I spend HOURS every single week researching curriculum, testing options, and homeschool in general to make sure my kids are on par, not falling behind, and that the curriculum that we are using is truly the best fit for them.
And then I spend 5 days a week, multiple hours a day teaching my darling children using these resources that I’ve spent time and energy researching.
So imagine my disdain when Jordan asks the kids, “What did you learn today?” and they answer with, “Nothing.”
Excuse me?! You learned nothing today? What about the math, history, the book you read, the writing summary you made, the spelling test you aced? The list goes on, I can think of many things you learned today and would be happy to jump in and answer this question!
Unfortunately, the question wasn’t directed towards me. I get an entirely different question, “Are you sure they aren’t behind?”
Now, here’s the part where I admit I have a temper. This question completely irked me. And it wasn’t made better by being asked this question on multiple occasions.
My husband’s question is coming from a place of deep concern and love for his children and their education. He knows how hard I work, but what he doesn’t get to see everyday is how our children are learning. He doesn’t get to witness the moments where things click, he doesn’t grade the worksheets. He just hears that they learned “nothing” today.
But I couldn’t figure out a good way to help him understand what we did. I coached the children on what to say when Daddy came home and asked during dinner how school went. This wasn’t helpful as it was clearly rehearsed and was not showing what they learned.
Going over the worksheets wasn’t really helpful either.
Then one day, I didn’t erase the white board. It had the date, abbreviation and different parts of math and grammar that we had gone over for the day. Somehow Jordan made sense of this crazy white board, and then during dinner he changed his question. Instead of asking Sydney, “What did you learn today?” he asked her, “How many numbers can you have in the ones column before you have to carry over?“and “What is an adjective?”
With these specific questions at hand (based on the white board notes) Sydney would instantly tell him the answer, without me helping her along, without sounding rehearsed and without sounding irritated at being asked to go through her entire school day.
It kept Jordan involved, and it helped give him ideas of what exactly he needed to be asking, which made him feel more confident that we aren’t behind. Oh, and that we truly were accomplishing something during the day.
Now, some days there are no white board notes. Some days we just use the white board to write the date, and that’s it. That’s okay, we don’t always have to talk about school, but it is awesome that we found a way to keep dad in the loop.