The Screen-Free Quarantine – Day 30 – When the Teacher became the Student

The Screen-Free Quarantine - Day 30

It is no secret that I do not “enjoy” homeschoooling. I do not find it the least bit rewarding. Most days, I fall into bed in a frustrated, exhausted, flabby heap of middle-aged flesh.  My husband takes pity on me and pushes my body-length Mr. Pillow toward me as a sort of peace offering for the day I’ve just endured at the hands of our children.

I am in my prime, ya’ll. And I’m lucky to be going to bed with the love of my life every night. AND he has six pack abs. But our romance looks more like him saying, “I love you,” before he turns out the lights because I’m exhausted and have absolutely nothing left to give. I may not be in the mood until I’m 82 at the rate I’m going.  Maybe we’ll be lucky and end up in the same old folks home together.

Anyway, even with all of its challenges, I had a very short moment of victory yesterday when, during our Literature studies, I got the bright idea to get the children to work for me. You see, I am a writer, and I had the goal of completing two more novels this year (for a total of three). Now that I’m a full-time professional homeschooling Mom, I have exactly zero minutes in each day (only because I can’t have negative minutes or that breaks some associative property of addition that you will never need to remember beyond middle school) to be creative. But I still want to finish at least one more novel. And I have a great idea. And there are three young adult characters in my next novel.

So, I decided to enlist my children in the often-difficult task of character development. To prepare, we read a few stories and discussed how the author used the actions, words and other descriptions about the character to tell us something internally about the character. What does his reaction to an injured puppy tell us about his personality? What does his understanding of his grandma tell us about his relationship to his family? What is the author trying to TELL you without using the exact words to tell you?

One day, while we were doing this study, one of my kids was actually reading a different book, and I was so upset. Why was I even trying with them? All my energy was being wasted, I thought.

But yesterday!  When I finally sat them down with sheets of paper and pencils and asked them to use their imaginations to create characters for the book based on themselves. Oh my! The things they came up with were SO GOOD, I cannot even share them.  Well, I must share the names. We have Aaron James and Samson Husky.  I cannot make this stuff up better if I tried.

So, when I fell into bed an exhausted mess, not even sure if I’d brushed my teeth or eaten dinner, or what order I’d done them in if at all, I told my husband, “It worked! They learned something!”

And I did, too. I learned that they learn things that can’t be written onto a piece of paper right away. My kids learn things that are complex and difficult to pinpoint, and they digest them and think on them and then vomit them up as real, grown-up, developed ideas!

Last night, I had to force Daniel to go to bed several times. Apparently, the creative genius had been ignited in him and he absolutely could not sleep until he wrote everything that was in his brain down on a piece of paper.

“But Mom, if I go to sleep, I won’t remember it all when I wake up!”

Oh, but son…if you go to sleep, you dream of even better things that you can write down when you wake up. Welcome to the world of the creative.

In another rare moment, I figured out a way to put the fruit cups that the school keeps giving us in our free lunches. Ice Cream! Even Kasie loves the ice cream I made from these plastic cups of frozen fruit. I posted the recipe in the photo slideshow below! You can use any of the gross looking school lunch fruit cups, or even canned fruit from your pantry. Just throw it in the blender if your kids do not like big chunks. It’s a great way to add fiber and vitamins to their diet.  Now that I’ve got the basic recipe down, I’m going to begin experimenting with different milks, including plant milks to lower the fat content!

Yay! Today I’m winning!  LOL. Don’t worry, it won’t last long.  The day is young.

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