They (dem kids) almost got me! Whew… *wipes sweat from face* Maaaaaaaan… *out of breath* We. Didn’t. Have. Schoolwork. *gulps* Kids act like they didn’t know what a school website was. They didn’t know any online things to practice. Each of the four INDIVIDUALLY bringing me problem after problem, issue after issue. For every solution I offer, they telling me 3 reasons it won’t work, can’t work. I tried LAST week’s go-to move, worksheets. It didn’t work because the answers required you to sign up for a monthly fee. They (dem kids) knew they had me frustrated, out-of-sorts, wrong lane. “Daaaaaaaddy. The button don’t work. Dada, how do I do #2-9? Dad, is there anything besides worksheets?” Y’ALL. 😑😑😑 I was breaking down then it hit me. Ain’t no real school curriculum here. This is MY Academy of Gratitude MUTHAFUGGA and I run all THIS. I remembered a colleague posting on FB that kids should write journals similar to Anne Frank. BET. The plan came together. No school assignments? Fine, we focus on reading, writing and rifmatic (math 😉🤣🤣). I announced, “Look, y’all got a writing assignment and nobody eats lunch until they’ve written 2 pages. If your handwriting changes in size to fill up space, you’ll keep writing.” Presented the prompt and sat my black, handicapped, tired, sick AF ass DOWN. Everybody wrote. Yup, they chatted, asked each other’s opinions, defined words but it was a solid 45min in which I felt they learned. The prompt? 😋
During lunch, I already had a plan too. Lst week, we started Glory, 1989 Civil War film about the 54th Massachusetts, an all Black Union military unit. We needed about an hour to finish. It was my son’s project but even my 1st grader was super interested so we finished it during lunch. I am super familiar with the film so pausing for discussion was perfect without actually wasting time.
I still had to survive the PM assignment shift and no assignments. By now, I was ready for them. Instead of hour long sessions, I went with 30min. Read for 30min. Math games for 30min. ‘Hold up, y’all left a mess after lunch? Clean it.’ 30min. Read again, 30min. Just like that, 2nd shift was over. House was back clean and it was P.E. time. That was easy. We (okay, THEY since I’m handicapped) did 20min of hip hop dance choreography. Free videos all over YouTube! 😉 Followed that with the 8th grader’s recommended home workout for athletes, by coaches. I was on their lil tails! ‘Hurry up! Nope, those push-ups don’t count because you barely bent your elbows. Uh uh, your back isn’t flat so those climbers? Restart.’ Ohhhhhh! The joy. The payback. The shenanigans!
FINALLY. We made it to the Gratitude Activity time. For the next 3 HOURS, they got lost in playing the old school game, Concentration, and new school, Jeopordy. No phones out. No music playing. No tv watching. Just straight hollering, excitement, jokes, clowning. THREE HOURS. We had so much fun that they talked and enjoyed cleaning kitchen back up together. What’s so special about that? It’s just kid #1’s job! 😄🤣😂