Coffee Break #13
Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite snack and settle in for my favorite post of the month! In this month’s Coffee Break, I’m chatting about the Mid-Year Reader Survey results and my feelings about homeschooling our 9-year old. I’m also answering some of your “Ask Megan” questions. So get cozy and let’s chat!
Catch up on past Coffee Break posts HERE!
How Are You?
So…how are you doing, friends? That seems to be the question I see reverberating the most around my family chats, friend text chains, and social media feeds. And it’s the one on my mind today: how are you?
I’ll be honest…we’re creeping, ever so slowly, toward our breaking point. Friday, March 13th is when the whole “life at home” started for our family; and until lately, I’ve been “okay.” While it certainly took a lot of adjusting and a vast majority of the last few months haven’t been fun or easy, I’ve been mentally, physically, and emotionally hanging in there.
Until a few weeks ago when our school district went 100% virtual for the start of school.
I knew it was coming, but it was a true gut punch all the same to hear that Henry will most likely be home with me…100%…until February. February. That afternoon, when this new reality fully sunk in, was the very first day I cried and screamed (and cried and screamed and cried and screamed) about all of this. And I have felt myself struggling…emotionally, mentally, socially…ever since.
I’m just gonna say it: there is one main reason I send my child to school. Completely aside from running a home-based business, not feeling qualified to educate, and acknowledging the social benefits of traditional schooling…it’s primarily because Henry and I are a really bad combination when it comes to schoolwork. I first saw it at a young age when I would try to teach him how to hold a pencil or use a scissors. And it’s gotten worse with each passing year. Whether it’s a single worksheet for homework, a science fair project, or even helping him through a LEGO manual…he doesn’t respond to me…at all…and I can’t hold my patience together enough to help him sufficiently. Within minutes, any learning situation becomes combative, tear-inducing, and stressful…for both of us.
I have known for years that homeschooling was never a viable option for Henry, so you can understand the “100% school at home” situation is my own personal nightmare (and his too). This is not to say I don’t support the county’s decision or teachers’ concerns over the virus (both of which I do). This is just to say that homeschooling reeeaaallly doesn’t work for Henry and I, and I am deeply worried about the emotional health of our household in the next 6 months. Greg and I have thought through countless options and situations (none of which I am going to detail here and now), but we have come to the conclusion we are just going to have to find ways to persevere through our county’s distance learning plan.
We’re starting with setting Henry up a new homeschooling environment (I’ll share what we settle on later this month), and I’m mentally preparing to dig really deep into my already-dry well of patience in order to guide him through this. From there, we’ll take it one day at a time. This entire situation reminds Greg and I so much of a deployment: you just put your head down, barrel through, and count down the days until it’s over.
That’s where I’m at on the “pandemic rollercoaster” this month…how about you?
Reader Survey Results
Last month, I featured a mid-year reader survey, and THANK YOU to all of you who chimed in! I’m going to share some specific results you might be wondering about below; but in general, I was so excited to read that most of you are loving what I’m already doing and want to see more of a lot of the content I already have coming down the pipeline! Long-time readers know I’ve bounced around and struggled a lot with finding my precise niche; and I think this is the first survey that really validated that I am (finally!) doing what resonates with me AND you! Yay!
For the data lovers out there, here is how the YES/NO questions panned out:
As far as post requests, project ideas and the “Ask Megan” questions, I was surprised to see some really consistent themes in your answers. In addition to wanting to see even more DIY, organization, and renter-friendly content, I was somewhat taken aback (although, I probably shouldn’t be) by how many want to know more about our military lifestyle. I used to post military content fairly regularly, but fell out of the habit for a variety of reasons. Since SO many people asked, I’ll be sure to sprinkle even more details in where I can!
A lot of you also asked about my personal fitness, sleep routine, and life in general with three young kids. Although many of you seem to think I am some sort of “Super Woman,” I assure you I am not (see my homeschooling struggle above!) so I’ll start sharing some of these ” real life” details in my Ask Megan features!
Finally, thank you to the almost 100 people who offered to provide me blog feedback! I’ll be sending the form out in the next few weeks so keep an eye on your Inbox for that!
Psssst – You are on my mailing list, right? I send out an exclusive third weekly “post” every Sunday morning, and it often covers a lot of FAQs I get or topics I think you want to read about. It’s short and sweet, and a lot of you have been telling me it’s one of your favorite things I’m doing right now! Subscribe using the form at the bottom of this post!
Behind-the-scenes, I am slowly (and I really mean slowly) building up a backlog of content so that I can eventually get up to posting three times per week. When I get there, I’d love to switch the “Ask Megan” concept to a post series of its own. Until then, I’ll add a few questions to the bottom of each Coffee Break post!
Q: Did you ever finish the quilt you were working on in Kansas?
A: Nope. (Wow – good memory, by the way!) Actually, I’m not sure if you’re referring to the “Ice Quilt” I mentioned here, the Block-of-the-Month quilt I worked on for the year we lived in Kansas, or Sam’s baby quilt that I started here…but the answer is still “nope” to all three. (See?!? I don’t finish every project I start!) Somewhere along the way, I fell out of love with the process of assembling quilts and have kind of accepted that it’s not really my crafting strong suit. In fact, I’m kind of amazed to look back at the quilts I have made (you can see a bunch of them here) and marvel at the time I must have had “back then,” ha! I’ll never say I’ll never quilt again (because I do LOVE picking fabrics and gorgeous patterns) but it’s just not the type of crafting I enjoy these days.
Q: Any thoughts on buying a home in the future?
A: Quite a few of you actually asked this question (or a similar variant)! It’s not a quick or easy answer (is anything ever “quick” with me?!?) so I’ve assembled an entire post outlining our rent vs. buy strategy. Stay tuned for that in September!
Q: How long will you be staying in this house?
A: We should be in this house for the next two years (making it a total of three). Without diving into a long story, there was a small chance we’d move next summer if Greg was selected for Command. But Greg (and I) chose to pull his name from consideration so that our family could have some stability. This last transition was really hard for Henry, and we all feel like we lost our first year here because of the pandemic. By removing his name from consideration, there is no chance he will be chosen this time around, and we therefore shouldn’t have to move before his three year orders are up. At least we hope…there is NO guarantee with the military, and we’ve been blindsided before!
Have a question you’d love to see me answer?!? Ask away in the form below:
Alright my friends, that finishes up this month’s updates! I do hope you and yours are hanging in there during this wild and crazy time. I don’t think I say this enough, so I’ll finish with this: thank you SO MUCH for stopping by, saying hi, and being supportive for everything I do here! I need you as much as you need me these days 😉!
11 Comments on “Coffee Break #13”
Thank you! You reminded me how lucky/blessed I am to be able to send my kids back to school. It will be a weird setup, but they are in school. I can’t imagine being home until February! Fingers crossed there is a tutor close/neighbor who could maybe help with some school work instead of you. I have heard of co-ops being formed in my state to help the kids.
And yes, I totally get the I am not the best teacher for my kid. I can supplement, but they respond so much better to someone else being the main teacher. Praying for you and your kiddo. You can do it. And be glad you did it when it’s all said and done.
Hugs, you’ve got this!
Last email today, promise 😉
Thanks for the compassion .I’ve never been so jealous of people being able to send their kids to school as I am now. The county definitely made the right call, but I’m soooooo not looking forward to the next few months 🙁 We’re going to take it one day at a time right now. We’ve got to see what the district offers and how much he struggles, but yes, we are prepared and willing to see help if we need it!
Thanks for the support :)Megan
Just a suggestion if you have any teachers that live in your neighborhood, see if they can take Henry for an hour or two to do his work. I know in our school district we had a choice of in person or virtual. Some of the parents that are doing virtual have teachers that live in their neighborhoods and the teachers are working with groups of students. I learned when my daughter was in kindergarten that she was not one that wanted help – she’d rather figure it out herself or ask her teacher. I only check her work when she asks and I let her teachers know the situation so they didn’t think I didn’t care but that it just was not worth the fighting and tears. She’s now in 7th grade and has had straight A’s so I know she knows what she is doing and does ask for help or guidance from her teachers when needed.
Thanks so much for chiming in and sharing your suggestions! Right now, the best we can do is take it one day at a time. We’ve got to see what the district offers and how much he struggles, but yes, we are prepared and willing to see help if we need it! I’ve already had some friends and neighbors reach out!
Thanks for the support :)Megan
Here in Ontario our kids are going back full time into regular crowded classrooms. So our govt has decided on a crap/duck shoot – here’s hoping the kids stay healthy and the health experts are right when they say that kids can’t spread the virus or generally have only mild cases. If I was a young mom with kids I don’t know what I’d do. Family in Alberta is thinking of homeschooling anyway with dad taking time off (if he doesn’t lose his job due to school system cutbacks) but they also have an online business which is doing quite well so at least have that option and Mom is working out of her home teaching in two colleges. The grands in Ontario are going back to school because mom is also in the school system. Fingers crossed.
One bit of advice – one on one instruction is faster so you don’t need to be doing it for the full school day. Set a target and have faith that Henry will not be any worse off when school does resume in person.
Hi again, Linda!
Thanks for chiming in and offering your support. Right now, the best we can do is take it one day at a time. We’re going to see what the school district offers and how much he struggles (if at all!) and go from there. As much as I want him in school, I genuinely believe our county made the right call – I just wish this whole thing wasn’t happening. Pretty sure we all feel that way, huh?
Thanks for the support :)Megan
Hi Megan – this was a meaningful, heartfelt post. I remember so many frustrating times when our son was young, and finding out the hard way that I had no talent to teach youngsters. This was a blow because they always asked me to train people at work. It was worst from 5th to 8th grade, when I didn’t have time to refresh myself on the latest math, and I was frustrated my son’s dislike of reading/spelling/grammar. Science was a relief, and I am friends to this day with his 5th/6th grade science teacher, and helped her run the school’s annual science fair for many years. My middle sister was a reading recovery teacher in Williamsburg, VA, and just decided to take retirement as she was not up to handling a new year online. She’s anti-computer, and I was so proud of her finishing up this last semester with ZOOM. I don’t doubt that there are many like her that will be looking for tutoring work.
I’m sure there are a lot of mixed emotions about Greg’s command, but I think it’s great that you folks could decide as a family, and have some say in the matter. I still remember my father’s talking to me about a choice he took that basically veered his career toward the end rather than accept a pathway towards promotion, but that would entail yet another major move and deployment. I think it was mostly for my mother, who was pretty much done at that point. For us kids, it was still a move, only across the bay, but still had to change schools. But much nicer quarters!
I am also feeling pandemic stress, and our island is now joining the rest of the country with cases growing by leaps and bounds. We were spoiled by almost 2 months of single-digit daily new cases, and now another 1000 in just a few weeks. We got complacent. Anyway, along with the stress I feel guilt about complaining when we are not even sick! Well, I better close this – it’s getting too long. You folks stay well, and try to enjoy the togetherness. Perhaps if there’s a subject that’s really awful for you, it could be an after-dinner session with Dad.
Yes, you certainly can use Snapmat. I personally don’t like to use my phone for DS work and I don’t have a tablet. I also find it tricky to get really precise results using Snapmat. But yep – it could absolutely work!
Thanks for the support, Tenney!
Right now, we’re focused on taking it one day at a time. We’re going to see what the school district offers and how much he struggles (if at all!) and go from there.I do believe our county made the right call – I just wish this whole thing wasn’t happening. Don’t we all feel that way, though?
Thanks again :)Megan
Well, I still think you’re SuperWoman. 🙂 Not so much because I think you do “everything,” but because you do happen to still accomplish an amazing amount, and you do it so beautifully well. 🙂
Really loving the Coffee Breaks and the Ask Megan spots!
<3 🙂 xoxox
Thanks so much Vanessa! Your comments are always so kind and I eagerly read them whenever I see them come through!
Thanks for taking the time to brighten my day…hope you’re doing well!Megan