Dear Former Public (or Private) School Parent,
I wanted to write you a note because my post about how we shouldn’t refer to this current situation as homeschooling had nothing to do with the amazing way you are handling this crisis.
One day your life was normal and the next day your kids were sent home from school.
And they are expected to be with you. All day.
And no one can come over to babysit. And you can’t take your kids to a friend’s house. And the neighbors can’t come outside to play. And your parents aren’t allowed to come by and pitch in.
And on top of it all, this crisis didn’t care if you are a working or stay-at-home parent. You are simply expected to make the situation work.
And so you have.
You have found ways to entertain, occupy, and even educate your kids at home all day while balancing a job and trying to maintain your own sanity.
With no plan. no warning. and no definite ending to this crisis.
I. can. not. imagine.
Heck, I’ve been homeschooling for 12 years and this situation has thrown my own home into crisis mode even though I am used to having the kids here during the day.
So I have nothing but respect for what you are doing right now.
And I hope you know that you need to feel free to do what you and your kids need right now to make it through this crisis.
That might include too much screentime and way too many Disney movies. It might mean a lot more frozen and convenience food even though you normally eat fresh and healthy.
And that is okay. Because this won’t last forever and we need to make it through the best we can.
Let’s continue to focus on connecting with and tending to the hearts of our people while keeping ourselves sane.
Some days it might mean getting in a full 8-hour workday while the kids binge Netflix.
Other days it might mean eating lunch with the kids on a picnic blanket in the living room while taking a long lunch break.
And some days it might look like a FaceTime call with Grandparents who read the kids a story while you finally prepare a “real” dinner.
Because there are no previously laid out rules for this situation. No one has ever done this before. This is new. This is hard. This is a crisis. And you get to make the rules for your family.
And may I suggest that you lay your academic worries aside and just do your best to keep up with any assigned school work and let the rest go. Your kids will be fine. They really truly will.
Of course, while we are on the topic of academics because they are a real concern for many…
If finding and implementing creative learning ideas is something you enjoy, then go for it. I’ve got plenty of fun ideas if that is the case. But only use them if it is helping, not if it is making you feel crazy.
And if schedules and routines are the only way you can survive this situation, then create one and go for it. But be gentle with yourself on the days it doesn’t work out because you or one of the kids falls apart. Because those days will happen.
And if your high schooler has requirements to complete, then find a way to make that happen with as much love, support, and freedom you can give them. Chocolate while completing math or episodes of The Office in between subjects are both acceptable ways to get through the assignments.
Finally, if the school is sending work that is making your day and your life miserable, then reach out and talk to the teachers or administration. See what options everyone can brainstorm that will work better for your family.
And please don’t feel the need to become a “sudden homeschooler”. That isn’t the kind of pressure that anyone needs to put on themselves.
And honestly, no one is homeschooling the way homeschooling operates in this crisis. Not even homeschoolers. So we gotta let that phrase go right now.
This is isolation-schooling or crisis-schooling or District 12-schooling. And we are the ones writing the rules for our people.
So do it the way that works for your family.
Because that, in the end, will be the best way.
I have nothing but admiration for the ways I see so many of you handling this crisis. You are the rockstars.
PS. Just in case it helps, I’ve got a list of indoor activity ideas for all ages, even for your teens and a list of games you can easily play over video chat! So feel free to keep that handy when you need to change up your routine!
- Encouragement and Tips for Parents Thinking about Homeschooling - May 31, 2020
- Plan a Morning Time with Older Kids: 15+ Ideas for the Homeschooling Mom - May 21, 2020
- How We Use Curiosity Stream in Our Homeschool - May 19, 2020