Making it work

Yesterday, our PM announced that our CCB will be evolved to KNNBCCB and extended to 1 Jun.

Our Minister of Education decided FHBL is not going to work long term, so he declared school holidays from May 4 to June 1. All the kids go back to school on June 2, barring no more covidiots causing the CB to extend.

Then, the people decided to queue for Bubble Tea. Lol. Singaporeans are unbelievable.

I sat down and digested the news for a very long time. I\’ve been surviving with the aid of pharmaceuticals and it\’s not going to work long term.

While I was looking through the websites, researching on how homeschooling moms do it, scouring my resources to see if I can come up with some kind of schedule, Mr Rain leisurely sat down in front of me, popped open a can of salsa dip and started eating his nachos.

I was glaring at him when I suddenly experienced an epiphany.

Just the other day, I wrote about how I experienced a peaceful day when I did everything at my own pace.  Why am I so hard on myself?

I shouldn\’t follow a school timetable when my kids are not in school. It\’s not going to work for me. I shouldn\’t let someone who is not living my life dictate how I should live it.

It\’s like how my mom always piles my fridge with food and dictates what I should cook for meals when she is overseas on a holiday. It\’s remote micro-managing and creates unnecessary stress. I mean who is going to care when I choose to let my kids do their work as long as they finish it?

So this morning, I woke up very leisurely. I did the Mr Rain. Lie down in bed and let the spouse yell at the kids to get out of bed because they have to check in with their teachers.

I took my time to get out of bed, checked my phone which was exploding with work messages due to some miscommunication.

Work must always come first. It\’s the thing that\’s paying all my bills in the family and putting rice on the table. It\’s like how Mr Rain would wait for the kids in the morning and when he reached his time limit, he\’ll just leave the house without them and cab to work. No need to raise his voice at all. If they are late, it\’s their business, he\’s not going to be late because of them. The boss is not going to accept the reason.

I adopted that mentality this morning. That reduced a lot of stress. I don\’t have to bother that my kids have not started on their HBL even until 9.30, when I was still dealing with some work matters.

When I could finally take a breather from work at 10, I pulled out Kid1, pulled out 2 bags of \”trash\” (his worksheets unfiled) and made him sit down to sort them out according to subjects.

While he\’s sorting out I made Kid2 eat her ADHD medication and started work with her. I left Kid3 and Kid4 alone to do their own stuff while I focused on these two.

Kid2 couldn\’t start her work because one of her pencils was missing. It doesn\’t matter whether she has another pencil from the pencil case which she could use, or tonnes of pencils in my stationery box at home. It just matters to her that the pencil from her pencil case is missing.

Sigh. So I let her find it while I sorted Kid2, 3 and 4\’s worksheets out.

I know there are some parents who proudly declare that their 7-year-olds can sort out their own worksheets. I mean good for you, and shut up. I\’ve been training Kid1 since he\’s 7. I\’m still barking at him now that he\’s 12.

While Kid2 was still searching for her missing pencil, I went through Kid1\’s assignments on his portals. I think it\’s excellent that his school provided something like this.

It\’s a summary of the week\’s work. Kid2 and 4 have them too. So I went through the checklist and found out Kid1 owes his teachers a lot of offline homework.

I gave Kid1 this list and told him to pick out all the offline work and start doing them at the dining table with me.

I went around the house in search of Kid2, and found that she had already found her pencil, and was drawing pictures in the study.

Mr Rain was online with his class so I wasn\’t allowed to yell. I praised her for the pretty pictures and reminded her that it was time to do her work.

Then I went to the medicine cabinet to pop 2 panadol tabs.

Sat down for 2 hours to do Kid2\’s work, and when it was finally completed, I told Kid one to move to sit beside me.

Then I started stocktaking his overdue work. We spent about 4 hours clearing them. Mostly because I wasn\’t really checking on him. I was doing my own work too. Then every time I checked on him I realised he was just staring into space, so I had to nudge him to do it. There were also times when he had to redo because he put \” ? \” and \”I don\’t know\” as answers. I mean the system registers it as complete.

By the time we were done, it was about 2pm. The AED LBS from my school called to check-in with Kid3, which consists of mostly, \”Bye Bye!\” from her and \”No Bye bye!\” from the teacher hehehe. They sang a song together. It made her quite happy even though there wasn\’t much conversation. I spoke with her teacher for a bit, then I went to work with Kid 4.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mr Rain had woken up from his nap (he usually checks in with his class, does his school work, then takes a nap) and is helping Kid 4. So I dumped the checklist and all of Kid4\’s work with him, then took Kid3 out to work with her.

Kid3 is struggling with multiplication.

It\’s a horrible thing to learn for her because for addition, she added the numbers in rows. For multiplication, she had to do it across, which confuses her and when she does addition, she gets messed up. The carry-over for multiplication confuses her too. I spent about 3 days working with her with no results.

Last night when I was searching the homeschooling sites, I came across this \”American\” method that people are mocking on facebook sometime back.

This works PERFECTLY for her. She got it, so tomorrow I am going to make her try it out for 3 digits. Then I will print out worksheets that requires the regular school method, teach her how to do her own working at the side and put in the correct answers.

So all in all, it was a fruitful day. My kids cleared all their backlog, except for Kid3, and we\’re ready to start afresh tomorrow. It\’s going to be the same method. I\’m going to work on one kid at a time, and if I need to work, I don\’t teach any kid. I don\’t try to do both at the same time.

One other thing.

I have a domestic helper, who does the chores for me and cooks the meals. My parents live with me too. I\’m quite fortunate in a sense where I have a lot of help.

But during this CCB, my helper is very stressed. I found out that it was her job to ensure my kids are hydrated every hour or she\’ll get told by my mom. My kids are too dumb to keep themselves sufficiently hydrated, which results in them falling sick. (My mom\’s theory)

I\’ve been too busy working, so I haven\’t really been involved in my kids. It\’s quite bad. I tried to take over the hydrating duty but I forgot too because I\’m distracted with my work or theirs. So I get told off by my mom.

My mom has been the main caretaker since they were young because I work all the time. Kids are trained in school and childcare to clear up after themselves but at home, they all behave like invalids. The younger ones are still being fed their meals, etc etc.

My kids are also messy people. They leave a trail of nonsense wherever they go. SO DO THE ADULTS! One cup here after drinking, then another cup, plate left on the dining table after eating.

All because I have a domestic helper.

I\’ve failed as a mother. I think it\’s a blessing that I\’m forced to stay at home to see all these. I need to sort out my kids.

But that resulted me in scolding them every single moment, over everything.

So today I let my helper do the hydrating thing. I told myself one thing at a time. I\’ve been taking over the lunch duty so my helper don\’t have so much work to do. Tomorrow I will take over the hydrating duty without barking at the kids. I must try to find a way to remind them to drink regularly without having to prompt them.

Then I will move to cleaning up after themselves.

One thing at a time. When it gets too overwhelming, always just go take a nap, like Mr Rain. Don\’t need to keep snapping at the kids.

Oh my dad came home today! Yay! One less stress in my head.

It\’s almost ten now. Kids are in bed. Time to transform into my sci-fi female assassin.

Have you read my Fatal Extraction yet? Go buy it! Costs less than a cup of bubble tea or Starbucks coffee and guaranteed hours of entertainment.

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