This was originally posted on The Love is the Best Medicine Blog.
Like many around the world, my girls were released from school by the governor of Ohio. This resulted in a bit of a mad scramble as my husband and I tried to adjust our schedules. My girls are in the fifth and second grades, and we dealt with more than a few understandable tears about missing friends and teachers.
Before I became a cubicle dwelling civil servant, I went through all the steps to be a high school teacher. Except actually getting my license. So, I told the girls we would be moving to a homeschooling routine because “Mom’s got this.”
Narrator voice: Mom did not, in fact, have this!
I decided that my girls would pick a topic and research it throughout the week and then give a small presentation. My youngest picked jellyfish. Which have no hearts or brains and have been around since before the dinosaurs! But I digress.
My oldest chose volcanoes. She loves all things rocks and has planned to be a geologist since she was six. She read through all her library books on volcanoes during her reading and free time on day one. Maybe I should have made her pick books from the adult section…live and learn.
When she asked to do additional research online, I said sure. I figured she’d watch a few Youtube videos on volcanic eruptions and lava flow before getting bored and moving to something else. What could go wrong?
Pompeii. Pompeii. Pompeii.
Five minutes into research, my ten year old was looking through images with her eight year old sister. Who then came running to me after seeing the famous picture of the mom laying in the street covering her baby with her body. Less than forty-eight hours in, I had one in tears and another horrified.
If they’d been a bit older, this would have no doubt been a great learning assignment. Instead, it heightened fear in a time when fear is already baked into the atmosphere. Mom fail!
From a geography standpoint, both my kids now know there are no volcanoes in Ohio. Or the surrounding states. And our topics for this week do not include any things that cause natural disasters.
One thing I did get right was letting them watch the Facebook lives that the Cincinnati Zoo is posting every day at 3 pm Eastern Standard Time. So far, we have learned about hippos, sloths, porcupines, lions, and penguins! If you can’t catch it live, they are keeping the videos on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/
We are also practicing cookie decorating this week:
Our schools are out for at least the next four weeks, so I am sure there will be more mom fails. And that’s okay because there will undoubtedly be mom successes (at least one or two). I hope everyone stays safe and sane. Remember – you got this!
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some resources I found helpful.
https://www.facebook.com/KennedySpaceCenterVisitorComplex/ - live science lessons