Honest Motherhood: Homeschooling with the Dragon

Well the inevitable finally happened. 
A case of Coronavirus in Maia’s year meant she had to isolate for two weeks. I was not expecting this. I’m not sure why, it’s a worldwide pandemic but for some reason my brain sort of assumed children at Maia’s lovely little primary school were somehow magically exempt from ever catching the virus. They weren’t, and one child did. I was getting ready for bed one night, I glanced at my phone and had several messages from friends “Have you seen the email? *crying emoji*”. No, I had not. It was 10pm. 
My daughter was to be kept at home for two weeks. Two weeks. Maia took the news surprisingly well, though was not too chuffed to learn staying home indeed meant staying home. “We can’t even go to the park?!” We got cracking with homeschooling on day one and I quickly found myself morphing into the evil-teaching-monster I’d become during the first lockdown. Less patient and encouraging, more snappy and pedantic. 
If she took her time answering a simple maths question, I wanted to scream. If she spelt a word incorrectly on what was meant to be a final draft of something, I’d whip out the Tipp-Ex and correct it for her. I don’t think we’re meant to do this. It probably chips away at their creativity, having their words Tipp-Exed out. This was all squeezed in during pockets of time when Leo was either feeding, asleep, or awake and contented. 
God knows the damage I’d done to my poor child’s general enthusiasm for these subjects. She seemed to enjoy the English assignments, and when she’d finished writing out the story of “Supercarrot” (a fruit and vegetable based Super Hero story, co-written with her mother) she decided to write it out all over again, making it into a book with illustrations. The book was then carried around with her everywhere she went. Which wasn’t all that far as she was still in isolation. 
The story was based on a comic strip we’d created during week one. I say “we” because I basically took over the whole project. In a bid to get it all done as quickly as possible, for both our sakes, I practically spoon fed her plot ideas and we worked together to come up with the adjectives, adverbs and “contracted words” we were asked to include. I left the drawings to Maia, though felt awful and slightly stupid for getting annoyed when she coloured in her strawberries orange. “But why didn’t you do them red?!” I protested. “I don’t know Mummy!”. I don’t know why I cared so much. 
I became quite protective of the comic strip pages. They were left out on the dining room table and every time Maia sat down to re-hydrate, I’d genuinely worry she was going to knock her glass over onto them, ruining our shared masterpiece. I’d slide the paper down the table a little, ensuring no spillage could reach them. That’s how ridiculously invested I was in this particular piece of work.
I took photos of Maia’s work once a week to send to her teachers, as suggested by the headteacher. I found this weirdly satisfying. I was quite proud of both our efforts, and by the end of the two weeks felt like we’d bonded somewhat doing all the exercises together. Even if she did secretly want to lob small objects at me on several occasions. I have learnt, for next time, that it is possible to homeschool without too much drama, and it can actually be quite enjoyable. Having said this, it is completely forgivable to morph into a teaching-dragon should the mood arise. 


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