Becoming a Homeschooling Teacher

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Guess it was inevitable to be in China and become a teacher.

But this is different,

Doing this for my kids.

With schools shut down now until at least the fall here in China (they just announced in early May 2020 that schools will be further delayed from opening until the Fall) – I have to finally take matters in my own hands.

Need To Get More Traditional

Not to say I haven’t already. There have been various English language iPad apps we have gotten the kids to play on, and have gotta Youtube English cartoons for them – as the Chinese internet seems to have less and less English language content (free at least).

But there is still too much screen time. Need to get more traditional. So starting on Monday afternoon May 11 I took a whiteboard, propped it on a chair, and started to teach addition. Using a box of markers as a way to show the physical numbers of 5 markers plus 2 markers = 7 markers, I hope to have them understand how to add, not simply memorize 5 plus 2 is 7.

Patience is not my virtue, but they started to pick things up.

What’s the strategy?

We did about 30 minutes and they needed a break. After the break, we turned it into a game and I drew a number on the whiteboard and they shouted out what the number was. Interrupting my mother in law’s acupuncture clients in the massage beds on the room beside our informal school – we had to tone down the volume.

After about 1 hour, we then retreated back to the English iPad app (Jennifer Cheng thanks for pointing us towards Marco Polo World learning app) and spent about an hour on that before dinner.

Wendy and I discussed the schedule and the strategy.

Building a Routine

Mornings I have to do more morning routine and work. Her dad or she can teach the kids or take them out for walks. Once we move into the new apartment – I need my quiet place to do the Loadpipe work and writing and team coordination work online.

Lunch time, play with the other kids in the community. There are sandboxes and other places kids play and Maggie and Miles can get the interaction with the kids there.

Afternoon, 3pm to 5pm is my planned teaching time. Hopefully by then I have gotten the majority of my work done (will it ever be done?) and can focus 2 hours with the kids on numbers and letters and make it interactive.

Studying the web for lesson plans and strategies – it is a whole new world for me. But there has to be some “offline” learning – not just ipad learning.

At night Wendy teaches and reads to them in Chinese.

Then repeat.

How It’s Supposed to be

Maybe if we get the hang of this, we won’t need to send them back to traditional school.

Seems maybe others will do the same. I’ve been reading about college students making lawsuits against their universities as they are still paying the massive tuitions but getting Zoom calls in return. I agree, colleges should refund at least a percentage of those massive fees.

I worried home schooling would not be good for the kids to build their social skills – but taking them outside to the playground is enough, and they are making friends in the neighborhood.

Maybe this is how life and upbringing is supposed to be.

Maybe this mass-production of schools is a thing of the past? The old times probably were similar to this, and maybe Wendy and I will stick to this even if schools re-open in the Fall.

Yes, maybe I’ll be a teacher after all.

Now, back to making lesson plans!

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