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  • Clara Mei

Homeschooling? Actually, it's really: School at Home

Who else is now dealing with this new reality of "School at Home"?!

Well, we are now in our second week of this thing that everyone has been referring to as "homeschooling". This is the term being used by all parents whose children are suddenly home because the schools were closed due to COVID-19 concerns. And so for the first few days, I was saying- "yup we're homeschooling now"...But then I had an "aha" moment last week- and there were many- or maybe it was “oh no’s” not “aha”- but anyway...

As I was trying to wrap my brain around what our new reality is for some unspecified time, and it suddenly dawned on me that: we are not “homeschooling”- we are EMERGENCY SCHOOLING...Or maybe, I thought, let's just call it what it is: “school at home”...Using the term “homeschooling” belies the fact that there was choice in this. Real homeschoolers take months to prep and actually make the decision to take the primary role in their children’s education. It also means that there is a structure in place to meet the parents needs and the children’s needs. (For those of you who do indeed have “homeschooling” experience, I’m happy you have the skills and the know how! ....Though of course even this is different as someone pointed out that with this situation there aren't the outings or other socializing that is part of usual scheduled homeschooling programs...)

In addition using the word homeschooling belies that there is an expectation that our children will somehow meet the requirements of a homeschooling family...Homeschooling parents, I think, do indeed need to show their local board of education, etc that their children have meet x,y,z requirements.

That’s not us...That’s not this situation...

Emergency schooling is what has been put in place to help parents and children keep up SOME sort of education, mind, brain development, skill continuation...And we are all struggling to figure how to do that...

For me, having this switch in perspective really brought me some peace- at least in terms of what I would need to do to parent my children while they are doing school at home. It helped me really get real with what my expectations and what my role will be in my children’s education for the next weeks and maybe months...

And although this situation feels really overwhelming on many levels, I realized if I and other parents, start with understanding and recognizing that we are not indeed doing traditional “homeschooling”, it will help us all breathe a little freer so that we can sink into being parents first and teachers second...Because really- I was a mom before this pandemic, I am still a mom, and I will continue to be a mom after the crisis is over...And that is what my heart is telling me in where I need to start in figuring out how to navigate all of this...Much love and respect to you all as you figure out how to adjust. If you want to connect I'd love to meet over zoom or e-mail:

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