Being a teacher to your own kids is tough.
I knew the first week or two would be tough, but the going consensus is that it’s a month of hell!  I taught the first day and it bloody well nearly killed me! We got about 2-hours in and I just stopped it. We all went to our separate corners and just did our own thing.
Tantrums, tears, refusing to work, hating school, wanting to go back, me not doing it the right way…..
Lots of fun.
Nat had the second day. He’ll write about his experience another time no doubt.
After a quick chat with Lennox’s teacher, she suggested rather than switching subjects, just stick with one subject for the day and then alternate. We did that and it seems to be working a little better.  The first three days had been no computer work, and Thursday was the first day with the computer. Which was interesting in itself. Using an iPad is great in theory, not so easy in practice. We have an old iPad and the programmes we’re using don’t play so well together. There’s one of Lennox’s programmes we can’t use an iPad at all, but the one he used on Thursday was ok, but the iPad was slow and did freeze a little. (Also need new headphones for him too. My duct tape fix didn’t work, so he used Alpha’s instead.)
Nat on the other hand, has seemed to find the sweet spot for working with them.  So I’ve been picking his brains about how to deal with the kids. It seems we’ve got to keep Alpha busy with tasks she can do (no surprise there) and work more closely with Lennox. Blaming the government for them having to do this work helped a little too! Might be a bit of a cop-out, but whatever works really.
We’ve also bribed them! (Or I should say ‘Incentivised’ things.) If there are no tantrums and they have worked hard then they get to play with some very sweet Asterix and Obelix toys that my Aunty dug up. These toys are from 1980 and were played with by my cousins. We’re only borrowing them, and they can only be played with if they had a good day. Seems to have helped.
I understand now the use of “Golden Time”, “Table Points”, “Murphy”, “Dojo Points” etc that have been employed in schools. Those incentives are pretty important.
Another little thing we’re trying is the ‘walk to school’. Mum was chatting to a homeschooler here in town, and she said that the first month is out and out hell (wooonderful!) Then it smooths out quickly. She suggested that the kids make their lunches with lots of food, pack their school bags with their books, lunch etc and walk around the block so they walk to school. That helped the first day, and Thursday we walked to the library.  Seemed to go well.
So Thursday I taught (I had too much work on Wednesday to teach, so Nat took them) and that was much better.  Incentive, walk, one subject (maths) all at the library. Ok, we did cut it a little short because it’s the library, and they are so many cool things at the library.
Can I also so the librarians here are so super nice!
I’ll keep you posted on how things go. Any advice will be gratefully received!

Waterlea Race Course
I know it has nothing to do with school, but look at the colours. Was a fun day.

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Alice Rae-Flick

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