A working mum's post about saying 'no, thank you' to homeschooling is going viral – and here's why
The Easter break is now behind us – hard to believe, isn't it – and as of Monday, we are back to homeschooling territory.
I don't know about you, but I sure am not ready for that. I had just about now adjusted to life on Easter break, carefully plotting in activities and games and crafts they can do in the mornings while I get some work done, and then our afternoons are spent going for a long walk/some outdoor play in our nearby park, before heading back home for dinner, bath and a 'movie night' thanks to Disney +.
But as of next week, my carefully crafted routine will have to also accommodate for schoolwork for my senior infant and 4th classes, and truth be told, I'm not sure I'm ready.
And judging by all the messages back and forth in my WhatsApp class groups, I think a lot of us are in the very same boat. And even if we are quarantined with partners to help at home—which not everyone is—the work and worry load piled on us right now is not normal, not okay and frankly, not all doable.
Which is no doubt why this mum's social media post about opting out of homeschooling just went viral – clearly echoing what so many of us are feeling these days.
Earlier this week, Sarah Parcak, mother, Egyptologist, professor and author, announced she was done was keeping up with her son's virtual classroom. Why so? Check out her reason – and tell me you don't all sorts of agree – because I know I sure do.
We just wrote a hard email. I told our son’s (lovely, kind, caring) teacher that, no, we will not be participating in her “virtual classroom”, and that he was done with the 1st grade. We cannot cope with this insanity. Survival and protecting his well being come first.
— Sarah Parcak (@indyfromspace) April 8, 2020
"We just wrote a hard email. I told our son's (lovely, kind, caring) teacher that, no, we will not be participating in her "virtual classroom", and that he was done with the 1st grade. We cannot cope with this insanity. Survival and protecting his well-being come first.
"Don't any of you dare offer help or resources. We both work full time, I also help run my non-profit AND manage a complex project in Egypt AND am running a Covid-19 tracking platform. So, his happiness trumps crappy math worksheet management.
"ie, managing his education is a bridge too far right now. I also cook, manage cleaning, have a garden etc (husband does 50% of housework BTW, we are a team). The thought of homeschooling makes me want to barf. It's a f*cking joke.
"He reads a lot. Plays outside a lot. We read to him a lot and talk to him a lot. He gets history lessons. There is an app where he can choose books to be read to him. We watch a fun movie every night. He plays playmobile with my husband (mega imagination)
"Our goal is to have our son come out of this happy and not be long term emotionally scarred (lord knows life will do that anyways).
"PS You do what's right for your family and mental health. Obviously kids 10+ can cope better with independent work (sometimes). The littles cannot."
Her tween struck a chord, of course, and parents from across the globe chimed in both agreeing and disagreeing with Parcak.
Some parents explained they don't have a printer, so the majority of work was impossible for them to do anyway. Others explained they are working full-time and simply are not able to manage all of the classwork with their kids. Other explained they have children with special needs or children in different grade and skill levels. Some admitted they don't have access to laptops and other resources – and most agreed wholeheartedly with that Parcak said: It's just too much right now.
Some teachers even chimed into the conversation, stating that they fully understand and respect Parcak for doing what she is doing right now:
If your kid is healthy, clean, well fed and protected right now, you’re 100% doing your job and apologize for nothing.
I work as a school counselor & have been making daily calls to check in & it’s weird & scary for families. We are all doing the best we can.
— Mike Snoonian (@mike_snoonian) April 9, 2020
Honestly, I think we are all just doing the best we can right now – in a really weird, busy and scary time—parents, teachers and most especially, our kiddos, too.