This Morning at the Weisberg Homeschool

This Morning at the Weisberg Homeschool

Homeschooling isn’t something I would have ever willingly signed up for, but I guess nobody’s interested in my personal preference right now.
So that means I’ve got 8 Weisberg kids ranging between the ages of 5 and 22 at my homeschool. Actually, only 7, because my 19-year-old, Hallel, recently returned from India (b’H!!!) so I presently have only 7 kids battling it out over computers and phones in order to listen to all their zoom classes, not 8.
It’s part sweet, part surreal, part chaos.
This morning, for example, my 22-year-old, Hadas (who’s moved back home from her Hebrew U. dorm room) was at the kitchen counter making herself a humus sandwich while listening to her esteemed professor lecture on statistical theory.
5-year-old Yoni was beside her at the kitchen table participating in a zoom get-together with his kindergarten-mates and teacher (while being filmed by his 17-year-old sister, Maayan, cause it was SOOO cute.)
9-year-old Tsofia was a few feet away at the living-room table learning (at least in theory) how to add mixed fractions, while her 9th-grade-sister, Moriah, was on the other side of the table listening to a geometry class (my heart melts when I hear how she refers to her teacher as “HaMorah” in the respectful third person).
7-year-old Yaakov was upstairs on my computer in a zoom class with his teacher, Rav Tsuria, learning about Sefirat HaOmer.
And his older brother, 7th-grader Yoel, was in his room, listening to his gemara class.
And in the middle of it all, I, the newly-appointed (under duress) Weisberg-family IT director, was running around, trying to get this one hooked up to zoom, that one re-hooked up to zoom, and (after I received 2 urgent phone calls from classmates’ parents) figuring out how to unshare Yoni’s screen so we would no longer be blocking his kindergarten-mates’ faces anymore.
I regret to inform you that everything was not all happiness and light at the Weisberg homeschool this morning. I was ordering family members around with more grouch and stress than joy and calm than I would have liked. I hope I can make it up to them somewhat by occasionally smiling and being more chilled out this afternoon and (please God!) tomorrow.
And I’m trying to keep in mind what Rabbi Shalom Kaminetzky said regarding all of this (under duress) Corona homeschooling: Don’t aim for perfection, just do your best. Your best is good enough.

18 comments

  1. I homeschool 4 kids and the other 4 are young adults living at home and working until HaShem sends their intended matches. The most challenging thing is working on my happiness. If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy 😃. Hang in there. It’ll never be perfect. But HaShem will take care of what’s needed!

  2. Thank you for your validation that this reality is normal.

    I also think we all need to stop referring to this as home schooling. It isn’t home schooling (that’s really a conscious choice that some – incredible – parents choose). This is us helping to facilitate distance learning.

    Right, I’d better go start setting up the devices here soon…

  3. Amazing because any of my daughters or daughter’s-in-law with school-age children could have written this, whether they are living here in
    Melbourne, in Los Angeles, Vancouver, or in Launceston, Tasmania.
    It seems that for some reason this is one of the tests that we have to pass at present.Perhaps the parents’ homework is to try to keep calm in a frustrating situation.
    In my opinion,one of the best posts going around lately is the one that says something like: WORLD CLOSED FOR REMODELING.GRAND OPENING COMING SOON.

  4. LOL…Sharing a similar dynamic 🙂

  5. i totally relate…though i let loose and my children (7 from age 2 to 19) dont work so much…they dont like the zoom system so i just insist that they read a bit and do torah and maths…alone with their books or with another kid or parent… and if they dont really…nothing happened! i think in this period the most important is to live in the present and strengthen our bonds within the family and with god…the rest is not important for me

  6. also yom hashoa reminded me that people who never went to school as kids became torah scholars like the Rav Lau so a few months without school is not a problem for me…they need relax parents before all!

  7. Can we have a forum about this? We need more people sharing their feelings about this. I need to hear other people’s stories. I feel dysfunctional and alone when one day my kids are on devices the whole day.

    • Leah you feel dysfunctionnal as many of us do in the society we grew up which makes the parents guilty…i always relate to our ancestors: they were not guilty they dint have pdychologists,therapists, books and so on. they were not responsible for their kids entertainment and pleasurable life yet they knew better their place as the leader of the home. together with their husbands.
      this period is so very unique you should only focus on the present and on being sure you are the prrfect mom for your kids…god decided to give them to you after all
      take care!

    • JewishMom

      that’s an awesome idea…I’m wondering how to create a forum like that? Would love to hear ideas/recommendations:)

  8. Rachel F.

    Hi!
    Thank you for sharing your experience and I agree with Leah that we need a forum about this to maybe get some chizuk as well as sharing some helpful ideas. I feel torn between approaching this more like Ann (which I love!) and between not letting go of the idea of responsibility and commitment to education even when things get a little challenging.

  9. I’m with Anne. a few weeks w/out school CAN BE THE GIFT WE NEED to be the Imma’a we used to be (in generations gone by) Imma helped teach the kids to be Imma’s – cooking, cleaning, sowing, beautiful tablesetting, dishwashing, kibbud Av veEm and being a giving nurturing person to each other and others, chesed’s been a biggie too. This has been my kids best preparation for Pesach so far and since then they have learned to sow their own stylish masks, they’ve helped set up, bake, photograph and prepare for a Bris and Irrussin for members of our kehilla and I’m cetain Hashem has more opportunities to send our way – school is negative pressure and we’re not into enabling kids and technology and too much phone time anyway. It’s not all roses but It’s gonna be good! (6 x kids 8-18)

  10. Thank you for so perfectly describing what’s going on in my home!
    It is very important is to remember to take time for yourself! I’ve been going on two walks a day. I come back happier and more able to focus on the many tasks on hand.

  11. Don’t forget, some of us are doing this homeschooling with an added bunch of kids too young to be on zoom I’ve got three on zoom and three under the zoom age who are begging for attention all day. Boruch Hashem. Trying to appreciate my blessings.

  12. I never wanted to homeschool or be a WAHM. But now I’ve got both. I am grateful to have a family and to have a job, but I just wish I could separate them a little…

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