home teaching/learning

For the dVerse Monday haibun, “back to school“:

It’s Tuesday morning of the semester break, and I’m in the bedroom working on my online lectures and tutes: particle and rigid body kinematics and kinetics. In the background my husband is yelling at the kids – “supporting their online schooling” in the kitchen. This afternoon it will be my turn for home schooling, while he works on an editing or writing job. Our kids could be considered lucky – between us we can teach them most things in the curriculum while schools are closed. And we’ve both had teaching experience…
But it is much harder to be patient with one’s own children than with one’s students. We expect more of them, and we are more emotionally invested. It is a personal affront when they don’t pay attention, or forget what we’ve just been told. We can’t bear to think that perhaps they’re just not that bright, when they struggle with something we think is trivial. We are deeply offended when they don’t care about the subjects we love. And there are not the constraints of classroom professionalism to stop us showing our frustration – so there is yelling, and there are tears. And then we need to remember that once we didn’t know how to rearrange an equation or write a precis either, and nor have we taught these things before.

Everything is hard

Everything is hard

when first you try to learn it.

when you first try to teach it.

Especially patience.

Patience especially.

33 Comments

Filed under musings, poem

33 responses to “home teaching/learning

  1. It is a personal affront when they don’t pay attention, or forget what we’ve just been told. We can’t bear to think that perhaps they’re just not that bright, when they struggle with something we think is trivial. We are deeply offended when they don’t care about the subjects we love.

    This is all so true, Kate… it’s a struggle to stay objective for me…


    David

  2. Loved this. Everything takes on a different hue when it is your children versus the children of others. Sometimes you have to celebrate the small victories…for me, one was when my child liked the same music as I did.

  3. The prose and poetry both are true and beautiful. I like how you’ve mirrored your poem. 🙂

  4. Fabulous blog post. The home teaching armageddon. Yesterday Miss 10 had a bad day. I did manage to keep hold of my patience but it was tough. I kept telling myself “lockdown is hard. lockdown is hard.” But today she was Miss Motivated. So I guess we all just have to ride the bumps.

  5. Homeschooling is no picnic. I’m sure you are a great teacher. I can’t help find the humour in your posts though, Kate, no matter how serious or relevant, as there’s always a feeling of irony I pick up on that makes your writing so readable. Wishing you a great start to the new term! ❤

  6. Beverly Crawford

    This so clearly explains the challenges of home schooling, especially by teachers thrust into the task of home schooling their own children. The twin haikus are so clever…and so true!

  7. writingwhatnots

    I don’t envy any parent finding themselves teaching their children at home. My hat off to all of you.

  8. be ever and always just as free as that bird heading for the sun.

  9. Kate, I love your haibun as a teaching tool for the reader. I wonder what your kids would think of it if they read it? 🙂

  10. Well written Kate. For me, the prompt just triggered the current upset and disbelief I am unable to shake.

  11. Insightful, Kate. The mirror roles and words of your haiku are so clever. To me, patience is always being learned and relearned and never can truly be mastered. Having children has made me a better teacher, and I hope being a teacher has made me a better parent.

  12. I love the perspective … we need teachers to put some distance between the child and the curriculum

  13. Just loved this all around. All of it. Thanks.

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