School’s Out – You’re In!
Now that school has moved from the classroom down the street into your living room, it’s time to find out just what kind of “teach-at-home” parent you are.
If you’re anything like me, the last few days have been a whirlwind of teacher emails filled with resources and a Facebook feed filled with endless suggested learning opps.
Schedules, learning prompts, virtual field trips – they’re all pretty cool, but how much of this educational goodness can you handle? It probably depends on the type of school-at-home parent you identify with.
Which one – or combo – are you?
Type 1: The “I’ve Been Wanting to Teach You That” Mom or Dad
How You Know It’s You: School’s off for three weeks? GREAT. Welcome to the school of life! Before you leave this house, you’re gonna know how to do your own laundry, pay bills, stock a pantry, clean a toilet, and cook at least three recipes from scratch.
Pros: Your audience is literally captive – you can finally teach them this stuff. Plus, the sense of pride that comes from having passed on life skills.
Cons: The amount of moaning and groaning you’re going to have to put up with and having to turn off the wifi to make said audience appear.
Favorite Coping Mechanism: Eating the dinner the kids cooked and using that freshly cleaned (but not-cleaned-by-me) toilet.
Type 2: The “I Teach Here, I Teach There, I Teach Everywhere” Mom or Dad
How You Know It’s You: Last week you were in front of a classroom full of children with your own whiteboard, book bins, classroom task chart, and favorite learning posters dotting the room. This week, you’re in front of your own kids with none of your supplies wondering why your own kids don’t respond to you like your students back at school.
Pros: You have a really small class size and you have experience teaching. And, all of the staff meetings are canceled!
Cons: The students are sassy and you can’t send them to the principal’s office because you are the principal.
Favorite Coping Mechanism: Writing emails to the parents of your students containing long lists of educational suggestions and learning opportunities that you yourself have no intention of following. JK! You’re really composing cool TikTok videos, hitting all the right memes, and updating your YouTube channel lessons to keep alllll of your kids learning.
Type 3: “Has Always Secretly Dreamed of Homeschooling” Mom or Dad
How You Know It’s You: The announcement that schools closed for at least 3 weeks was secretly exciting for you. Okay, it wasn’t secretly exciting. You immediately started showing off your “just for fun” teacher supplies to everyone in your IG stories.
Pros: You finally have an excuse to pull out that overhead projector and carefully lay out a full Sharpie rainbow on the dining room table. And, you know, that secret ‘all-about-birds’ unit you’ve been working on for just this kind of moment.
Cons: You didn’t get a chance to wistfully pore over curriculum catalogs and choose the best one for your family.
Favorite Coping Mechanism: Daily family yoga sessions, and a nice book at night after the kids are in bed. Because you rock at schedules and those kids are asleep by 8:30!
Type 4: “I Can’t Even” School-at-Home Mom or Dad
How You Know It’s You: Full system overload, cannot compute. You don’t even know what day it is anymore or what you’re supposed to be doing. Am I a mom, a dad, a teacher, or a career woman?? Work calls are mounting, dirty laundry is everywhere, and you have no idea what to even make for dinner. Wait – kids are supposed to be doing extensive homework right now?? Dream on, kiddos.
Pros: I can’t even.
Cons: Not good at small people management. Heard that alcohol consumption is frowned upon while helping kids with homework.
Favorite Coping Mechanism: Alcohol. Baking. Ignoring all those teacher emails with suggested classwork.
Type 5: “Let’s Wing it Like I do Everything in Life” School-at-Home Mom or Dad
How You Know It’s You: Schools closing for three weeks just mean three weeks of fun with the kids. It’s like a mini summer break! Sure, the museums and libraries are closed, but that just means more fun at home or in the backyard, right?
Pros: You can go with any flow. It’s all good.
Cons: May miss the kids’ first day back to school because you’re too busy just making it up as you go and seeing what kind of sandbox dinosaur your kids can make in the living room today.
Favorite Coping Mechanism: Dreaming up new ideas. Fresh air. Hugs from my kids.
Type 6: The OG Homeschool Mom or Dad
How You Know It’s You: Your first clue that schools were closed? The neighborhood kids were suddenly playing outside on a Friday morning, and you’re sure it’s not a snow day. That, followed by a sinking feeling in your stomach when the museum and library closing emails started coming in, coupled with your homeschool friends texting about canceling the five field trips you had set up for next week.
Pros: You’ve got this. School-at-home is what you know and do. You’ve planned, chosen a curriculum, and learned how to teach your kids over the long haul. Your kids will keep on learning.
Cons: The world is your classroom and they just shut it all down. Plus, you’re getting called on by all of your public school friends for pointers, and a few of them have (jokingly? we’re not sure) hinted at having you teach their kids for them, too.
Favorite Coping Mechanism: FaceTiming your other homeschool pals and commiserating over the canceled meetups, sports and extracurriculars. And coffee. All of the coffee.