Behind the scenes: homeschoolers floundering due to coronavirus

Not ALL of them, obviously… but I’ll bet you had no idea that we are pretty much blown out of the water, too.  Let me paint you a picture…

Everyone is keenly aware of the kink coronavirus closings are in the lives of various types of households in the U.S. and please believe me–I COMPLETELY sympathize.  I’m not trying to diminish anyone’s struggle.  But there is this assumption that “the homeschoolers are fine–this is business as usual for them”.

So much NO here, people. SO. MUCH. NO.

First of all, picture the whole world being on winter break and you’re still stuck in school.  Because for my teenager who has two online AP courses and a college-like rigorous Latin class plus a college class that has moved to e-learning–he doesn’t get to hang out and chill a bit.  At all.  They’re not shut down.  Not to mention that although I teach his physics class, we do 2 hours in-person and 1 remote as it is.  So… he’s pretty close to full load while everyone else has at least a short break while things get figured out.  And he has plenty of schooled friends.  So this sucks wind.

Which is a good segue to socializing.  Folks, our kids are accustomed to playing and connecting with other kids for longer periods of uninterrupted time than recess, gym and passing time, and yes–IN PERSON.  They’re less accustomed to distance socializing  or socializing in small chunks than most of our kids are.  I mean, our kids have SnapChat and All Of The Apps, too; but they are used to having more quality time than this and it’s really a strain to be so isolated.

Ironic, huh?  I mean, given what the general populous believes on this topic.

But seriously… y’all never see us out in public because WE GO WHEN YOUR KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL.  The libraries, the museums, the malls, the parks… All the places your kids go on a field trip?  Take the last 5 years of those and we pack them into one year.  Plus the homeschool-specific groups and activities.  Did you know that we have homeschool skate, homeschool jump (at both the bouncy place and the trampoline parks), homeschool PE, homeschool martial arts, homeschool Girl Scouts… you name it, we’ve got it.  And we have the time to do all of that.  You think we’re not out of the house but we are CON. STANT. LY. out of the house.  We just do it while your kids are in school.  And we do A LOT of that.  This is HARD.  We are NEVER home this much and even those who are usually have visitors on the regular.

How about those parents whose work was capable of moving home?  Well now NOTHING is getting done because not only does this disrupt any kind of flow or routine that kicks off with that adult leaving–we now have what is either a constant disruptor and/or our favorite candy that we can’t touch.  Let’s manage that tantrum while the working parent is on a call.  None of this is the norm.

Let’s talk about the COUNT. LESS. cool, free stuff that is being made available to the children of the country.  How the HELL do we get anything done with all THAT floating around.  And seriously?!?!  We have to pay for every last cool thing we have on top of paying the same taxes you pay for the public schools.  This is awesome but also a little frustrating… and derailing getting anything done… and screwing up routines… and for many–putting their kids in front a screen WAY more than they’ve been in the last four months combined.

Keep in mind that MANY of us have brought our children home because they weren’t functioning really well in the schools.  So for many of us, routines REALLY matter for our kids.  Getting out to the trampoline park once/week or whatever it is matters for physical outlet.  You get the idea.  So this is a downright sh*tshow for MANY homeschoolers in ways you may not have thought about.

Oh, and many of those kids have various issues including food allergies.  Well, the hoarders have now taken the last (insert allergenic food of choice because it applies to ALL of them) my kids can eat among other things.  This isn’t actually just the domain of homeschoolers, but a lot of homeschoolers have kids home because they can’t control the food situation at school (which is bat-sh*t crazy, btw… WTAH?).

HOMESCHOOLERS ARE NOT GENERALLY *AT HOME*.  This is like taking a feral animal and throwing them in a cage.

And many of our kids are the same kind of hot mess as yours as a result.

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, FOLKS.

Yes… we are all feeling the same pains.  Some of you schooled families are feeling it more and some less.  Same as the homeschoolers:  some more, some less.  But know that it’s not just business as usual for any of us–even the ones on the “feeling it less” side.

So let’s all just take a breath and know that nobody has it any better than anyone else.  It just sucks for everyone and we’re all doing what we need to do to keep our healthcare system from collapsing.

Deep breaths…  Let’s laugh lest we cry before we scream.  Just hold on for the ride.

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