Thursday, March 19, 2020

Home Schooling In A Foreign Language

She started her education with so much promise. 
First lesson, 09.00 - 10.00 maths. We got off to a good start. The assignment was to complete five pages about area and one page starting the notion of volume. There wasn't actually much calculating to do but there was a lot of explanation and wordy word problems. This is our downfall as it takes us ages to work out what it means. I was with DD all the way - it's easier for me because at least I know the maths in advance. Needless to say I didn't get any of my work done.

10.00 is supposed to be a snack break. We missed it as we were still doing maths.

At 10.something history started. DD abandoned the rest of maths only half done. We went to the page in her history book and were horrified to see a double page article to read, in Hebrew of course, on the autonomy of the Judean State in Hellenistic Times. My cultural background at this age is A Day in the Life of a Viking. I was lost before we started.

The first question was: What does autonomy mean? That was easy. I wrote a sentence straight onto Google Translate and DD copied it into her history notebook.

Next, and final question: Describe the autonomy of Judea in the time of the Hellenic Empire. I went to Wikipedia in English, copy-pasted a paragraph onto Google Translate, edited it down, and DD photographed it with her cell phone. Done.

Before we got to the next subject - English, a message from the class teacher came through that there was a live interactive broadcast of something at 11.00 and they could tune in to it. I scanned the message and saw the word, "tosefet". That means it's an extra not an obligation. Phew. We didn't go there.

But we'd missed the start of English at 11.something.
DD: "Shall I do the English now or finish my maths?"
I thought it was better to get maths out of the way but DD was concerned because it was English time. Suddenly a message came through with a link to a maths quiz on percentages. You had to do it over and over until you got it all correct. I don't know if there was a time factor but the pressure was on and DD kept making mistakes. In the end I sat with her and told her the answers.

We had the 'shall I do English or maths?' discussion again. I insisted that she we I finish maths. Suddenly DD was asked via Whatsapp to write five good things that happened today. I had loads of great ideas: I didn't have to go out in the cold, rainy weather, for example.
DD:"No! That didn't happen. It has to be things that happened or we did."
Me: "I finished my maths and photographed my History and I'm going to do my English if I get a moment's peace from Whatsapp."
DD: "Mummy you're ridiculous."

In the end she looked at what everyone else was writing and copied a few of the others. Then I made lunch as it was already 2 pm and school was supposed to finish at 12.30. Then I made her do her English. Then I sat down to do some of my own work and found that I didn't have the energy.

And now we learned that today is the final day of home school. *DD dances around the apartment with joy.* Instead they are taking 9 days off the summer holiday, with the optimistic view that we will be returning to school after Pesach. *DD virtually in tears.* Life is indeed an emotional roller coaster atm. 


  1. Oh my - no wonder you are both stressed!
    Here it's March break this week and it will be the same for the next two weeks.
    If school opens after that they will have to reassess (I assume that's what they will be doing these next two weeks. People are beginning to think that its not likely so online teaching may be happening here or they may have to extend the school year into the summer. The trouble is, not all schools have A/C and it can easily hit 30C here by late May or June. People are also noticing trouble with internet connections with so many working from home already. The providers have notified us that they are giving everyone unlimited access with no overage fees for the next couple of weeks at least but if kids have to then work from home too it will really put a strain on the system.
    I am trying to get myself into some sort of routine as my office closed yesterday (all religious gatherings are to end for a few weeks so we had to close up the church) - even managed to do some laundry and ironing today - tomorrow I intend to do some dusting and vacuuming - at least my apt. will be clean! But I'm not sleeping as well as I normally do and a few friends have said they are experiencing the same issue. I may venture out early to a store on Friday and get a bit of a walk while that is still allowed.
    Hang in there - at least there are lots of great documentaries available and many galleries and museums have offered wonderful tours. YouTube has one series you may like "London - the First 2000 years - a 4 parter). I'm on the last episode.

    1. Oooh I like the idea of that documentary about London, I'm definitely going to look for it. Thanks for that. I find that a bit of a walk seems to help. Meanwhile I've not started on housework but I will.

  2. We are just about to enter this home school thing! I have a grumpy teen to wrangle to do it...