I think everyone has read the New York Times article about refusing to run a Conoravirus homeschool. A lot of people agree with the article, but they are not as vocal as the ones who disagree. As of this writing, there were 1246 comments and the comments were closed. Most of the popular comments were negative.
To refresh, she basically said that she is letting her kids watch a lot more TV, play video games, and have unstructured time so she can get her own work done. They are still doing their required schoolwork. I don’t understand why anyone could complain about this–the adult’s work is more important for most people because they still have to make a living. The kids will be ok with a little extra screentime, but the family might not be if someone loses their job.
The stress of coming up with and sticking to a new all-day, kid-centered schedule of activities, maintaining the home you are in all day, and doing your day job is going to be overwhelming for most people. Even the super moms will break.
Our kid is still under 5, and we strictly control screentime in our home. This is not just because we think too much is unhealthy, but because we don’t want to hurt her imagination. For example, I don’t think she should see the Winnie the Pooh movie because then when we read the books she will be picturing and hearing the film characters instead of her own version. Even now, on lockdown, we are continuing to limit movies and shows, but we are not limiting Skype with real people or cultural events.
So I agree with the idea of not running in circles to center your life around your kid at this time, but there are lots of ways to do it. Free imagination play is ideal, but this doesn’t always work as well with older kids. They can read. Having huge chunks of time to read was my fantasy as a preteen. I would have been in heaven.
Yet, we are doing a whole host of homeschooling enrichment with a schedule (not too strict) and everything. Why? Because right now we need it to keep us extra busy, crazy, and distracted. I don’t want too much time to think. I want to be bone tired when I go to sleep each night–it keeps me from staying awake worrying.
Our tiny apartment all day existence will change over time during this ordeal, but it’s hard enough that I know one thing. People should do whatever works for them.
Photo by Jonathan Borba