Posted 21 August 2022
2 Kids, 1 Mum & 4 Online School Tips
By Daenielle Isaacs
#1: Separate and Communal Spaces
I am an online schooling mum with 2 children at home. Mika is almost 8 years old and Anya is 3. Due to the 5-year age gap between the kids, their maturity and interests are quite different, which also means they can be easily distracted by what the other is doing. I find that separate work spaces for them during the day really helps minimize distraction. Mika’s room is set up with his desk and laptop for his school day, while Anya’s day is a lot more hands-on as she learns through play, craft and story-time.
On the other hand, I intentionally use meal times and snack breaks to create a communal space for the kids. During breaks and after school, Mika and Anya enjoy time together as they interact and play together. I once walked in to Mika teaching Anya about “The Fruit of the Spirit” vs. the rotten fruit, which is “The Works of the Flesh” and how she should have the Fruit of the Spirit in her life!
#2: Routine and Flexibility
We have a daily school routine from Monday to Thursday (yes, a four-day school week!). Mika knows what he’s supposed to get done each day and crunches away at work in his schoolroom, while Anya’s day consists of craft, storytime, practicing fine motor skills, and messy play. The kids know what to expect from the time they wake up till Mika’s done with school and Anya goes for her afternoon nap. The routine helps the kids know what to expect, and for Mika – what is expected of him.
However, while we have a routine, I also try to teach the kids to be flexible. This simply means that they are able to adapt when something unusual happens in our day and circumstances are altered. While the routine holds the day-to-day in place, flexibility helps us remain malleable, bending without breaking.
#3: Building Trust vs. Breaking Trust
Life with a toddler can be quite time consuming – I joke that my day revolves around getting snacks and cleaning up messes! With Anya in the mix, most of my day is spent with her and I’m not able to monitor every detail of Mika’s school day; and Mika has learned to be more independent (and responsible). He scans and uploads his own work onto the Kingdomcity School platform, where I would have previously helped him with this. He works more independently than he’s ever done before and I use checkpoints throughout the day to ensure he stays on track.
With this newfound independence, I’ve had to teach Mika a great life lesson about trust. Trust can be built or it can be broken. Mika has the freedom to do what he knows he needs to get done, or he can let himself get distracted by something else (usually it’s Math, because he wants to learn long division, algebra and fractions! – Not a bad distraction, albeit still a distraction!) We regularly have honest chats about trust. As Mika builds trust and does what he knows he’s supposed to do (a sign of maturity), he’s given more freedom. Freedom and trust are directly tied to faithfulness with what he’s been given.
#4: Daily Grace and Forgiveness
Each day is different. Some days are smooth and effective, other days are filled with frustration and tempers are lost. If it’s a rough day, we own our mistakes, say sorry, ask for forgiveness and try better the next day. The kids learn that life doesn’t go perfectly all the time. Some days are great, some days are really tough, but we learn to have grace for each other, apologize quickly and forgive on a daily basis.
Regardless of what type of day it is, God’s grace is sufficient for me, for us as a family; and we lean into that grace on a daily basis. There’s no way we could do this on our own.
To conclude, I never thought I’d be part of an online school, much less with a toddler in tow. Some days are beautiful, some days are incredibly difficult. But as we keep giving it our best each day, being responsible for our own part, we continue to grow and improve and ultimately become better versions of ourselves. I’m grateful for this online schooling journey and I hope this encourages you that you can do it too!!!