So due to the coronavirus pandemic, kids doing school at home has become a thing Some call it distance learning, virtual learning or online learning. Those all work. Call it what you want but don’t call it homeschooling. Because it’s not.
What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is taking control of your child’s education. It’s finding a curriculum that works for your child. What works for your child might be following a specific schedule, a flexible schedule or no schedule at all. It might include strict instruction, guided learning or allowing them to learn on their own. It’s taking a break to do something fun or to do an activity that tricks your child into learning (like cooking). What it’s not is this insanity that is happening now. (Disclaimer, it is understandable insanity and I’m not putting the blame on anyone. This is difficult for families, kids and teachers, alike.)
What’s not homeschooling?
Anyway, that’s what homeschooling is. What we are doing now is schoolwork at home. We are doing homework. There is no control over the method of teaching. There is no control over what they learn. There is just suffering through the crazy with your kids. Whether your kids are able to take it all on independently or they need more direct help from you (like mine), make no mistake; you are not homeschooling your children.
Why does it matter so much that I felt the need to write about it when I should be nagging my son to do his work? Because homeschoolers deal with so many misconceptions already, they don’t need this one. too. And, on a personal level, I need to explain why I can say that I loved and miss homeschooling but pretty much despise this distance learning thing. It really can be both.
I will resist the urge to give a play by play of last week’s antics because I’m sure we were all losing our minds but I will say that I have never had such a disdain for “new” math as I do now. Man, after finally getting the kids signed into the various programs and the groupme’s, I had to watch the video of Lizzie’s teacher four times to understand the multiple steps that she wanted her to take to figure out a tip percentage! (Spoiler alert, it doesn’t involve simply turning the percentage into a decimal and multiplying.)
If I was homeschooling her, I would have taught her the simplest way to find the answer because it would be the best way for her. But, alas, I’m not homeschooling her.
So that’s why when my friend told commented that she was surprised that I was not enjoying working with the kids since I used to homeschool them by choice, I explained that this isn’t homeschool. This is dealing with homework in every one of your kids’ classes, every single day. Who would enjoy that? 🤷♀️
The kids are alright.
But, I do like my kids being home and I’m grateful beyond measure that the government made the decision to close the schools. I will take this new math any day of the week if it means keeping my kids at home and safe. And while, last week was very stressful, I have faith that this week will be a little better, and every week after that. Of course, that might be because I now put wine in my coffee cup. Who knows? 😁
One thought on “Dear Parents, This is Not Homeschooling”
You are so right! We need to be careful with words like homeschooling.
My grands are in 2nd grade, 2 in kdg and one in pre-k so it’s a lot easier than your older teens. And I think, less critical. They are in St Johns so they just started distance learning this week. Last week the were outside, one learned to ride a two wheeler, they read, read, and read some more…did gardening, went fishing…all learning experiences. This week they are still doing some of that, but are spending part of the day doing worksheets, computer lessons. Not designed for them but for the mythical student on their grade level.
But as they say, you are their first and best teacher. One day they will look back on these strange times. What will they remember? My guess will remember the family time. Make them have good memories of a trying time. You and Brian are great parents.