Changing Our Mindset: We are Not Homeschooling- We are Crisis Schooling

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen9 Comments

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,


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    1. Author

      Thank you Sandee for the kind words. I think right now we are all just trying to do the best we can with what we have. Sometimes it’s amazing (or maybe kind of close to it) and sometimes it’s less than that, but I sure appreciate the vote of confidence :)
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #210My Profile

  1. Aw, Jen we, moms, are pretty much in this together. I agree it is crisis schooling not homeschooling by this point. And we can just do what we can now to make sure our kids are OK day-to-day emotionally. That said, thanks for the plain and simple reminder here. Hugs, my friend <3

  2. You are so right and now I know the term associated with whatever.. this is.
    I like the homeschooling memes on Facebook but I don’t share them. I have no qualms in admitting that I don’t homeschool at all. My kids’ teachers are in touch with work for them. They’re the teachers. I mostly eat Keebler cookies and do my own work – which oddly – hasn’t slowed down.

    1. Author

      Dang I need Keebler cookies! The way our at home schooling is set-up, Anneliese is really too young to do it alone and so I had to adjust it all to make sure we just weren’t loosing our minds. So now, we do what we can, when we can…. and now, I think we need to eat more Keebler cookies!
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #210My Profile

  3. As a homeschooling mom I have been wanting to help but felt pretty powerless to do so as I could see how this is not homeschooling but just telling people that is not being helpful. Trying to explain what I do and how our lives have changed would not help all my mom friends who are so overwhelmed trying to teach their kids (many of them while still working full time!).. Telling them to step back and not worry about schoolwork at a time of trauma when we should be focusing on mental health does not help either because I know they are all so afraid that their children will fall behind their peers. I remember feeling that way so many times during my first year of homeschooling… but I did have support from huge groups of homeschooling families that we met up with regularly. So mostly I am just trying to quietly support them and remind them that they can only do their best, that they need to take care of themselves too, and focus on doing what works best for their families.
    Joanne recently posted…Sentence a Day in MarchMy Profile

    1. Author

      That is a tough situation to be in. I think you are wise in your approach. There is so much self induced and external stress right now, it’s really best to just provide loving support.

      I keep wondering by the end of the year how many students are going to keep showing up for the 30 minute once daily lesson with the teacher our school provides? I still am for it, since that interaction with peers is important, but truthfully it isn’t very enriching. What can you really teach 6 year olds via an online class in 30 minutes? The majority has to be done at home and that is where the stress comes in. I am glad to hear that even home schooling families feel that stress to make sure their kids don’t fall behind. Not that I am glad anyone feels it, just that we are all similar in that unifying fear it seems.

      Thanks for sharing your very astute thoughts here with me today. I appreciate them.
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #210My Profile

  4. I love this so much. This is definitely way different from homeschooling – you have a lot more resources at your disposal when you aren’t dealing with a pandemic. I think crisis schooling is so accurate. I’m sorry about your daughter missing out on Senior year traditions and fun – I have a neighbor that’s a H.S. senior too and it’s just so sad for them.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…The Queen Bee and Me + Bee Themed CraftsMy Profile

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