“Mama, how old is Kane Tanaka?”
“What does Jeanne Calment look like on your computer?”
“Who is the oldest person in the history of humanity?”
“I want to look at the real picture of Methuselah. Not a painting!”
My kindergartener and I have been learning about supercentenarians as you can see from his barrage of questions above. Our homeschool at his age consists of reading books, drawing, talking (He is quite a chatterbox!) and watching a lot of videos. It is all very informal--we do not really follow a set curriculum.
I work full-time. I homeschool full-time. How do I do it all? The answer is simple. I do not actually. I would like to think of myself as a supermom, but I am not. Once, I tried to do everything--squeeze laundry, cleaning, work, homeschool, play all in a very short timespan--and I got very sick. My immune system went down, and I eventually caught a virus which forced me to stop and think about my priorities. People in the household thought I had COVID-19 which really scared me, and I was like, “I cannot die yet! I still had a lot of things to do on my list!!!” It sounds comedic now, but it was true and scary at that time.
When I did have time to myself (and that is when I am taking a shower, haha), I organized myself: how do I work and homeschool at the same time? When my boy was younger, it was easy because he had naps. That is when I insert long work times. Now, he no longer takes naps, and at the same time, his curiosity level is through the roof. It is as if he never gets tired of talking and asking questions. On the homeschool part, I love this. But on the work part, it seems as if I cannot get anything done at all.
And then I discovered the Bedbug Bible Gang in SchoolhouseTeachers.com! It is the perfect thing for my little one: (1) he loves watching videos, (2) Bedbug Bible Gang is interesting and fun (note that not all kid videos are interesting for him), and (3) he gets to learn about the Bible at the same time!
What I do is fix my workspace with him beside me. I used my old laptop for him so he can also “work” (watch videos). I give him a quota of videos, and I train myself to be more efficient and effective with my work. After he reaches his quota of videos, we move on to math or reading. We are using an online program that is full of games, clicking, and colors to keep him engaged.
I also ready our work/homeschool space with his books and materials. He loves to draw and write. So I have all his notebooks, pencils, erasers, and sharpener within reach. Before he was very mobile (aka not walking around), I was meticulous about keeping his books clean (no writing, dog ears, etc.). Now I have learned to let go. The fact that his books are full of drawings, taped, and folded up pages means the books are well-read. Some days I do not even bother to file the scattered papers (his drawings) immediately.
Most importantly, I learned how to be humble. I realized that I need God’s help and grace EVERY DAY. Prayer is my vitamin, aside from the usual vitamins I ingest. I am grateful for my husband who makes sure I take them daily. I cannot stress enough the importance of your spouse’s (and/or the other people in your house at least) support in your endeavors. My husband also pushes me to stop working when it is time and start exercising. I do not know what I would do without him!
We do not always get smooth sailing days. In fact, as I am writing this article, my boy is taking a picture of me and keeps on asking my opinion about exposures and his photography technique. But I always remember that he learns a lot by looking at me and so I am mindful of my attitude and character, specifically about my being patient towards him. Right now at his age, this is more important than the academic part of his homeschooling.
And by the way, the answers to his questions above are:
(1) 118 years old
(3) Methuselah from the Bible
(4) People did not have cameras in Biblical times so there are no photographs.
Written by Katherine Tanyu
Aside from God, her family, homeschooling (and books!), Katherine's love lies in stationeries. She and her husband manage growing stationery brands Forestmill®, Prevailed® and Boss StationeryTM in the Philippines. She is also the community moderator of a Facebook group for Office and School Supplies Wholesalers. Feel free to reach out to her via their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.