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Why we’re not homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic

Post · Apr 9, 2020 ·

There’s a global spotlight on homeschooling right now. Parents across the world are waking up to a life where schools, for a time, effectively do not exist.

While it’s wonderful to have so much awareness around home education, I think the association with what parents are going through right now is a bit of a problem.

See, most of us aren’t actually homeschooling. Not fully. We’re all too isolated from the world around us to be able to.

Instead, what we’re doing is a bit like buying a surfboard and sitting on it in a pond. Yes, we’re on a surfboard. But we’re a long way from experiencing what surfing is really like, and if we end it there we never will.

Why? Because the term ‘homeschooling’ is one of the great misnomers. Home educated kids don’t spend their lives at home the way we’re being asked to right now. They’re not usually inside the four walls of a house, day in and day out. They’re out in the world, among their community.

They’re at the library, a skate park, a swimming pool, an art gallery, a street market, at the beach, at the park, exploring a museum. They’re at a karate dojo, a gymnastics hall, a dance class, a music or drama school. They’re interacting with all the different people in all those different spaces, and the balance this gives is incredibly important to a homeschooling lifestyle.

Right now, they’re not doing any of this.

Right now, they’re not really homeschooling.

I’m hearing from a lot of parents who are struggling, and I’m not surprised. I’m struggling. These are extraordinary times. Nothing about this is normal, homeschooling included, so if you’re new to this please understand that right now you’re sitting in the pond. It’ll be a bit frustrating, probably not what you expected or hoped, and probably not a whole lot of fun.

But the real thing is, I promise, and I hope some of you will still be here when the world’s doors are thrown back open.

If you are, I can’t wait to walk from the pond to the ocean with you.

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