Month: February 2021

Homeschool Q&A

We’ve had such a fun year homeschooling, but it’s not all been fun and games. So I asked what your questions were about homeschool, and picked a few to answer! Here we go!

Are you using a curriculum? 

We are…thank God! We are using Gather Round’s new kindergarten curriculum for the bulk of our reading and math learning. Then we’ve also worked our way though a few of the Gather Round unit studies {bird, solar system, some of human body, Christmas} for science. We’ve also been doing No Tears handwriting and 100 lessons to teach your child to read {game changer guys} I know that seems like a lot, but we do those things in about 1.5 hours. 

How many hours/days of the week do you homeschool? 

We’ve been doing four days a week {we take Fridays “off”} and spend about 1.5-2 hours doing school. It would probably take less time, but getting distracted by Hudson and Logan makes things take a little longer. But honestly, most days I just really listen and watch Austen. If he’s having a hard time focusing, we take a break and get outside. If he’s feeling defeated and frustrated we might end early for the day. My goal for this year was for him to have a fun time and learn TOGETHER. 

Are you going to homeschool next year? 

No. Austen is enrolled in our public school for next year. He desperately wants to be in “real” school {which is what he calls it} and we want to give him that opportunity. Part of me is sad. I’ve loved this time to be involved in his education and have the freedom that homeschool provides. But I’m also really excited to see how Austen does in a traditional setting and to have more time to devote to Hudson and Logan. 

Will Austen do K or 1st next year? 

He will be tested by our district at the end of the month, and they will make a recommendation. And we will just follow and trust their recommendation. Austen thinks this year was nothing and that he will do K at the big school next year. So if they recommend K, he won’t care! He’s so confused by what this year has been. 

Has Austen liked homeschool? 

Honestly, I don’t think he has. I really think he will look back and be thankful for it, but he’s been so confused because he thought he was finally getting to go to “Mae’s school” {my niece’s school} There have been so many fun days, and some super hard days. He’s been resistant at times, but I really think he will look back and have good memories of homeschool….I hope. 

What did you do with Hudson while you were homeschooling Austen? 

I always have a least two activities set up for Hudson. I made a basket of Hudson appropriate “work” that I can choose from. I don’t have a specific curriculum for him. I’ll add some pictures next of things that Hudson did this year to give you ideas. We were mainly working on identifying his name and putting the letters in his name in the correct order, introducing him to the full alphabet, fine motor skills, prehandwriting practice, and cutting practice. 

Has it been easier or harder than you expected? 

Ten times harder…and ten times easier. It’s so funny how different parts have been harder than I thought, and then some parts have been so much simpler than I was making it. I really thought Hudson would be so chill during school and do activities and play…but we wants to be RIGHT THERE WITH US which has been so distracting for Austen. We’ve talked about how in typical school there will be other kids in the room distracting you, but I do think it’s a little different when it’s your little brother and he’s whining. And I was stressed about the content and getting everything in, but the curriculum has given me so much peace that he will be prepared. 

If he’s going to a typical school next year, how do you think he’ll do?

I’m going to speak so much positivity into him in typical school, but if I’m honest, I think he’s going to hate it. By the end of 1.5-2 hours he is DONE and over school work. So I think an entire day will be a hard transition. We have been talking and preparing him for what typical school will look like. Like I said…speaking all of the positivity into him LOVING typical schools.

What have you been able to do socially for Austen? 

I hate that our homeschool experience was during a pandemic, but then we probably wouldn’t be doing homeschool if there wasn’t a pandemic. In “normal” lives we have an amazing group of friends who we meet with weekly, so he gets plenty of social interaction. But with the pandemic, we really limited that to keep my mom safe. Austen is super social, but also very head strong and stubborn. Austen and Hudson have learned a lot about playing together and communicating this year, but it’s different with someone who isn’t your brother. Very excited for him to experience socialization in typical school and learn those lessons. 

Are you happy you homeschooled this year? 

YES! I think it was the best gift we could have even given our family during this unusual year. The gift to truly slow down during the pandemic and focus inward on our family unit. The relationship that has developed between Austen and Hudson has been SO special, and I truly don’t think that would have happened if Austen was in public school. I’ve also loved the creative outlet homeschool has provided me. While it’s been hard and exhausting, it’s also been very life giving and empowering. 

My Experience With Covid Q&A

Yup…I got Covid. It was not fun. I decided to do a little Q&A on Instagram to answer all of the questions I was getting….so here it is!

I’m going to refer to “the sickness” as Flofid so I don’t get censored…let’s do this!

How do you think you were exposed?

I was not directly exposed to Flofid because I was around our small pod only. So I had to have been exposed during a Target or Walgreen pick up. The only time I was unmasked was when I did drive ups. My only memory was when I went to pick up pictures for Christmas ornaments at Walgreens and when they guy came to my car, he pulled down his mask to say “Wendel?” and I didn’t have a mask on. But who the heck knows! We will for sure be wearing masks for drive ups/drive throughs from now on.

How did you know you had Flofid?

I had a positive test. I had a little tickle in my throat and was using cough drops on Christmas day and then on the 26th I noticed my taste and smell were super muted. By the 27th they were totally gone and I just knew. Got a test right away and a rapid test came back positive.

What were your symptoms?

I was lucky to have a super mild case. NO FEVER. So that measure is not effective. Tickle in my throat that turned into a full cough within a few days. My cough wasn’t terrible, but definitely there. I didn’t have headache or muscle aches. Fatigue for sure that would always hit me when Alex would get off of work and come downstairs. My body just knew I had to be present for my kids and then would drift off around 4:00. Then Alex would take over.

Why didn’t you self quarantine. No judgement, just curious.

Lord I wish I could have self quarantined, but there were two main reasons I didn’t. I had already exposed my family. You’re most contagious before you show symptoms. So I had probably already exposed them. And I’m still breastfeeding our 9 month old, and I just didn’t feel it was fair to do that to him. So Alex worked from home and we made it work!

Did you wear a mask around your kids?

I did not because our doctors told us that if they were going to be exposed they already were. I felt pretty mixed about this honestly.

Were you worried for your kids?

OF COURSE! So worried! Like cried every night worried. Not scared…just so worried. No parent wants to be the reason they made their child ill. We did two things during those 14 days to check in with them. Because they didn’t really understand the no taste or smell thing, we took their temp {again not a fool proof measurement, but it was something to track} and we checked their pulse ox levels with a pulse ox reader {super cheap on Amazon} which tracked their oxygen levels. If they dipped we would have called our pediatrician. I was also a good measurement for my nephew who is a nonverbal adult. Gave my sister a lot of peace knowing.

Did Alex test negative? Did he have the antibodies?

Alex tested negative 5 days after my positive test. That’s how long you’re supposed to wait after exposure to get the most accurate rest. AND 5 days after MY quarantine and negative test. He also tested negative for antibodies. It’s insane he didn’t get it because we absolutely kissed on Christmas Day. He’s a super human.

Did your kids get it?

No! We tested them five days after my quarantine and negative test and they all three tested negative. And let me tell you…that test…they did NOT appreciate it. So thankful!

Did your family get it?

A few did, and for privacy I won’t say who. I will however say that Alex’s entire family tested negative and we wore masks with them. We didn’t with my family and that’s where the spread happened. So masks help people!

Was your family upset?

I’m sure they weren’t happy but they were so supportive and understanding. They knew that we were careful. We said no to many parties to keep everyone safe so we could do Christmas and stay safe. That was the worst text to send and I sobbed hysterically after I sent it. And then turned my phone off and went to sleep. I know that’s dramatic but the truth.

What would you have done differently knowing your experiences?

I would have worn masks with my family. Such a simple thing to do. Annoying…but wish we had.

What helped with your symptoms?

WATER…so much water. We had the ingredients for the Starbucks medicine ball delivered {Pinterest it} and that was super helpful. Tea was fine, and I couldn’t taste obviously, but the lemonade on my throat felt so good. Also started Zinc right away and I think that helped.

You mentioned feeling shame…why?

Who knows if I was the first to be exposed, but I was the first to show signs. So I took responsibility. I felt SO responsible for my family members who got it. I felt horrible, and the waiting game for them to have their five days post symptoms and then waiting for their tests was so tough. And then hearing them be sick. It was just the worst.

What did you learn during this time?

Gosh guys the immediately love and support we got was unreal. Made me so thankful for the community we’ve created around us. We had meals sent to us immediately. Doordash gift cards, soup drop offs, supply drop offs. The day I tested positive, my friends literally just said “we’ll have dinner delivered by 5:00” I didn’t have to make a decision or order anything. At 5:00 dinner was delivered and my family was fed and no one had to worry about it. So if you know someone who gets Flofid, email them a gift card or send them a meal ASAP. Chick fil a Chicken noodle soup, a bag of nugget ice {yes you can buy that} and their lemonade was so good and helpful!

Can you/will you get the vaccine?

I won’t be eligible for a while but I hear you’re supposed to wait until your 90 days last symptoms. But once that happens…you bet your bottom dollar.

Thanks friends for all of the support and encouragement! You’re the best!