By Aby Rinella

In many places, it has been 6 weeks since schools shut down and kids unexpectedly came home;
6 weeks since the buses stopped coming to take them and moms and dads took on their student’s education.
6 weeks since we all started learning from home.

In these 6 weeks I have noticed a shift.

The first week or two of families being home together I saw such an excitement in the tone across the nation.
I saw families slowing down together.  I heard parents talking of how they loved the time they were getting with their children; the stories being read, the games being played, the projects being done together.
Minds were being ignited and children were gaining a passion for learning, interests were being explored and relationships being deepened. Wonder filled children’s eyes.
I heard a peace, a joy and an excitement in this new place.

Fast forward a few weeks.
Schools realized that their doors may be shut longer than anticipated, many remaining closed for the remainder of the year.
Panic set in and, with it, plans were made and policies were quickly executed.

It was then that I started hearing a new sound; a sound of frustration as parents tried to set up devices to plug their children into and shuffle through stacks of papers that were sent home;  sounds of struggle as parents tried to implement something someone else set up and sounds of tears falling from children as they tried to learn in a way that is not natural to them…all after having had a taste of what learning at home could look like and should look like.

In the beginning I was hearing from parents because they were seeing the beauty and the benefit of homeschool. There was excitement.
A nervousness of the unknown?  Yes, but, excitement for what the adventure could bring.
They wanted more.
But now, those questions are being replaced with grumblings of “I don’t like this. This is awful.”

Why?  Why has there been this shift?
Why have parents lost the excitement and why are children getting bored, once again?
Why were people excited to learn about homeschool at first, but now, we find parents and students anxiously awaiting for schools to open again?

It is quite simple. It is because what you are doing now is not homeschooling.

What you are experiencing is something different: some call it Crisis Schooling, some call it distance-learning .
What it really is is just a thrown-together public school at home.
It’s a sudden situation that nobody planned for and everyone is doing their best to get through, including teachers, administrators and parents.

This is leaving many of you in a place of frustration, which has overshadowed the joy you had at the beginning.

You are frustrated because you are trying to accommodate someone else’s agenda on someone else’s schedule in your home.
You are having to implement plans that are not your own, nor do they fit your unique children because they have been made for the masses.
Your children are being asked to either sit at a screen all day or do lessons from a pack of papers, void of human connection, neither of which are natural for a child nor are they the best way to learn.
Many of you are discouraged, even shocked, at what your kids are learning and how they are learning it, and even more so, at what they are not learning.
It is understandable that you are frustrated and even more understandable that your child is.

We need to stop and remember, these are little people to be filled up, not machines to be plugged in or tasks to check off.

Crisis-schooling, “corona-schooling,” distance learning and public school at home are not homeschooling.

If this is frustrating you, don’t think that is it because homeschool isn’t for you.

So, if what you are doing isn’t, then what is homeschool?

Homeschooling is building a love for learning . It is hands on. It is real life.
Homeschooling is learning through experiences both inside and outside the home.
Homeschooling is discovering who your kids are, how they learn, what drives them and then-
cultivating an environment for learning around those things!
Homeschooling is not just in the home; it is about community involvement, life experiences and building relationships with those around them.
Homeschooling is what works best for your child, your family and your home.
Homeschooling is freedom.

So, If you are feeling discouraged and frustrated right now, if you feel that time is being wasted,  if you are wiping more tears than you are enjoying the process, remember, this is not homeschool.
This is distance learning/crisis schooling. This is public school at home.

If you want to bring back the joy and wonder to your home, if you want to ignite a passion for learning in your child, if you want to watch the lightbulbs go on as your children learn and grow, if you want to spark their passions and interests and then help them take off down a path of study, reach out to those that have been homeschooling, those that are homeschooling and those that want to come alongside you.

You do not have to simply get through or just survive.
You can help your children and your family thrive as you cultivate a love for learning together.
This is homeschool.
This is freedom.

Originally published at Aby’s blog,