**Repost: This was originally posted on March 17th when covid-schooling was brand new. However, as we head into the final weeks of of the school year I thought it was worth revisiting. We should all take a deep breath and give ourselves, our children and our amazing teachers a HUGE measure of grace. Solidarity friends-we've got this!**
Over the last few days I've gotten several texts from friends about how they are horrible at this "homeschooling gig" and asking for advice, etc. They are stressed and tired and super worried about the "schooling" part of the next 3+ weeks. I keep hearing from my type A friends (not even sure why these overachieving rock stars hang out with me) that they want to "nail this" and get into the perfect homeschooling groove.
Half of the people who have texted me are suddenly working full-time from home. . .AND trying to "homeschool" small children and, with good reason, freaking way the heck out.
As someone who has actually homeschooled some combination of my 3 wild and crazy boys for the last 7 years let me say, this is totally different. This is much harder. We are all in a situation that we have never been in before. There are so many stresses and unknowns and health and financial concerns. Not to mention my favorite part of homeschooling, constantly being on the go and having tons of experiences, is basically illegal right now. Homeschooling, at least for our family is most certainly not comprised of actually being home all of the time. If the stereotype of homeschooling families being unsocialized and only allowed to have friends with which they share a bloodline were true. . .this extroverted/enneagram 7 would have peaced out long ago.
So, to those of you who have posted laminated "learning schedules" and recreated school at home, if that's enjoyable/easy for your family, that's incredible. Go for it! And then after our social distancing thing is over, please teach me your ways. But for those of you who are near tears because "school" didn't go well today, please relax. Stop hiding in your pantry and just praying that your children don't smell the chocolate that you are secretly consuming. Don't even pretend that I'm the only one who does that because I well know that we all have our secret stash of "mom snacks."
"But how do I teach my child what he would have learned in school?!"
*First of all, I had mono in high school. It wasn't fun and I missed 6 whole weeks of regular and AP classes. During those 6 weeks I basically slept and drank milkshakes (oh, high school metabolism, I will never stop grieving your loss). I did zero reading, zero school work and the entire rest of the world WAS in school the whole time. So, I was legitimately behind my entire class for a few short weeks. Most of you who know me don't even know I had mono because it's irrelevant. You don't even notice the gaping deficit in my ability to navigate life after having missed 6 weeks of high school. Obviously I had some make-up work to do but I still graduated high school and college and went on my merry way. ALL of the world's kids are out right now. And very few of the parents can compete with the awesomeness that is an actual degreed teacher and keep a child at a desk all day. We're in the same boat, folks!
I say all of this (partially because I have nothing but time right now because my boys are outside trying to catch lizards to hang from their ears like earrings) to assure you that your kids are FINE. And honestly, if our kids (my middle son is in public school this year) miss the rest of the school year, they will still be. . .just fine. If you are trying to work or even just trying to figure out what in the world is going on right now (which I actually advise you NOT to do, just get a recap at night, for your own mental well being) relax. I am praying that all of the teachers in the world are able to have a breather during this time. They are the hardest working people on the planet and I hope they aren't spending countless hours trying to digitally recreate school, our kids will be ok.
"But what in the heck am I going to do with my kids for the next 3+ weeks and how do I know what they are learning?" *We are of course, going to do some learning during these weeks off. However, I know that learning can look very different than just sitting at a desk in school. I'm planning to have fun, play games, make memories and enjoy our time together. Some days we will have WAY too much screen time. Some days we will read and do puzzles. Somedays my boys will probably do ridiculous physical stunts that will make great stories and keep us laughing for years. We are going to watch Master Chef Junior and cook together and watch Shark Tank and talk about the businesses and watch lots and lots of funny movies. We will take full advantage of the awesome online museum tours and great educational resources that are free right now. We will go for walks and build forts and ask if our elderly or high-risk neighbors need any help/groceries. We will have quiet time, do youtube yoga videos, bake cookies and think about who might need help. We will pray for friends and family and send cards to loved ones. We will make silly videos and have a campout on the living room floor. Kids learn in so many ways and the biggest thing I want my kids to remember is how our community and world came together. How we asked if someone needed help and thought about what we might be able to do to support a small business greatly impacted by this time. Hopefully my boys will see how we all did what we could for the greater good and hopefully saved some lives by not spreading infection. That doing what we wanted to do always came in second to doing what was right/kind/good. And while these are very stressful times, I don't ever want the stress to be what they remember. Our family will likely (hopefully) never have 3+ weeks of mandated quarantine in the same house 24/7. . .ever again. Not everyone is in the same situation and I am well aware of the privilege of being healthy, in the same house and mentally able to focus on making this time positive. I encourage all of you to take a deep breath and give yourself the same amount of grace you give your best friend when she's struggling. Try to make some happy memories, maybe learn a few things and above all, nourish your souls a little during such an unprecedented time. I promise you that
your kids and their education will be ok. And please, don't worry about becoming a perfect homeschooling parent. . .because, as any homeschooler already knows, there is no such thing. And family time is really the whole point anyway. #FlattenTheCurve #WeAreInThisTogether #Quarantine #Homeschooling #TeamAdamsFun #LoveLikeJesus