Like millions of Americans right now, we are exhausted.
We are fortunate for countless reasons, and we are grateful for even more. Still, we are simply worn down.
Adam and I don’t want West to feel the weight of our fatigue.
At almost 4 years old, he’s ready for some semblance of schooling. But due to the ever-rising cost of pre-school in Los Angeles, coupled with the Covid-19 rates throughout the city, we are not sending our child to classes in the foreseeable future.
In order to give West a preschool-like feeling at the start of the weekdays, Adam and I have been packing themed lessons together at night for our little one to discover and explore the following mornings.
Spoiler alert: We’re not acing it as parents, folks. These are (very) low-lift lessons. I’m trying to be forgiving of such shortcomings, as we’re trying to run our small business in a recession, navigate family life in a major city during the pandemic, and attempt to figure out some major life changes and decisions (more on that later).
Just like with my office, we create a pop-up school space filled with workbook pages (usually from Highlights for Children), books, activities, and tools that support the morning’s theme. The theme is always something very general— like autumn, swimming, space, plants, etc. The obtuse nature of the themes helps us keeps things flexible, and prevents us from having to buy anything new in order to bring a fresh topic to life every day.
And around lunchtime, we end up breaking it down for unstructured, open-ended play.
These sorts of mini lessons feel productive and doable. So while they’re not elaborate or innovative, they’re exactly what we can manage right now. And, most importantly, West is enjoying them.
More photos are below for those who are interested. (And while I have your attention: don’t forget to check your voter registration status or register to vote!)