The school closures in Kansas have got me thinking about the approach I want to take with my children. My husband and I are both educators and are waiting for a little more direction from our school district as to what we are supposed to do with our classes before we tackle what we’re going to do with our two school-aged children and a 4-year-old at home. A quick scroll through social media, though, and you’ll see there is no shortage of at home school resources and perfectly color-coded schedules to follow to keep kids in their “somewhat” normal school routine. As an educator, I know the value the school system has for our children. I know that schools provide much more than an education to children and are often their only happy or safe place. I realize that children often only get two good meals a day and both come from their school. Because of all of this, I realize that homeschooling can be a daunting and, in some cases, impossible task, and I want to offer some support as a mom and as an educator.
I want you to know that it’s okay to use this as an opportunity to teach your children all the things you want to teach them that they don’t already learn in school. Math worksheets…nah, not really important, but learning how to bake and measure ingredients, that’s a great real-world way to use math. Science experiments aren’t my jam, but my girls have been wanting to plant a garden, so we may tackle that. My husband has been building some built-in shelves in our garage and he plans to enlist the help of our girls with that project. Know what we won’t be doing at our house? We won’t be schooling for the sake of schooling for hours a day. We won’t be completing packets of information just to say we did it. But please know that if worksheets are your child’s jam or that’s what you can do for the day, then go for it! The kids are going to be okay whether we follow a perfectly color-coded schedule or just wing it most days. The fall will come and school will start back up, and they’ll all move on to the next grade. The teachers will review materials and understand the circumstances and we’ll all have newfound gratitude that we have schools we can send our kiddos to.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just annoyed by becoming your child’s teacher overnight, or it’s just not possible for you to work on schoolwork at home with your kids, I want to offer you some grace. From an educator, you have permission to do what works best for your children and your life during these crazy times and not feel an ounce of guilt about it. If you’re feeling a little less than because you can’t keep up, please know, I won’t be keeping up either.