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COLUMN: The little joys of homeschooling

Challenges exist for those now teaching their children at home

This last month has been a steep learning curve for the world at large.

I know I do not need to articulate all of the ways in which life has changed.

We are all living this pandemic together.

In my little corner of the universe though, Monday to Friday has become a time for celebrating educators and what they continue to do for my children from afar.

But assigned school work only lasts for a couple of hours each day, and then you need to fill the void in between.

One thing I have learned: homeschooling is not for the faint of heart.

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Plenty of online reading options

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Stop and smell the (virtual) roses

But putting in the parenting legwork has really paid off.

All of those times in the past where I have stood up to boredom in our house by countering the dreaded whine “I’m bored” with “fun” tasks that Mom gets to choose have laid the groundwork for creativity.

Who knew that the unspoken threat of yard work and dog-mine cleanup would be an intrinsic motivator?

On his own volition, my son has made a board game, rewritten lyrics to his favourite songs, and has started a family newspaper.

The latter of which, although often humorous, leaves much to be desired.

Nothing like living another week in isolation with your family and then reading about it.

My older daughter is more experienced in the art of subtlety.

Obviously hardened by years of servitude, she never complains she has nothing to do. She knows better.

She quietly finishes her homework and then seems to effortlessly teleport downstairs to her room. No noise. No trace.

She reappears intuitively for lunch or whenever she knows that my drive to be a grammar fascist has dissipated, usually once I am distracted by laundry or playing my own video games.

She may just be a genius.

I, too, have had the time and space to dust off my creative cobwebs.

A huge asset in my home educator tool box has been the plethora of online material available through my membership with the Okanagan Regional Library.

Try incorporating a daily current events activity for your middle school students by using PressReader to access newspapers from around the world to create their own news show.

Are your kids missing their coding practice?

Use Lynda.com to take an introductory Scratch course with your kids and let them teach you what they know.

Britannica Library Children has a fun interface that allows your younger child to delve deeper into those parts of their lessons that pique their curiosity.

Do you know which type of bears only eat meat? I now do.

In all seriousness, this experience of being home has been a blessing in disguise.

I am getting reacquainted with how my children learn and am remembering the joy of those years before they went to school, when my husband and I were not relegated to evenings and weekends.

I am treating this time as a gift: an unexpected chance to reconnect and be creative together.

Raina Dezall is an assistant community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library and is not ashamed to say she is using this time at home to rewatch The Office.

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