Over the past week or so, I’ve seen teachers, parents, and students grapple with the craziness of Co-Vid 19 Stay-at-Home life. Online opportunities abound. Zooms abound. Stress abounds. I’ve had multiple conversations with people who are up to their eyeballs in the anxiety of managing education in the midst of all this.
Lawmakers are freaking out about how to manage the money to pay for schools. School admins want to help teachers get paid, so they keep funneling constantly changing information about how to work from home and get paid. Teachers certainly want to get paid, so they do their due diligence, funneling parents the constant changing information about how to engage students. Parents want to create a semblance of schedule and normalcy so they keep funneling students the constantly changing optional/mandatory/graded/ungraded/online/offline opportunities. Students want everything to feel okay again so they respond how immature people respond to constant change. Some are okay; some are not okay.
Y’all, some of us are not okay.
(If you are just fine and are trucking along with homeschool and victory gardening like a homesteading pioneer from days of yore, you can just ignore the rest of this.)
Almost 20 years ago, I received the best advice I’ve ever had in my life. I was in an exhausted emotional state, but needed to make some big decisions. In a conversation with one of my old college professors, I laid out the options before me and bemoaned my anxious state of affairs. I was scared and overwhelmed with trying to figure out what to do.
He asked me which of my options was the easiest one to implement. There were downsides to all the options, but one clearly least taxing. He said, “Do the easiest thing.”
That was it. Do the easiest thing. You guys, this is brilliant advice. When life is hard, when emotions are raw, when fear is palpable, when shopping, and cooking, and obtaining toilet paper take longer, do the easiest thing.
What does that mean with Quarantine Homeschooling or Crisis Schooling? Well, that depends on you and what is easiest for you. Maybe that is implementing the teachers’ lessons. Maybe that is watching museum tours. Maybe that is unenrolling them from their public school and just doing your own relaxed homeschool. Maybe the easiest thing is doing nothing at all.
“Wait,” you say. “I can’t do the easiest thing. I can’t do nothing. That would be irresponsible, bad parenting. My child’s education would suffer and they would forget everything. I have to figure this out and manage something and control something.”
Hmmm? 🤨 Do ya, now?
Attempting to control our kid’s education DOES give us something to do, but it might come at the expense of our sanity and our relationship with our kids. It’s not worth it. It’s just not.
Our kids’ ability to learn new things will not evaporate in 1, or 2, or 6 months. No one is going to judge you for not doing Co-Vid education right. (And if they do, they’ve got to go. Unfriend.) In the midst of one of the hardest things we may have to do as a culture, when it comes to schooling, do the easiest thing. I give you permission.