Friday, April 03, 2020

Scenes from a homeschool


I am so sick of screaming children!

Dorothy has been losing her shit AT LEAST once but usually more than once a day, which then agitates Cooper.  Harry and Jack are OK, although I notice Harry is extremely crabby in the morning if he wakes up and watches the news, so we have asked him not to watch it, which seems to help.  Both of them have their phones and text and face time their friends, so I think it's just a little easier for them to still feel engaged,

I reached a breaking point yesterday when Cooper's teacher sent an overwhelming email about e-learning which starts for K-12 on Monday. He needs us to go to at least 3 separate places everyday and use 3 apps, one of which I have never even heard of, and I burst into tears. I ended up emailing him and the principal and saying basically, that's too much work for me as a working parent with multiple kids, and I need a very simple email (not google classroom-- I cannot go one more other place) with the minimum work Cooper needs to complete each week to advance to third grade.

 I am working full time.  Ben is working full time. We have been doing school every weekday this whole time, but I am not going to be able to manage all of this stuff for every kid.

We are living in a magical quarantine land of plenty-- plenty of food. Plenty of money. Plenty of space. Plenty of streaming TV services and premium movie channels on cable.  Plenty of computers. And just enough time to juggle all the balls we have in the air. We are extremely lucky, and I know that, but even under these best of circumstances, the second grade ask was too much.


The district sent this ridiculous, overreaching infographic about an ideal school day that made me have panic-attack breathing:
I would say during this time, most parents are working 2 jobs from home. AND THOSE PEOPLE ARE THE LUCKY ONES. Otherwise, maybe there's a parent who is the homeschool parent, but that might mean they lost their job and are balancing stress about that.  Or one or both parents has to leave the house to go to work and not in a high paying healthcare job, necessarily. Surely there are young kids home alone during the day. And what about the thousands of kids in our district who are homeless????

I think our teachers are amazing, and the creative out-of-the-box thinking they are bringing to learning in the time of COVID-19 is wonderful.  But I think they are getting some truly idiotic pressure from the district which can't seem to grasp that not every child is an only child and not every parent can be a full-time educator at home. 

I can likely give my kids that exact schedule above in my perfect quarantine, but it still stresses me the eff out. And we are the exception, not the rule. 

TL; DR: Tone deaf response from the district made me panic.

But we carried on with our cut rate clothing optional homeschool:


  1. What you have been doing is closer to actual homeschooling than what schools are trying to implement. First, they are trying to do school at home, which is not what most homeschoolers do! Also, you are being pushed into something very quickly. Most homeschoolers sirens time researching, finding what works best for their family. We have flexibility that the schools aren't really offering in most cases.

    Keep doing what you have been doing. If possible, add in what is realistic from the school (the social part for the younger two is probably going to be the most beneficial). And just remember that your kids are still learning, which is really what matters!

  2. Anonymous6:01 PM

    My daughter is a teacher, and she is so frustrated by the commands she gets from the school board. So many students don’t have internet access. Or parents who speak English. Or an endless amount of time and energy to devote to their kids during A CRISIS. I think if you’re kids are mentally and physically healthy at this crazy time, then you’re ok. That’s all that matters.

  3. Yes!! All of this. I have a doctorate and I deal with stress by organizing, and I couldn’t set up my kids’ computers with all the apps and “practice assignments” and programs I’ve never heard of (WTF is Kami?) There’s a reason teachers don’t teach multiple grades at once. I’m pretty seriously considering pulling my kids and enrolling them in actual homeschool now that we’re out for the year.
    Also, I can’t handle the “reply all’s” asking what time the damn zoom meeting is.

  4. Lisa R7:32 AM

    UGH, Zoom meetings. My son's kindergarten teacher set one up for this morning. Sorry, not sorry, I work from home all the time and I can't be on my computer assisting customers while trying to set up my 6 year old for a Zoom meeting he's absolutely not going to sit through/understand while also trying to get my 12 year old onto his Google classroom that he doesn't know how to navigate....all while my 3 year old is demanding a snack and my 5 month old just wants to be held. CAN'T DO IT. And emailing me four times a day to remind me to log my son into Google Classroom, don't forget about the class hangout, band has their own separate hangout on blah blah day, and answer the attendance question and don't forget this other meeting???? SO UNNECESSARY!!! And prefacing every email with "I know some parents are working and all activities should be self explanatory to your child..." just causes a massive eye roll and facial twitch. All. CHILDREN. DO. NOT. LEARN. THE. SAME. My son has an IEP that's not being accommodated right now. But we were still earning each day. My 6 year old and 12 year old had binders I made them with ample worksheets in protective sleeves so they could use dry erase markers and wipe them clean. We had reading time. My 6 year old was doing ABC Mouse, my 12 year old was reading each day. We were working on "trouble areas"- minute multiplication and flashcards for my 12 year old, reading outloud to his 3 year old and 5 month old brothers for my 6 year old. We had JUST established a routine. Okay. Sorry, rant over!