This week the Principal at my children’s elementary school sent over a link to a blog post that changed how I am viewing our current schooling practices. This brilliant author and teacher introduced the concept that we are not homeschooling, we are crisis schooling.
“You are NOT homeschooling. You are CRISIS schooling. There is a huge difference. You may choose to homeschool after this, but this is not what homeschooling looks like, not even remotely.
Homeschool parents who choose this research for months or even years before embarking on this journey. We have vast networks of support from charter schools like where I teach, in person classes, online classes, co-op groups, park days, field trips, chess clubs, scout troops, etc. We have huge groups on social media that we get involved in. Choosing to homeschool makes all the difference in your mindset and preparedness. Crisis schooling is stressful and even trauma inducing.”
Cha-ching, yes that exactly! I do feel a little traumatized and so do my children.
Realizing the trauma we as parents are feeling and also that our children are experiencing during this time will help make at home schooling a better experience. This has made all of the difference in my at-home crisis schooling this week. There are no more fights. We are learning, we are grieving, we are doing the best we can in a less than ideal situation.
The precautionary note on all of this is that unless we do realize that we are not home schooling, but crisis schooling, we will unfortunately burn out quicker and far earlier than the end of the school year.
With this realization of our situation though we can be provided with some power, right? And I have a few ideas on how we can make what we are doing crisis schooling (Thank you Heather) a better experience. Here are some things I have been focusing on:
Don’t feel overwhelmed, instead focus on the specific needs of your children. Maybe it isn’t math today, but you can slip in some math while you are licking the cookie batter off of the spoon. That is if you can find eggs… another trauma right? Just do the best with what you have.
Make a schedule. Get up at the same time. Go to bed at the same time.
Read amazing books and talk about them.
Tell your children stories and let them tell you stories.
In a crisis, we would not expect to have school last for 8 hours each day. So why are we trying to do that?
Grant yourself the ability to not be perfect (screw Pinterest), and make sure you allow for the same grace for your children to navigate this time when their world changed so very suddenly.
This week our Governor in Arizona announced school closure until the end of the school year. My Senior in High School was sitting in an English class when she heard this. The class was full of other Seniors who now realized all of those milestones like prom and graduation aren’t going to happen for them.
This is all so hard, but there is not one American family or individual who is not struggling right now. Of course, this even passes into a global recognition of struggles. We are literally all in this together. Huddled in our homes, apartments and dwellings around the world. Trying to do the best we can to protect our fellow global citizens and our own families.
Remember that. Be kind. It costs so very little, because in a world that seems fractured and full of hurting people your kindness can only help to make it better within your own home and maybe even outside of your home.
It’s time to wake children up for our day, and I cannot tell you the number of times as I go about my day that I think about others outside the 4 walls of my home who are hurting, sad and trying to navigate this time. I hope that when we emerge from this time, we come out as a world, nation and people who are better, kinder, and more loving. May we never forget this time when the world seemed so small and yet so vast at the same time.
Lots of love,