My fellow inebriates,
Our homeschooling effort is pretty rocky.
Here’s what we’ve learned:
- The kids think this whole deal is optional.
- This whole deal might as well be optional. Nobody’s going to fail the year. At least one of the two kids is depending on this.
- Using adult learning methods on kids doesn’t work. You need to have buy-in to teach kids online. Judging by the derogatory comments flying back and forth throughout any given session, the kids aren’t buying in.
- Traditional schooling capitalizes on having a captive audience. These kids aren’t captive to virtual learning, and they fully realize it.
- Teachers’ comfort levels with tech are highly variable. Kids know this and take full advantage. Anything they fail to hand in, they blame on the tech—and the teachers for not suddenly knowing how to teach in a fundamentally different way with fundamentally different tools.
- Everything the kids learn in one day at school can be distilled down to 1.5 hours. And they still don’t want to do it.
- Nobody wants to turn on their webcam. The kids have realized video represents invigilation and they want no part of it.
- This generation is going to be running the world in 20 years. They have until then to bring in the robots and push universal basic income—at least if they want to keep sleeping for 14 hours a night and 8 hours playing video games.
- Our natural clocks aren’t 24 hours long. If they’re not hustled out of bed, the kids will get up an hour later each consecutive day until they become fully nocturnal.
- They’d rather get paid to do yard work than school work (yes, we tried money as an incentive).
- You can cut your own hair if you need to. One of the kids did it at 3:00 am last night. Minimal lessons were learned.
- TEACHERS ARE DOING THEIR BEST. They are checking in via email, trying to round up missing assignments, and phoning when students are AWOL. We raise a glass to them almost every evening.
- Five p.m. is a MAGIC time. By then, my parents will have had it with urging, coaxing, muddling their way through the “new” math, and fielding lies. (Yes, lies about homework!) A beer will get opened.