, but the kids are glad to be done with school, and it just seems like time to move on.
I’m worried, though. My kids missed classes. Our co-op just ended one week and never restarted, and this has been hard so that we didn’t finish our math curriculum.
So what do I do? Do I start where we left off in the fall? Do my kids begin in the grade they were in all last year and move on in October or November? Or should we just homeschool through summer?
– Love, M
You sound tired.
I don’t say that in a mean way.
Sometimes, when I don’t wear concealer, people tell me, “You look tired,” and I want to shout: BECAUSE I AM.
ALL MOMS ARE.
STOP COMMENTING ON MY LOOKS AND BRING ME A CASSEROLE SO I CAN TAKE A NAP.
So when I say you sound tired, I’m not judging. You deserve to be tired.
I think this year, especially, we all feel like instead of chugging to the finish line, we had to pull the broken train behind us like solo sled dogs.
We’ve arrived at the end of this race sweaty and exhausted, but that’s kind of normal for homeschool mamas.
Only this year – this year we also dragged fear and overwhelm and worry that we didn’t do enough with us as we crossed the finish line.
Everything continues to feel heavy and burdensome. Friends and I have been talking this week about how tiny things feel so hard. I placed an Amazon order last week and got two of the same book, the wrong size phone case and a screen protector for my watch that was so irksome I just gave up and shoved it and everything else into a box to worry about later.
Can I make a suggestion? I think that’s kind of what we need to do with this school year.
I think we need to put it in a box for a bit. Or maybe a closet. And then we need to step away.
You’ve probably learned A LOT
As I write this, we’ve been at home here (Illinois) for 77 days.
And during that time, we’ve all been forced to learn a lot.
We’ve given haircuts and made cleaning supplies and inventoried our pantry and tracked virus stats and baked bread and figured out how to do everything online, from therapy appointments to classes to bank deposits and shipping.
We’ve celebrated Easter and three family birthdays and Mother’s Day, and tried to navigate how to make those special in a pandemic.
We’ve bathed our groceries and sprayed door handles and maneuvered long-distance health care for a loved one, and tracked down obscure medical supplies and masks and made do.
Making do is a whole lesson unto itself, and led us in a direction of studying World War II and rationing. Meanwhile, I’ve been engrossed in World War II fiction myself because every book I read set in the Blitz reminds me of how strong we are as humans, and that we can deal with big scary things with humanity and kindness.
So honestly – I’m going to say it – I’m sick of learning.
Cash in your chips
Learning constantly is exhausting.
It’s so tiring that we bought a rice cooker, and my daughter figured it out and makes rice all the time now, and I still don’t know how to work it. It’s not complicated – you just add the right amount of rice and water and push a button, but this is the point I’m at.
I’m done. I’m cashing out. Please meet me at the buffet where I will be eating 7 different deserts.
So M – this is what I say to you:
Take a breath.
For a little while, stop the hustle.
Put everything school-related in a closet and tell yourself you’ll check back in a month or two when you feel like a person again.
If this feels scary – remind yourself – you are not the only one whose school year went drastically off the rails.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were out walking and we ran into an acquaintance of my husband’s who is a high school teacher. My husband asked how things were going with distance learning:
“Half the kids don’t show up, and the other half can’t pay attention anyway. And because the governor recorded these as Act of God days, we can’t penalize them for not showing up or doing the work.
“But,” he said, pointing at his bike, “I’m finally getting in shape.”
A minute to just be
And there you have it, M.
As things start opening back up around the country, we have a lot to process. Families are grieving. People are still scared. There is a lot that’s still unknown.
In fact again, as I write this, this is what I know: William and Kate will not be sending their kids back to school!
But here’s what I don’t know: How England’s school year works.
And again, did I mention, I’M TIRED OF LEARNING NEW THINGS RIGHT NOW.
So breathe with me, M.
Take a minute to just be.
You can’t effectively plan for the future right now. You can’t change the past few months. If anything, this has shown us that trying to control everything is a little fruitless, right?
Hug your kids. Do what you can. Be good to each other.
That’s all I’ve got.
But maybe that’s all we need?
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