March 31, 2020


I didn't even know what to title this post.

His first coloring book. 
He just likes looking at the pictures. 
He doesn't get "coloring" yet. I tried. 


First, the idea of homeschooling my child long-term is a special kind of nightmare for me.

I have nothing but respect for parents who choose to homeschool. That is AWESOME. Good for you. GREAT for you. I just know it's absolutely not for me.

I've always stood by two things:

1. I always said I could/would homeschool our children if I had to. If we lived in a particularly undesirable school system for a short amount of time, or if we were moving at weird points in the school year; I wouldn't register a kid in a new school in April or May, if that's when we were moving to a new location. I'd likely keep him at home and just start over in the fall. There's a lot of variables that go into those situations and decisions, so that's just my framework and starting point on the topic.

2. The other thing is that I don't want to be my child's only teacher. I could teach him, sure. I just loved my students over eight years so much that I couldn't imagine not having them as part of my life experience. I want my child to have that too. I know there's a lot out there about schools not being good enough or public education being awful. But I still believe in it. I would send Wells to a private school in a heartbeat, if that was our best option. But I want him to be part of a school because being part of a school for these last however many years has been a huge part of my life experience.

With that out of the's my thoughts on what's happening now...

You've seen a lot of fallout over the last few weeks concerning how the government just cannot get their act together. You know who was able to make this transition as seamless and tactful as possible?


Platitudes aside, being a teacher in the last two weeks had to have been rough.

But for all the kids who are now at home, I have thoughts...

If you have kids you homeschool by choice, awesome. Seriously. I couldn't do it. Or rather, I would likely choose not to do things that way because I know myself. I've never had an opinion on homeschooling (except for what I listed at the beginning of this post), to be honest.

But now, I see things like this and I get defensive and upset:

I like public school. I liked being a public school teacher. I think it is a wonderful place of community and belonging. As I've said before, my best memories are of my experiences as a teacher. Not every day was good and some days it was really hard. I have cried at my desk and to my coworkers before. I have dreaded getting out of my car in the morning. It's not glamorous in the least but there is no other job I'd rather do, professionally.

For what it's worth: I don't think the kids will be particularly behind by missing the last 2-3 months of the school year. See the end of this post for my reason. 

I think teachers should have more individual say in their classrooms and I think mandated testing should go away and, if the last two weeks have proven anything, it's that teachers should be in charge because things would get done a lot more efficiently.

And then I see words like "indoctrination" being thrown around and I have to think: I've had hundreds of students, maybe many have I indoctrinated? My answer to that would probably be none. I was always very careful to never let my opinion about serious topics come out because what I thought didn't actually matter.

Kids knew that I liked dogs more than cats and that backpacks and coats on the floor was a no-no and that I ate a lot of candy and that I didn't like the color red. They had no idea about my political beliefs.

Because I didn't talk about them. That wasn't my job.

In fact...and this is where I must disclaim that I didn't vote for Donald Trump in 2016...I remember a student being mad that Donald Trump won in November that year because her mom was mad. She said something..I don't even remember what but I remember exactly where she was sitting and lamenting as she said it...and I said I understand what it's like when someone you want to win doesn't win. Remember how we watched the BrainPop video about elections? And we read about how the President is elected? That's what happened. Every time a President is elected, half the country is upset and someday you'll be able to vote and help make a difference. This is how the U.S. government was set up, just like we talked about. 

Or something like that. Facts and details, not opinions, has always been my philosophy of teaching. Kids don't need to know their teacher's opinion on every little thing. (But it was always important that they knew red decorations did not hang on our classroom walls because I really don't like primary colors.)

And, to push this along even further...because we're all socially distanced from each other, so why not?
Sometimes I feel like the fact that I believe in public schools means I need to hand over my conservative Christian card.
Like I can't be politically conservative if I think public schools are okay. And I can't be a truly biblical version of a Christian (you know, not like a Rachel Hollis or Beth Moore or Glennon Doyle version) if I believe public schooling is an option.

That's just something I've been thinking about a lot lately. ^

Circling back to what I originally wanted this post to be about..

If you are homeschooling right now because your child's school is closed...
If you are homeschooling right now because your child's school is closed and you also have to work from home at the same time with no extra help because of social distancing...
And if you, God bless you, are going to work and your child must also be homeschooled and you need to figure out how to do childcare AND schooling while you're not at home...

In all of these situations, I can recommend a few things:

  • Your child does not need 78 sets of manipulatives. 
  • You do not need to run out and buy a color laser printer and laminator.
  • Give daily quiet time with books and snacks.
  • Legos, K'nex, race tracks...anything that can be built qualifies as STEM. Promise. 
  • Workbooks are great! Coloring books and activity books are good too.
  • TV is fine. Especially anything that helps them learn...I can recommend some of the educational series I used in my classroom for indoor recess or end-of-the-day viewing if you need ideas!
  • Educational video games are a perfectly fine use of time. 
  • Outdoor playtime is ideal.
  • Schedules are hard*, especially when a new normal feels anything but normal. 
  • Read aloud!!! 
Much of what happens in an actual school is about management and schedules and meeting minutes for state guidelines. School does not take 8 hours a day. Think of it like a tighter version of summer vacation maybe?  Plus...and this is kind of a dirty little secret...most of the actual necessary material that needs to be covered is covered between September and March. State testing is in April and then it's a free-for-all until June. Your kid won't be behind.

*I love having Wells on a schedule. It does not work out every day, no matter how hard I try. I loved having my classroom run on a schedule. Schedules are overrated though. It's necessary in a school, but you live and die by your schedule out of that necessity. I spent all of my days looking at the clock and making sure I was doing everything that needed to be done in the allotted time. It's HARD. Please don't do that to yourself if you're suddenly home with your children. Keep it flexible. It actually hurts when I see moms put 3 year olds on a school schedule. We all know you're doing the best you possibly can. I don't believe any mom or dad is trying to drop the ball on education during this weird time. 


  1. I love this. I agree that public school is not the worst thing ever. I think there are bad ones and good ones, just like there are great teachers and horrible ones. I’ve had some particularly terrible experiences with teachers which maybe makes me a little more hesitant to choose public school than others, but I also had some great experiences. I spent a couple years going up, down, and all around on what to do for Gracie next year, but homeschooling feels right for whatever reason, and I’m excited. And terrified.

  2. Great post and I agree with much of what you wrote. I may piggyback on this topic. I haven’t started teaching online yet so my beliefs could change.

  3. I honestly don't know how parents are doing it right now - I have a hard enough time trying to keep my 1.5 year old entertained and doing somewhat educational things with her that she would get at daycare. I'm worried I'm not teaching her enough, but then I also have to focus on work because that's still happening...oy!

  4. I agree with this and have kept my mouth shut about much of it on social media because its just not worth the others commenting on how I'm supposedly wrong in my thinking. I think what kills me the most is the parents who are posting that they are tired of their kids already and they can't handle this. I'm sorry you chose to have kids and you can't spend all this time with the kids you raised and made the way they are? That irks me to the core.

  5. I need to send this to all my friends freaking out right now.
    let's be real - after Spring break, all the students check out anyways :) LOL


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