To be honest, I really thought homeschooling my son wouldn’t be that hard. Or, at least, I assumed that getting lessons and assignments from his first grade teacher would make it easier to keep him occupied while his dad and I work from home during this totally weird era of coronavirus social distancing. Um, not quite. Parents everywhere are making this same realization, and if they’re failing as teachers, some of them are succeeding at giving us some much-needed laughs.
I honestly don’t know how teachers, regular homeschool parents, and stay-at-home parents have mastered the art of educating and entertaining children for days at a time with their sanity intact. Social media appears to be largely populated by parents who are doing just fine right now, setting up their kids’ color-coded schedules and supplies on gorgeous, sunlit dining room tables. But thankfully, there are also the parents out there who are also, well, not exactly feeling like education is their calling right now.
Our first indication of what this was going to be like came last Monday from TV producer-goddess Shonda Rhimes.
“Been homeschooling a 6-year old and 8-year old for one hour and 11 minutes,” she tweeted. “Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.”
Been homeschooling a 6-year old and 8-year old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) March 16, 2020
That had us shaking with fear. But maybe she just didn’t get enough guidance from her kids’ teachers? Well, this rant from a mother in Israel showed us that maybe concerned teachers don’t exactly make things easier.
“Listen, it’s not working, this distance learning,” Shiri Keningsberg Levi, a special ed teacher says in her video, translated from Hebrew. With four kids, she is inundated with WhatsApp messages sending unrealistic lessons, including a whole musical score, and concerned questions about how the kids are doing. “Ask me how I’m feeling. Falling to pieces! … It’s only the second day. If we don’t die of the coronavirus, we’ll die of distance learning!”
Candice Hunter Kennedy, a mom in the U.S., shared her son’s perspective on his new home school, via a journal entry he wrote.
“It is not going good,” wrote 8-year-old Ben in a post that’s gone viral on Facebook. “My mom’s getting stressed out. My mom is getting really confused. We took a break so my mom can figure this stuff out. And I’m telling you it is not going good.”
On Twitter, mom Jayne Mather sent a similar blunt message from her son: “Tigers are roooooasome. My teacher is dumb.”
— Jayne Mather (@jaynem27t) March 19, 2020
Comedian Brandalyn Shropshire put a more pious spin on her experience with her new role.
“Father God, I am your humble servant,” she says in a her “Prayer of a Desperate Mother” Instagram video. “What I am not is a math teacher, God. Lord God the spirit of Common Core has attacked our household, and right now the only thing we have in common is frustration, and no answer to the math problem.”
We’re not sure if it was a higher power to whom Texas mom Melissa Ornelas was appealing when she made this post on Instagram: “#sos I’m attempting to have class after several snacks and two breakfasts,” she wrote.
By the way, we did go straight to the experts — experienced homeschool parents — and gathered these excellent tips on how to handle this situation. Read up, but also go easy on yourselves, parents. Our children are learning a lot from life right now — number bonds will still be there when we get to the other side.
Here’s some more guidance on apps that help you teach your kids to read.