COVID-19 · post-op life · slice of life

Preparing for Mommy Home School #SOL20

This morning, I ventured into my office for the first time since my late-February surgery. I brought Isabelle with me since I wanted to gather some materials for Mommy Home School, which begins tomorrow. But before I had her help me down the stairs to my office, I showed her the schedule I created for her on Friday.

“What do you think?” I asked her. “Let’s go through line-by-line and talk about what may or may not work and why.”

Updated Schedule (I’m sure there will be more updates.)

We looked at the afternoon time, specifically, and realized it needed some tweaking. It was unrealistic for me to ask her to write for an entire hour after lunch when she hasn’t been writing that long in school this year. Therefore, we switched to a half hour. Then, we added in virtual art classes (since we’re going to try Ben Clanton and Jarrett J. Krosoczka‘s classes at 2:00 p.m. this week). She asked for iPad time when Ari wakes up from his nap so I gave it to her with the condition that she won’t spend the time watching YouTube Kids. In addition, I added the line about reading daily for 30 minutes since there are at least two mornings this week where one of us has a medical appointment, which means we may not be able to read at 8:00 a.m. I needed her to understand that while we might have to be flexible with the schedule, reading time would still be mandatory. Because, ya know, it’s the single greatest predictor of future academic success!

Once we made it down to my office, we talked about some of the things we’d need. First of all, we each needed a new writer’s notebook since I’m going to be doing Tammy Mulligan’s Writing Camp with her. I grabbed some new pens and correction tape to go along with our new notebooks. Then, we found a blank notebook she could use for the virtual art classes. Afterwards, I grabbed two books, Writing Radar and Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets, to keep upstairs with me — just in case I need additional ideas. Finally, I grabbed out Maps so I could show her all of places we’re visiting during our virtual field trips.


I already have flash cards, books, and an iPad upstairs. So I shoved those items into a bag, did some tidying with her help, and made my way out of my office. I don’t know how long I was in there, but it was long enough for my ankle to increase in pain.

Let me be honest… this is not an idyllic situation. I don’t expect her to accept instruction beautifully from me. However, if I don’t try to implement structure from the start, then I worry the next few weeks will be a disaster.

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33 thoughts on “Preparing for Mommy Home School #SOL20

  1. I am IMPRESSED by your organization and may use some of your links. We were going to take next week off for March break, but now Ottawa Public Health has said we need to stay inside except for essential outings, so I think we’re going to start a routine asap. Somehow your notebooks calm me – maybe I need to dig some of ours out of the boxes and see if that quells my growing fears.

  2. This sounds like a manageable plan that many could adopt Your ability to manage this makes me consider all the parents at home with no internet or devices, no education backgrounds and so many other difficulties you don’t have.

    1. That is constantly on my mind. If I were in better shape, I would find a way to give back to more than just my child. Alas, I have to recover so I can do that on a larger scale as a consultant again. Therefore, it’s homeschool for one. (Well, maybe two, if you count Ari. But he’s continuing his normal life of toddler play, which is great.)

  3. This is an impressive schedule, and I do hope all runs smoothly. I feel a bit inspired to coral myself into a more disciplined lifestyle after seeing what Isabelle will be doing. I’ve let myself go a bit in my new retirement gig.

  4. Preparation is everything–you are prepared! But even more important, you are flexible. Best of luck with Mommy Home School.

  5. I am thinking about this too with Nat. I let the weekend be free choice…but the next 3 weeks-oh boy. School told them the plan-treat these 5 days as snow days, these 5 as spring break and then these 5 is when you do your online learning. I think I will work on co-constructing a schedule today. Thanks for sharing your resources here. Hope it all goes well for you.
    Sorry for your pain you’re in too. Thinking of you.

  6. It begins with a plan. You have choices, play, and learning. There will be bumps in the road. But Mommy School will go on . . . Enjoy and celebrate that you are beginning with a plan!

  7. My first reaction was one of wry amusement – as soon as the schedule is made, it must be changed! Just like at school! Such wisdom in going over it with your daughter, however – her input is vital to its sustainability. It also honors her with that voice and choice so needed for academic success (as well as that non-negotiable reading time). Congratulations on making it to your office for the first time – and what a poignant image, Isabelle helping you back down the stairs.

  8. Looks like you have put together a reasonably realistic schedule. My favorite is creative time! And I hope there will be days when she loves her book so much that she will want more than 30 minutes! Does she like legos, or anything like that? One of my friends is having construction time.

  9. Thank you for ideas and links. I teach 4th grade ELA in Texas and I’m currently on Spring Break. But, I’m thinking ahead of what I can offer my students should they close our schools. I especially like the link for the writing workshop. I have to focus all my time on getting ready for the STAAR writing test for 4th grade and my poor students long to write something fun. I had three writing fictional stories on Thursday after they finished a unit test. They were so excited to share what they wrote. They certainly don’t get that excited about expository essays!

  10. All the very best with it… we are in week 7 of campus closures and every week has looked a little different. But structure is a great idea- I hope your first day goes well!

  11. Structure is so important. I like that Isabelle helped with tweaking the schedule. It gives her some ownership of her day. Good luck to you and all parents in this same situation.

  12. You are so good to have a planned schedule of some sort, hoping it all works out. I think it depends heaps on the individual student.
    When we first came to India (25 years ago) I had 4 kids on an open access homeschool course…the lessons were provided wonderfully through Aussie government, BUT it was hopeless for my son, the twins (girls) competed with each other outrageously and fought over who turned the page first and my oldest daughter sailed through it in a very self-motivated amazing way!
    I’m hoping your daughter fits the latter category!

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