In another time, I might lay this out differently. Plead the case for homeschooling, or at least, explain why we chose this path. I might have shared a list of resources, things to research, and a nice little word of advice for those considering, curious, or contemplating this decision for themselves. But we’re in different times. Where homeschooling or some variation of it, is no longer a choice, but a requirement as schools have closed their doors. Many of them, indefinitely.
None of us needs another well informed article or essay right now–though those serve their place as well and I’ve written them too. What we all need, in various ways and in different areas of our lives, is compassion. We need encouragement, acknowledgement, and wherever we can find it, some perspective that we can make sense of.
So that’s what I’ve been trying to do. Share some truth, or my truth. An alternate perspective on homeschool, or what feels like the lack thereof, that might resonate or comfort someone in these uncertain times.
There is no “right” way to do this
If color-coded worksheets work for you, do that. If you work better letting your kids sleep until 10am so you can work, do that. If you, or your kids, work better with a strict and well defined schedule, follow it. If you’ve tried the schedule and it’s driving you insane, let it go. If recreating the classroom at home gives you a sense of normalcy and comfort, that’s fine. If it feels impossible to do that, that’s okay too.
Whatever you’re feeling is normal
Lest you think writing op-ed’s makes me a homeschool expert who lives and breathes this life, let me make explain: Absolutely not. We came to homeschool in a similar way that many parents are experiencing right now…out of necessity. As much as I would love to be the wild and free unschool mom I see on my favorite Instagram pages, I’m anxious. I worry,
probably too much. And I’m perpetually feeling as if I’m about to come undone.
There might be other parents and families who look like they have this thing in the bag. They’re flourishing and their kids seem well-adjusted and peaceful. That’s good for them. But whatever you’re feeling, exhausted, unequipped, unenthused, struggling to balance, overwhelmed, I have and still have moments where I still do too. It’s all normal and doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find some sense of balance, a way to make this “new normal” work for you.
The kids will be alright
I know it doesn’t feel like it now. When your world is upside down and you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the changes and discomfort this experience has brought. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past three years of homeschooling, it’s that you don’t have to worry about learning. While it might not look like the classroom with it’s worksheets and pre-defined curriculums, there’s just as much — and some might argue more — learning happening in the playing, the conversations and art projects, the following of curiosities, and even in the boredom. The kids will be alright. Let them play. Let them explore. Let them create. And when you notice them come alive about a thing, let them do that. Always more of that.