Mommy Class is in Session

Thursday, March 19, 2020

#SOL20: March 19th

          "Mom!  We are waiting for you!  School has started!!!"

          I walked upstairs to my son's room, and there they were, my smallest class on record.  It's a multi-age class of 3, spanning from kindergarten to 5th grade.  My niece and my own two kids had now formed a class.  They had set up their own lap desks, and were sitting in them, waiting for the teacher to arrive.  And here I was.


          We started with a LEGO challenge, based on a LEGO Quarantine Challenge group we are in on Facebook.  The challenge was to make a build from 2070, and so off they went.  My niece built a dog house, my son built a futuristic car show, and my daughter built a scene where robots took over the world.  We shared our builds in "morning meeting" and then headed to lunch.  (Yep, we were behind schedule a bit.)


          After lunch, we had writing.  I asked the kids to name all the types of writing that they know, and we made a web on the best chart paper I could find.  When we were done listing genres, I passed out some notebooks I had around the house with a variety of paper choice, and told them that they got to pick what to write about and which type of writing to use.  I, of course, blogged my slice of life from yesterday, because teachers are writers, too.  We wrote for 15 minutes, and then they each got to share out their favorite piece.  I had dug in my garage for my Yoda self assessment of free choice writing, and they self assessed their ability to have an idea and write with volume.  Sadly, I only got a 2 for volume.  I was not writing the whole time.  (They saw me stop and take a few pictures.)

          For math, we read Color Farm by Lois Ehlert, which is about animals made of shapes.  They were all challenged to draw an animal using just shapes on their iPads, and then they went onto various math apps to practice skills.  By reading Color Farm, now my niece would have a book to add to her reading basket, too.


          For reading, we just did read to self.  No lesson today, just setting up workshop.  We talked about picking a book we wanted to read, and finding personal space where we could read for 15 minutes straight.  I told them that kindergartners often read out loud, so they needed to take charge and find a spot that avoided that if it bothered them, and they all read.  I did, however, have to force my niece to take a hand washing break after she sneezed into her hand.  Ick.  I then pulled her into a reading conference and she read a book to me with some prompting, and then I sent her downstairs with her iPad to record herself reading while the other 2 finished their 15 minutes quietly.  At the end, I made a quick status of the class document and we recorded our reading for the day.

         For art, they wanted to color in their coloring books.  Go ahead!  Then they all started fighting.  That was a real joy.  I might have threatened to send them to the principal, which is ironic because in my real classroom I rarely ever did that.  But, tough times call for tough measures.

         To end the day, my daughter wanted to do a Model Magic clay challenge of an animal, and then she had us write in our journals about our learning for the day.  What a great idea!  So we did that.

          My son then did a virtual ballet class with his dance teacher, Mrs. Brenda.  He was using my computer, so that put a stop to my own productivity a bit.  

         This was Day 1 of Mommy School.  
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

My Own Reflections:
Teaching is hard.  We already know this.  But, teaching in a multiage classroom at home (with your own kids) without having the supplies that we are used to is a challenge, and I'm a teacher by trade.  I happen to have all my old classroom supplies stored in my garage, which are not easily accessible but they are there.  I was also trying to work from home while doing all of this, as the curriculum work I do still needs to get done.  Why am I saying all this?  My kids were SO excited for Mommy School, honestly because they NEED the routine of what they know.  For now, this is the new normal.  But, as moms and dads who are also tasked with working from home, it is hard to teach class with multiple levels and do what they need to do.  So, give some grace to the families that you serve, and give grace to yourself.  We'll get through this, one day at a time.  Just keep kids reading and writing and creating in the meantime.


  1. I'm glad you shared the real nitty gritty of what this kind of arrangement can look like. We need our big hearts sometimes more than our big brains in managing the variety of possible responses. As a parent-teacher, I can literally be the worst. And I'm grateful that my middle schooler can do so much independently. I'm good at helping along, not doing the main instructing. By the end of all this, we will know ourselves a good bit better, I suspect.

  2. I LOLed at "They all started fighting. That was a real joy."
    Teaching is so hard, love your reflections. Thanks for all you do and all you share!