Horneber spends quality time with siblings through at home teaching


Photos courtesy of Madison Horneber

Horneber’s siblings do daily school work assigned by their teachers with the help and guidance of Horneber.

Being trapped in a house 24 hours a day, seven days a week has led families across the world to find new ways to bond together and new activities to keep themselves busy during quarantine. From learning new viral TikTok dances to taking numerous walks around the neighborhood, all families are trying to find ways to spend time together while not driving each other crazy. Sophomore Madison Horneber found a different approach to spending time with her younger siblings and helping them with their online schoolwork at the same time. Every day, Horneber works with her siblings, 1st grade and 4th grade, to help them finish their daily school work in fun and interactive ways. While Horneber was reluctant at first, she found that there was a way for her to get all her work done while helping her siblings with an added bonus. 

“They don’t have that much work so we start at like 9:00 a.m. and usually go till 1:30 p.m. I do all my school work after that. Sometimes it gets mixed up because I have google meets but everyone is understanding so we usually just start later or take a break while I’m on a call,” Horneber said.I didn’t want to teach them, but my parents said I had to. Plus, I do get paid $10 a day.” 

Without the push of a teacher there, students sometimes find themselves with even less of a drive to get their work done at home. Horneber understands that, especially at her siblings’ ages, at home learning can be a difficult thing. However, their young ages mean that the assignments Horneber is helping with, are mainly simple things that she can be easily explained. She recognizes that the biggest thing that she can do to help is to be able to keep them focused.  

“Their teachers assign them work so I mainly help with keeping them on task. I also help Ben with spelling and sentence stuff, like periods and spacing. Jordan can do most schoolwork by herself, but she needs a lot of help with directions and new words she sees while reading,” Horneber said. 

As with siblings of any ages, fights are bound to break out. This has been one of the obstacles that Horneber has had to deal with. She tries to help them get their work done quickly so that she can keep them busy but concentrated. 

“One of the hardest challenges of working with them is that sometimes they are super unmotivated. This makes it hard to get their stuff done, even though it’s really not that much. Also, they sometimes get really annoyed at each other and fight,” Horneber said.  

As she has had some time to get used to the process and adjust her tactics, Horneber has developed a schedule that makes learning easier for everyone and has helped her and her siblings have a less stressful day.

“It used to be really difficult to teach them because I would try to teach them both at the same time. That was really hard to do because Ben is in first grade and Jordan is in fourth so they’re learning completely different stuff,” Horneber said. “I decided to split up the day so I teach Ben in the morning for like an hour to an hour and a half. Then we take a break for lunch and after lunch I teach Jordan her stuff. Ben is definitely easier to teach because he has less work and he struggles with simpler things. I just have to tell him when his two is backwards or when he needs to add a period.”

Horneber enjoys that most of the learning materials she needs to help her siblings are online and have already been provided by the teacher. This has made it easier for her to help teach her siblings and she doesn’t have to deal with communication issues with their teachers. 

“I don’t use any specific methods but most of their stuff is on Seesaw, so they just turn things in there which is pretty easy. Jordan has a binder for her things and Ben has a notebook,” Horneber said. 

While each day of teaching brings new challenges to Horneber, she enjoys the time that she gets to spend with her siblings through this process while still getting the rest of the day to herself. 

“I guess my favorite part about it is I get to spend more time with them. It’s not the most fun thing to do but it’s still quality time,” Horneber said.