Calling in Sick to Homeschool

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

I’ll warn you now this entry gets personal. I lighten it up but I also share deep seeded truth and fact from a piece of where I come from.

It’s 5:00 am and I have new titles this morning. I’m a teacher and a 4th grade student.

Dear God, Help me now. I think I’m going to call in today. NOT.

I can read and write. My vocabulary is fairly on point. I look forward to the reading part of this task but not too excited about the math. Saxon math to be exact. What in the wild earth is Saxon Math? Do they have a Saxon math for Dummies book that I can read first?

4th grade. Day 1. Waiting on bell to ring. 🤷‍♀️

I scuffle through my 9 year old sons back pack. Organized, yet quite obvious that took some help. Once crumbled up in big wad balls for the trash papers now appear somewhat smoothed out and locked in a 3 ring binder like a professional student.

My sons father and I share custody so we are also sharing online learning at home. My first round starts today.

I wasn’t sure how to feel when I saw a progress report for the first 9 weeks that showed an F. Especially when the school has now sent them home twice for Covid19 precautions. That means 4 weeks already taught online at home under the watch of his parents.

Insert, Serenity Prayer here now.

Accept the things I can not change. No worries. We got this.

Have you ever watched someone with no teeth take a bite of steak?

Throwing this curve ball into my routine feels a bit like that image. A doozy this one is for me. Will I be able to gnaw away and eventually reach some level of safe enough to swallow without choking progress today?

Nothing I love more than learning new things. However, I’m 46 and I do not even remember 4th grade at all. Maybe it was when Mr. Sanders was my teacher? Grandma flirted her way through my time there. Homemade treats and giggles at the desk on party day.

Wait. No. It had to be Miss Billy Todds class. She was allergic to the sun and as white as a ghost. Super cranky that one was. Obviously needed some sunshine. She’s the one that made me question why people become teachers when they have no personality. Mean like the witch in The Wizard of Oz.

Needless to say, with so many different schools and teachers it’s hard to remember 4th grade at all.

Oh well. None of that will even matter today as I gear up for my first day of elementary school again. I even get to sit next to one of my favorite people. My 9 year old mini me.

Computer out. Head phones polished. Internet connection strong and………… now what?

Okay. Teacher. Teacher. Where are you?

Ground control to Major Tom. Hello. Is anybody in there? Nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?

Yeah. It’s like that.

Here goes nothing. I threw my favorite bathrobe on, because I remember how cold classrooms were back in the old days. A girl has to be warm.

My son. “Mom, it’s not pajama day.”

Me. “Son, everyday until approximately 10:00 am is pajama day.” He looks a bit weirded out by my reply and explains that I might get in trouble for not wearing normal clothes.

Normal clothes? 4th grade? What in tarnations are normal clothes now a days? Obviously not my bathrobe but hey, it’s my first day back. Lighten up on your old mom would ya. Do you at least appreciate that I did my hair?

Pig tails like Gramma use to give me for school.

Welp, wish us luck. I’m about to go to school in the comfort of my own home. I’m also about to get schooled by a 4th grader.

Will be back to update this entry later.

An hour in. SCHOOL SUCKS.

Nothing, I mean nothing at all, has made me feel as dumb as I do after our first hour. We have virtually achieved little. Called teacher. Everything was foreign language. My son says he is done and thatall assignments are completed because there were no assignments. Um. Not quite little man. We’ve been in the wrong app.

Oooooooo Calgon? Where is Calgon?

Over the half way mark of todays first day back to school. I know I sounded quite unhappy earlier. I keep forgetting what I feed my mind is what my mind tends to follow. But, it was a rough start. So that’s fair.

We did manage to find the assignments. We have now completed 3 lessons, 3 quiz’s and 2 tests. Would I want to be a teacher? My answer is still NO! Elementary school teachers need a raise. I don’t believe they get paid enough.

Is having him run laps corporal punishment for paying attention? Just kidding. He actually is doing better than me with this focus thing we have got going on.

The day came and went fairly quickly once we got the hang of it. Now the hard part is letting him do it all himself. You don’t believe that do you? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

If I had to grade today I would give us a B.

B for Bring it on. 💪🏼

Day 2 ~ was not much different than day 1. A lot of navigation errors on our end. I would like to make a suggestion for the elementary school age children that are struggling as I sit back and watch my son get frustrated. Don’t be so hard on yourself for getting an answer wrong. Chances are you didn’t even see the lesson first so the mistakes are legitimately not your fault at all.

It is complicated trying to find all the info you need. Yes. It is there somewhere. But so much time is spent searching for it, that by the time you land on a place you think you need to be then it’s time to move on to something else.

If they could all work in one program that would be great. At least until Jr. High. Maybe? Just a thought as I myself have never felt dumber.

Day 3~ I’m not sure how to start my thoughts on Wednesday ~ half way through. Thank you sweet baby Jesus. I bet the teachers regret that I have their personal cell phone numbers. I am most definitely working those chat lines. So far they haven’t blocked my number.

We managed to make progress yesterday. I shared my very strong opinion with one teacher. I have yet to hear back from her.

She felt my son was doing great now because he had been sent for swats at school before they closed down for Covid19 precautions, again. Which by the way he had been sent to the principal for swats on more than one occasion. His father and I share custody and the info shared with me is limited. I intend to see that change. Of course he has shown improvement. I’m by his side. I leave his side and he accomplishes little because the programs confuse him. He doesn’t even know how to find half of his assignments.

I have watched and learned with my son for 3 days now.
Allow learning to be fun. He is honestly one of the funnest teachers I’ve ever had.

I’m just as confused as he is. Maybe more. But we are making great progress now. I keep repeating that to him. I even explained not everyone will pat you on the back so tell yourself, Great Job.

I’m letting him teach me and I have been fortunate to be home with him this week.

What a wonderful world it would be if teachers had assistants to help in a classroom. So more students could have a little extra aide in the learning process. If it weren’t for other older kids coming into my elementary classroom to help my teachers there is no telling what my grades would have been. I likely wouldn’t have won a Spelling Bee either.

Laws have changed so much and it is sad that they have to take from the children when the children are what need the most protection. Classroom sizes, materials, safety, teachers. What is next? Take away school desks and make them sit on the floor? Feed them fried beans and potatoes at lunch?

I have heard, read and now this year am fully aware of the lack of professionalism that walk the floors our children do. They come with a degree in education and a background check with a thumbs up allowing them to tell us what to do to help our kid’s. Follow me here.

A principal. Fired. Nudity over the school server. Teacher. Kindly asked to resign over similar circumstances. Teacher allowed to move and teach in another state. Ohio to be exact. Teacher’s and students engaged in romantic relationships. No. Not all teachers. Just like not all cops. Just like not all people. Just like not all priests, babysitters or parents.

I look back and recall my friends and I drinking with my high school teacher. He was so cool. Cough, Cough. As his private part is stabbing you in the back. He was twisted and had no business teaching. Pretty sad when in order to have a feeling of safety and security in a classroom or school setting you’re considered the cool kid if you party with your teachers. Nothing about that adds up to make any sense. Absolutely disgusting. That is about it.

Why are so many parents choosing other alternatives and lack faith in our school systems, all our systems in general? My experiences from the past and now with the pandemic panicking and protocols I can’t help wonder. If Elon Musk can design a car to drive itself then maybe he can create a virtual teacher that is safe and makes sense at the same time? My opinion is keep your damn paddle to yourself and if my son is being distracted easily let’s talk about all the options. My hands are tied co-parenting with a custody agreement out of Mayes County. ( No change of venue in sight ) You do not rock a boat you know is going to drowned your child. Or I assure you this would NOT be happening like this. When is it a Principal or a teachers responsibility to advocate in a domestic? Is that even a thing anymore? Too afraid of lawsuits so they sit on their hands quietly.

Listen Linda~ children have love languages too. Mine gets more from positivity and affirmations then he does your principal and her paddle. I’m not anti- butt whoop. I am anti- lazy. I know what hitting me did. You become numb to it. Same for some of those closest to me and countless others. We build more prisons instead of closing and tearing them down. Why? Because a corporal punishment system works? 🤔Nah. I don’t see the proof. Not today Satan. If you only knew what it’s like for that kid when he gets home after he had swats at school. Maybe you would re-think that trip to the office. When you see his fear maybe it isn’t of the paddle. That’s the least of his worries. Maybe it’s the wall he will be bounced off of when he gets home. Don’t think that happens more than not? There is always more than one side to a story. Overhaul a system. I agree but the focus is on the wrong system. Especially when an entire county and school district is corrupt. No one listens to the truth anymore. They listen to the amount that follows the dollar sign when it comes to anything involving the laws of anything.

I have to say this and make sure that I am clear. Just like anything else. One bad teacher does not mean all teachers are bad. I had some of the best teachers and my children have been blessed to have had some of the best. But, if you’re drinking with your teacher I assure you that teacher is not cool. Speaking of drinking. Where is my coffee. It’s almost time to start day 4.

Parents, listen to your children. The bully doesn’t have to be another child. The bully could have a masters degree in education. The bully could be a parent.

Day 4~ Let’s do this. A focus band and a day full of the best we can do starts…………. Now.

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