I. Was. Built. For. This. SHIT! 🙌🏾 Ohhhhh… 😄 People, the covid-19 is terrible. I know you know that it is jacked up. Stores, bars, club closures are wrecking lives across the nation. I will not even ATTEMPT to discuss/review/predict/analyze/compare life’s changes over the past week buuuuuuut… Schools closing? 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Naaaaaw playa. THAT one, I can handle. If you follow da lil handicapped homie, you know I’m a former Teacher of the Year IN Character Education and College Prep. *dusts off shoulders* For years, I’ve secretly fantasized about home schooling my kids, before MS and especially after MS. I mean, I’ve wanted to instill that hard-core-black-pride-but-cool-AF-with-everyone type of stuff. This whole covid-19 pandemic has blessed ya boi with an opportunity to do that and I am. Teachers are sending assignments and that’s my starting point. First, they do their online assignments. Second, they work their Gratitude Journals, watch a ‘Daddy-spired film’ WITH Cornell Notes, analyze special quote/song, aaaalllllll types of stuff. Third, ensure they clean, do chores (damn right that means cooking, prepping, clean AGAIN 😑) and eat. Notice, I wrote eat LAST. 😋 I’m serious about that detail because they’re home schooled now so EVERYTHING I fuss about, harp on, constantly remind them are lessons. I’m the teacher and parent. Hell, I’m home and there is nowhere for any of us to go. During the 8am – 4pm school session, I’m teaching my kids how to act for when I’m back to Daddy at 5pm or so. The entire dynamic gives my mindset a real trippy advantage. Yoooo, for 8hrs a day, I’m teaching my kids how to be… 🥁🥁🥁 MY FUCKING KIDS. Day one was amazing! The day was like a 90 of 100. Of course, I remixed my schedule throughout the day. Of course, SOME teachers didn’t send any-freaking-thing. Of course, my kids fell asleep during reading time. Of course, they argued and fought with each other over computer time (3 laptops vs. 4 kids), playing too much, seating arrangements, farting but you know what? Even that seemed infinitely LESS than usual. Like, the 8hrs/day of their sibling rivalry was less than the few hours they’re together after school, before bed. 😮 Sure we played around some, as a family, but most of the time is spent on track, completing stuff, doing stuff, independent work and I float about helping as needed. Four kids on different levels of education, me and WE made it work. It was glorious. It was gorgeous. We were all patient with each other (mostly 😉). I felt I had time to explain how I wanted stuff done and why. I really felt they accepted it more because they saw me as a good teacher, not just ol’ daddy. (Notice I put a lowercase ‘d’ on Daddy when kids infer it? #Deep #Woke)
So, normally, my wife does all the cooking. We split the cleaning between me, her, kid #1 and kids 2-4 are a single unit. Well, since we home schooling now, my wife hurriedly said, “AND they can help with cooking and cleaning it back up. Kids need to be able to function on their own. AND start making their lil asses clean up during school so it’s done RIGHT. AND… *I can’t write blah blah blah because she reads this blog sometimes 😛* Hey! #NuffSaid. The night before Daddy’s Academy of Gratitude, the kids helped my wife with breakfast and did their usual clean-up afterwards. The kids arranged their lunches as well. I can’t stress enough how much this helped her. She was able to relax with dinner and breakfast. My son, who hasn’t cooking anything outside the microwave, learned a bit about baking. My daughters are almost self-efficient with baking cookies so learning how to bake/cook something healthy was needed. The kids were heavily involved in dinner too, chopping veggies, seasoning the ground beef, baking the shells, the entire unit worked pretty seamlessly. Taco Tuesday will probably be a staple of our weekly diet until the kids can make it themselves. Breakfast was a cinnamon like soufflè thing. Lunches were the classic sandwiches, chips, fruit.
As my wife instructed, part of the day was cleaning everything right back up. We did that. The kids had to be ready-to-learn at 8am. That didn’t happen. Came close but nope. We were learning by 8:22am tho! Yup, kitchen was back clean too.
After breakfast, LEARNING LIKE A MUTHAFUGGA BRO/SIS! I messed it up, remixed the schedule, messed up and finally decided to scrap schedule. See, in my silly mind, every kid, 1-4, would work about an hour on the core subjects, math, science, history, ela, P.E. and lunch/recess combo. That simple thought never got off the ground because all teachers didn’t send assignments. I had worksheet activities for my 8th grader, 5th grader and 1st grader. I had a career and choose-your-city project for my high school senior because she had NO work at all! WTF? 🤔🤔 So, I didn’t have all assignments and the assignments I had were mixed and scattershot in time length. Example; my 8th grader’s math took 25min., while his history was a solid 75min. My 1st grader only had a single 30min. reading assignment but cool beans because BOOM, worksheets for her to copy/work from the TV. My 5th grader had everything but it was all online and she is famous for off-task behavior and “website antics” 👎🏾. The day breezed along with me just floating about helping here and there, kinda keeping them at stations. Everyone had to read solo-dolo for at least an hour, which is how I turned the laptops into stations. Of course 🙄, only my high schooler even had a paperback book. I wasn’t worried because all of them have Overdrive accounts (Overdrive is the free public library app). All day, 8:30am – 4pm, they worked on subjects and I assisted.
I could have woken them up and enforced silent reading but I didn’t. It just wasn’t worth it. Everybody will finish a book, complete a book report, get paid for the book report ACCORDINGLY to keep Wi-Fi codes, phones and screentime, blah blah blah. Also, it was the first day and they each read at least 30min before napping. Shoot, I have MS and it’s a bunch of stuff not worth my time or energy. 😆🤣😂 My 5th grader has enough work that she didn’t make it to silent reading on day one. I’m very sure she hustled me and played the game to avoid reading so I’ll be ready on day 2 😏.
YEEEEES GURL! We had a 30min. recess, 30min. break and 45min. P.E. Biiiiiiiig fun! What I did was give an hour for lunch and break, 11am – 12pm. Another break at 1:30 – 2pm, folks were yawning, whining and generally struggling. No problem at Daddy’s Academy of Gratitude, we took a 30min outside break. It was so *sniff* sweet to see my senior on the trampoline with her siblings playing cheesy games! Then, I discovered that my son was terrified of covid-19. Dude, I’m talking about won’t-come-outside-or-near-window terrified. I bet if it was a regular interaction between he and I, I would have missed that he was sincerely afraid and handled it differently. As it was, I noticed, sat with him explained, pointed to neighbors, discussed social distancing and even brought up the ABC13 news reports. A few minutes later, he was playing with this sisters with a smile instead moping around feeling like I fussed at him or embarrassed him. I LOVED IT! They used the 2pm -3pm slot for final schoolwork and finished up with Debbie Allen’s live IG Dance class! 3pm? Gratitude Journal/Assignment in order to be released and clean AGAIN. My Gratitude Journal prompts Daaaaaaawg, we had an AWESOME DAY. Day two will be some changes and it is on again!