In graduate school at Wichita State University, I taught — all by myself — students from 16 to 60 the most hated subject of all time.
My Comm 111 university teaching days did not prepare me for homeschooling my speech-delayed toddler.
You know… because he doesn’t speak. At least, not in English.
While I do not have to relearn 8th grade math (what did we even learn in 8th grade?), I do have to teach my son something — anything — during our quarantine together.
Here’s how Week 1 went:
I bought a boatload of foam puzzle tiles about a year ago to use as a barrier between tiny fingers, knees and toes and our deck… which, if you remember, was a bit of a hot mess.
I never used them. I put them in storage, forgot they existed and never. friggin. used them.
Until last Monday.
I pulled those suckers out of storage and wrote the alphabet on them, so the toddler and I had an ABC sidewalk in the living room…
…for about five minutes of singing that stupid song before…
…the totally should-have-been-expected destruction.
Guess what his favorite thing to do is?
We also tried to learn the letters in our name, but alas, he wasn’t interested at all.
Our scheduled dance party? Basically just me walking around the house to the music while he ignored me and tried to play with the dog.
My son loves counting. He doesn’t do it in the correct order, but he loves to count — 1, 2, 9, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13! (He always screams 13…, and that’s where he stops. I think I need to blame Sesame Street for that.)
Honestly, for his delays in other areas, he’s doing fine with remembering this sequence of numbers. Unfortunately, it’s incorrect, and he’s not identifying numbers as quantities of things. He doesn’t understand “one more time,” or that he’s 3, or how many crackers he’s allowed to have before dinner.
We tried to work on that on Tuesday.
I found an app called Speech Blubs, but I’m not yet endorsing it with my #WAHM stamp of approval. While my toddler seems to enjoy it, they double-charged me for a year, and I’m annoyed.
So we’ll see…
The concept of the app is for your child to see and hear other children saying words, making animal noises and counting in order to encourage them to try the same.
After two days of using the app, my son figured out how to skip information and animations meant for learning to get to the game at the end.
Basically, he can’t count in the appropriate order, but he’s discovered how many times he has to skip screens in order to pop balloons.
My son, ladies and gentlemen.
“Jumping” went really well, because he loves jumping, climbing, running and any activity that generally disregards his safety or wellbeing. However, he slept through “puddles” and the rain dried up quickly on our block, so he didn’t get to splash.
(Total shame. It’s super fun and adorable to watch him splash.)
When my son turned 2, I signed up for Kiwi&Co. Crates, which are arts, crafts, educational, pretend play and physical activities delivered monthly.
His first box? Well, he really enjoyed the tissue paper…
That last four months or so, I’ve been saving up boxes in preparation for summer when he wouldn’t have speech therapy.
Well, they’ve all be yanked out of storage, too, to provide SOME kind of structure to my attempt to homeschool him.
One box, Color Mixing, had a lot of promise because a) it offered the use of cups filled with water and a stirring stick — and my kid loves a good stirring stick — and b) we could paint!
My son loved the water and the stirring stick, didn’t give a s*** about the colors and refused to help me paint.
So, ladies and gentlemen, here’s MY artwork completed while coaxing my toddler to help.
I’m going to frame it and give it to him as a gift when he’s old enough to understand how annoying he was as a toddler. #notbitter
The third activity in the crate was a color-matching game with cards and felt circles. While he didn’t say a single color by name, he matched them perfectly without any instruction from me. Something’s gotta be clicking, right?
He did say “puh-kin,” which was super adorable, but that’s all I got out of him on Wednesday.
Hot failure. A straight up mess of failure.
School activities, outside play and paying any amount of attention to me were thrown out the window and replaced with epic, epic fuss.
You guys just so much fuss omg.
I crashed on the couch at 7:30 p.m., and then I woke up nearly 11 hours later. It wore me out, that fuss. My husband had put the toddler to bed, turned off the TV and left me to sleep.
#WAHMlife for the zzz’s.
Both my husband and I worked from home on Friday, so the toddler was pretty jazzed about life with the adults “playing” on their computers and their phones. So, again, we accomplished zero homeschooling.
We’ve been without public school since March 12, social-distancing since March 18 and at 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 30, we’ll be under a statewide stay-at-home order.
My toddler is NOT going back to school this semester (and potentially the foreseeable future).
Here’s to Homeschool: Week 2. Pray for me.
(Uh, yeah, I always have a workout scheduled… and have not done one yet!)