As the new school year gets closer lots of parents are considering homeschooling. For some families, this was something they never would’ve pictured doing. For others who have been unhappy with the school system, this may be the nudge that was needed.
There are so many decisions to make under stressful circumstances. The past couple of months have been chaotic, exhausting, and thinking about the logistics involved in homeschooling can be daunting.
But you really do not feel safe sending your child to school under these conditions. You also refuse to go through the experience of distant learning again and you begin to ask:
- Can I really do this?
- Am I going to be able to work while homeschooling?
- How many hours a day does homeschooling require?
- What do I need to teach?
- How do I start?
You go online and start to google: “Homeschooling”, “How to homeschool”, “homeschooling requirements”…
Woah, there is so much information! Tons of curriculum options and mention of umbrella schools.
Co-ops?– what does that even mean?
One of the articles recommended to look up homeschooling requirements in your state.
So you google some more…Oh wow.
You found the information but it’s not making sense. This is normal you are in a state of stress. You are trying to process yet another major change in your family’s life that could affect your child’s future.
- When do I send the letter of intent?
- What goes into a portfolio?
- Will my child be behind academically when they go back to “regular” school?
This is too much! You serve yourself a glass of wine or your favorite hot tea and go on Facebook.
Checking out the local mommy groups. You notice that other moms are asking the very same questions about homeschooling.
You are not the only panicking and confused.
You decide to join a homeschooling FB group.
You find more fellow COVID homeschoolers who are as lost as you.
The veteran homeschoolers are so helpful and informative. The single moms with multiple kids and the working moms that have been pulling this off for years are so inspiring.
Most of them will say that they don’t have the perfect set up in their house and that they don’t even know what grade their child is in. (Whaaaat?!) These moms are so cool, calm, and collected.
They throw out terms like un-schooling and de-schooling, which of course sends you back to google.
After you read a few articles, you might start to realize that when you homeschool you have to let go of everything you knew about school.
It is a whole new world, less structure and time constraints, no standardized tests, and best of all less pressure. There is so much flexibility and once you get the hang of it there is a chance you decide to continue homeschooling after COVID (too soon?).
Homeschooling is all about following your child’s lead.
When children are allowed the space to wonder and be inquisitive, they learn more. When children are given time to build on their strengths and work on their weaknesses they are more confident.
When you homeschool a child you are able to focus on their individual academic needs. Children all learn differently and when the pressure of being in a traditional classroom setting is removed, they may be more successful.
It is known that when a child feels safe, loved, and nurtured their brains can absorb more information and they learn and perform better academically.
Veteran homeschoolers will vouch for the process and say they witness their children blossom.
After you take some time to take it all in. You may start to see a ray of hope and feel that you are doing the right thing. Some of the tension and heaviness is lifted off you. You are not as panicked, you can think more clearly and plan better.
You may even start getting excited about the curriculum you choose, start purchasing the materials (hooray for school supplies sales), and setting up your homeschool space (which by the way you may not even use).
The schools’ updates on their re-opening plans are not triggering you as much.
While you are heading into uncharted territory you have managed to take some control in a chaotic situation.
You might still have your moments. Please remember you do not have to do this alone.
It takes a village to raise a child. This is especially true these days, find your village.
Here are some tips for COVID homeschooling:
- Reach out to fellow homeschooling moms. Ask all the questions and get support when times get hard.
- Find a local group of homeschoolers and connect with like-minded families so that your children get that social interaction (when it’s safer to do so).
- Remember that you are doing what you feel is best for your family (ignore the haters)
- Keep an open mind and be flexible.
- If you function better with some structure and routine, go for it! but just try to avoid over plan.
- Expect to make mistakes. It’s okay, your kids will make them too.
- Be gentle with them and yourself.
- Check-in with your kids.
- Be proud of yourself Mom! You are so brave!
- Document, journal or take pics (this might turn out to be an amazing journey)
These are some tough times. If you have concerns about your child’s emotional well or behavior whether it started recently or has worsened since COVID, please reach out for help.
I am currently offering virtual therapy sessions for children, teens, and families in the Florida, New York, and New Jersey. Contact me to find out more information.